ETIHAD STADIUM MANCHESTER The stadium is in Manchester. could talk about tactics, fierce rivalries and stunning skills, but honestly, is something more fun than hilarious football?
There are whole social media pages dedicated to such matters, often getting thousands of likes on the back of a grotesque goalmouth scramble from the 90s that saw everyone fall over.
This kind of thing won’t ignite Pep Guardiola’s flame however, objectively speaking, Erling Haaland’s first goal of his brace in Manchester City’s 3-1 victory in the 3-1 win over Brighton at the weekend proved quite humorous indeed.
The things weren’t going all good for City in the end, but it’s true. Guardiola’s admiration of the team prior to the game to Brighton manager Roberto De Zerbi did not seem to be in any way misplaced.
The opposition were man-for-man in central midfield, which meant Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva and a wild Joao Cancelo were deprived of space.
Ederson who is usually magnificent in the air when he joined in the City build-up but was confused at times in the absence of an acceptable pass, as a pressing team led by legendary Danny Welbeck made City’s life somewhat of a shambles.
At the beginning of a break in the game, Ederson joined Ruben Dias, Silva and Haaland for some instructions on tactical play from Guardiola. This could have resulted in the thigh-slapping opener.
“One we’ve not really seen yet is Ederson getting the ball and spraying a 70-yard diagonal to play [Haaland] through on goal,” former City defensive player Nedum Onuoha, who was a City defender, told The Sporting News last week. “These are the kinds of things City have in their arsenal.
At the end of 22nd, that was the weapon they used. Haaland appeared to believe that the pass was not coming, and therefore he checked his running. However, Ederson hit one over the Brighton defense and chaos ensued.
Haaland’s speed from a stand-still position was awe-inspiring. Robert Sanchez seemingly decided he did not want to take the premier league’s most dangerous marksman, and so he swung his shot out of his goal toward Haaland and then over him and missed the ball and the man.
Adam Webster was unfortunate enough to fall between the number nine of City’s police as well as the subject of his desires and was promptly smashed. Haaland was able to return home, and VAR was able to keep the promise likely to show Webster and all the kids who were watching that sitting in the front of an articulated truck as it roars downhill an awful idea.
It was definitely entertaining and it was beginning to feel more fun after a rough time on both sides of Manchester. Their loss to their difficult opponents Liverpool in the final at Anfield was brutal and the aftermath of the game has been a unsettling, depressing and painful to say the least.
Imagine what Haaland and the rest of his cast could create next is the best method of spending your time instead of pondering what hilarious song might emerge from the Hillsborough songbook, or what loose change could be thrown into Guardiola’s head.
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In one stunning sequence of football, Riyad Maharez played a nutmeg Adam Lallana to get City moving to the right. De Bruyne and Jack Grealish exchanged passes but the Belgium international was unable to get the ball to the goal. The Belgian would then finish in a stunning fashion to secure the points.
City led 2-0 at the break when Craig Pawson produced what looked as a buck-passing calland he did not penalise an obvious and blindingly obvious foul against Silva with the knowledge that he would be able to decide to award the penalty on the screen just a few minutes after.
Haaland grabbed the ball, but his penalty was delayed due to the fact that when he walked towards the penalty area Five of his teammates were being given intense instructions, a severe punishment or both from Guardiola.
The City manager was not happy with the majority of the action on Saturday, but he was less disappointed at half-time, after which Brighton came out with renewed vigor. Leandro Trossard smashed his 20-yard shot that was just too intense for Ederson to control, And the Brazil goalkeeper was able to save the ball following a wild run by Brighton’s Brighton goal-scorer at the end of the 72nd minute. Welbeck was unsuccessful in attempting to find an assist on the occasion and, just a few seconds later De Bruyne picked out the top corner from 25 yards.
It was a match in which City frequently appeared under-manned in defense, but relied heavily on three centre-backs out-and-out – to the very first time, at Manchester, Manuel Akanji truly appeared to be an defender in the central position, who was playing in a different position as right-back to get the job completed by any means required. The attacks of the team lacked style, shape and form however Haaland, De Bruyne and the other great soloists wearing white and blue made sure that it didn’t matter.
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In the final minutes and with a win almost guaranteed, Guardiola slumped back in his chair, and began to talk to his assistant Rodolfo Borrell. The short Haaland period is already awe-inspiring and with 17 goals, Guardiola is just six points away from the Premier League Golden Boot tally which he can be able to reach during the final three games prior to the World Cup. However, you can sense Guardiola is adapting to.
In the last two seasons with no goalkeeper, City had to be flawless most of the times. In the present, as was the situation this weekend, the team may be beaten and snubbed for some time, yet strike to get out of difficulties. At Anfield the weekend before Guardiola’s team veered away from the control of his recent past. However, this win against Brighton was another indication that accepting the chaos may be the right choice.
There are kinks in the game that it is fascinating to see the most renowned footballer of his time work out, and he’ll certainly have learned a thing or two from this fascinating battle between him and De Zerbi. However, Haaland will be the main focus and he’s the same as when he ran around the pitch in a one-man lap of honour in fulltime after lifting the cloud City carried to them last weekend from Merseyside.