Manchester City 2-0 Dinamo Zagreb: 3 Reasons why Pep Guardiola's side won the game
Manchester City welcomed Dinamo Zagreb to the Etihad on Tuesday night for their UEFA Champions League group stage game. The Croatian side was top of Group C ahead of the game, by virtue of a superior goal difference. Tuesday night promised a fiery encounter, as two teams of very similar philosophy faced each other on the field.
Zagreb was second in the Croatian First Football League table, a point behind leaders Hajduk Split having played one game less. Most importantly, the Croatian side was coming into the game having scored 11 goals in their last 2 games in all competitions.
Manchester City were not doing too bad themselves. The Citizens were second in the Premier League behind Liverpool, but had scored 27 goals in their 7 games in the league so far. However, Pep Guardiola knew that his Croatian opponents were no pushovers and he named his team accordingly.
Manchester City Starting XI: Ederson; Joao Cancelo, Fernandinho, Nicolas Otamendi, Benjamin Mendy; Ilkay Gundogan, Rodrigo Hernandez, David Silva; Riyad Mahrez, Sergio Aguero, Bernardo Silva.
Manchester City started the game on fire but lacked precision in attack. Despite spending much of the first 45 minutes in the opposition half, the reigning Premier League champions failed to find a breakthrough and the game went into the break with the score 0-0. Raheem Sterling came on in place of Bernardo Silva 10 minutes into the second half and the Englishman gave his team the lead in the 66th minute. Phil Foden, another second-half substitute, made it 2-0 for City in injury time and Pep Guardiola’s team went on to gather all 3 points. Here are 3 reasons why Manchester City won the game.
#3 Lack of attacking threat from Dinamo Zagreb
The Croatian side was pegged back for much of the game and had little threat going forward on the night. Dinamo Zagreb failed to put any pressure on the City defence and their only real chances arrived from set-pieces.
Perhaps Nenad Bjelica’s side would have been better advised to stretch the City side on the counter, but the Croatians failed to take advantage of the situation and were toothless in attack.
As a result, the City defence was untroubled for the majority of the game and the home side was able to push men forward without any worries. This ultimately helped City win the game.