Champions League matchday 2:
It took about one hour of game play for Manchester City to finally find the net against a compact and regrouped Croatian side. Dinamo Zagreb came to northern England with intentions to defend and create an upset. They defended pretty well frustrating the Mancunians in the first half.
Despite 81% of ball possession the Premier League champions were not finding the opening. They shot 20 times but only 6 of them found the frame. It could have been one of those nights where domination does not translate into goals.
The England international came into the game game at the 56th minute and had an instant impact. Just 10 minutes after his substitution onto the field Sterling finished off the assist from Mahrez to deliver the Citizens and Etihad stadium (66′).
Liberated Man City continued to apply pressure and got a second at the end of the added time for a final 2-0. With the victory City lead the group with two victories and can now focus on Premier League where they are 5 points behind Liverpool.
Guardiola praises his players:
“We don’t have big headers for crosses. We play that way for the quality of the players we have in small spaces. It was really nice, but Zagreb defended so well. Even for the goal the defender was there. They were so good.
We believe when you attack inside and put a ball wide and people arrive for the cross, that’s the best way to score a goal. I didn’t expect them to play so deep, because Zagreb didn’t have a shot on target, apart from one or two set pieces.
But what they did in that part of the pitch was so good. They won duels and anticipated all the time. Zagreb deserve a lot of credit. That’s why it was an incredible battle.”