City in the Champions League is usually a story of suffering. For many years, the team under Guardiola has been considered one of the main favorites of the tournament (or even the main one), but every time something is missing to win. Lately, the only question is at what point in the playoffs will City fly out.
And in this regard, the first match, which took place in Leipzig, ended quite characteristically. City were better, but could not win – 1:1. And the return match began exactly the same. City just locked Leipzig in his third of the field. In the first 20 minutes, it turned out to be 5-0 on strikes. And at the same time, all City’s shots came from the penalty area!
And then VAR suddenly found a penalty that the City players didn’t even ask for. It’s amazing how the referees, with the help of repetitions, found a microscopic touch of the ball and Henriks’s hand. From the penalty spot, Holland shot ruthlessly – although the goalkeeper Blaswich guessed where to fall, he still did not reach.
The game resumed and only 15 seconds had passed when Haaland scored again. “City” was so dispersed that De Bruyne gave an assist with a rebound off the crossbar. Accidental, of course, but it looked mocking. The Leipzig goalkeeper again had only to fall in another attempt to reach out. He trained this process pretty well in an evening.
The only moment in the match that theoretically could give intrigue happened at the 34th minute. City goalkeeper Ederson didn’t know why he ran far out of the goal. It is obvious that Guardiola requires him to play high, but in this situation he did not have time to get to the ball, and the attacker was already covered by the defender.
It’s not clear what surprised me more. Ederson’s unjustified run or the decision of the chief referee. Slovenian referee Vincic failed to call a clear foul from City’s goalkeeper who brought down Laimer without touching the ball. VAR did not intervene, because the foul only led to a yellow card. Ederson did not have a last resort foul, because the ball went to the corner flag, and the City defenders had time to return to defense.
Then City turned on the destruction mode. More precisely, it was turned on by Holland, who scored a hat-trick in the first half. And in the second half he scored a penta-trick!!! Could have scored more, but Guardiola removed the Norwegian from the field already in the 63rd minute. The stands gave him a standing ovation.
Against this background, the great goals of Gundogan and De Bruyne fade as something of little importance. Fans in the second half were already so crazy that they stood in an embrace with their backs to the field and started jumping. And it’s not about the fan stand outside the goal, but also about the central sectors.
Abnormal match, special atmosphere.
The match ended with 7:0 on the scoreboard. City have been very flexible this season. It can be pragmatic, as in the last round of the Premier League in a meeting with Crystal Palace, where City did not open up and generally eliminated the risk (and at the same time shots on target on their own goals). And at the same time, City, as before, is ready to frolic in the open football offered by Leipzig.
The draw for the 1/4 finals of the Champions League will take place this Friday. It seems that City will be the most undesirable opponent.
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