Saturday, September 10, 2016

The Manchester Derby

Probably no other match this season has been as awaited as the clash between Manchester United and Manchester City: The clash of two of the greatest clubs in the world, from the same city. Two football philosophies clashing; Mourinho versus Guardiola.
It had every ingredient for a great match, and it did not disappoint, with a high level of drama and fantastic play.
In the ever-rainy week in Monrovia, I almost panicked when my TV at home had no signal to send the match, so I hurried into my car to find a place to watch it. I was disappointed that I had to go to a couple of places near my house in Sinkor, but finally, five minutes into the match, I found a place to watch it.
I had not seen the lineups, but it was only after 40 minutes I realized that Paul Pogba, the millionaire signing, was playing....
Manchester City were all over in the start, playing a high pressure football that one has come to connect with Pep Guardiola. An outstanding Kevin De Bruyne scored the first goal, while Sergio Aguero's replacement, the 19-year old Nigerian Kelechi Iheanacho, scoring the second goal on a ripost from a DeBruyne shot.
At this point it seemed like Manchester City could tear United apart.
But then two of the new players the clubs have invested in took over: the new goalkeeper Claudio Bravo could not reach a high ball, which went to the ever-threatening Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who scored a goal that looked easier than it really was.
The fantastic Zlatan has scored four goals in as many matches for Manchester United and is proving that at 34 years he is still on fire.
Claudio Bravo on the other hand looks like he has a mountain to climb. Coming in for the club's legendary goalkeeper Joe Hart, he looked insecure and tired throughout the match. Guardiola preferred Bravo to Hart due to Bravo's apparent better technique, but even there he looked extremely weak.
I do not understand why Guardiola preferred Bravo over Hart. Yes, technique is important, but more so it is to have a solid and popular guard on goal, who knows the club and enjoys the respect of fans and teammates alike. It seems to me Bravo will have a long way to achieve that, and he could cost more goals.
In the end it meant nothing today: Manchester United put excellent pressure on City in the second half, in particular when Marcus Rashford came on the pitch. There will surely be more pressure on Mourinho to have the youngster start the following matches.
In the end City came out victorious, but much closer than it had seemed at one point in the match. Be sure the next match will be as dramatic!

1 comment:

chetna gupta said...

These are really interesting to now and learn. these matches were so heart stopping for the fans as they love the nations and the players participating in these sports. You can read some more interesting matches on the latest sport news in detail.