Manchester City 1-0 Feyenoord: 5 Talking Points
Sterling's goal separated CIty and Feyenoord in a low-voltage contest at Etihad. Here are the major talking points from the tie
Raheem Sterling's 88th-minute strike ensured Manchester City's perfect start to the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League campaign remained intact. After 4 wins from 4 games, Pep Guardiola's side are already in the round of 16, allowing him to make seven changes to the side that faced Leicester City on Saturday.
Only Raheem Sterling, Kevin de Bruyne, Kyle Walker and Ederson retained their place in the lineup. Sergio Aguero started up front and Mangala was given a rare start after an injury to John Stones.
Bernardo Silva and Ikay Gundogan also started for City. Already knocked out of the Champions League, Feyenoord made several changes to the lineup that faced Shakhtar on Matchday 4.
Let's take a look at the 5 major talking points from last night's game at Etihad:
#5 Absence of Stones and Fernandinho felt at Etihad
After a tough start to the life at Etihad, John Stones is finally living up to the hype that accompanied his move from Everton to Manchester City. Manchester City have let in only 7 goals in the Premier League, and have been even better in the Champions League with just 1 goal against their name.
John Stones deserves credit for a much-improved defensive display by City.this season. However, his absence was rather palpable in last night's performance.
Meanwhile, Otamendi had an excellent game, but Mangala struggled occasionally, allowing Feyenoord to threaten on a couple of occasions. Manchester City will have to play 12 games in the next 6 weeks and Stones' absence could hurt City.
In midfield, neither Toure, nor Gundogan was able to provide the spark that Fernandinho usually provides for Pep Guardiola. With a pass success rate of 91%, and 2.6 tackles per game, Fernandinho provides a lot of dynamism to Pep's side in both attack and defence.
Notably, Manchester City, today, missed his work rate as much as they missed Stones' defensive prowess.