Sports

Man City ‘cool heads’? They lost it and got lucky against Atletico Madrid…


We counted six congratulatory references to ‘cool Manchester City heads’ within the BT Sport studio on the finish of the sport. What nonsense. City misplaced it and are very lucky to be within the Champions League semi-finals.

Atletico Madrid had been positively gung-ho in comparison with the primary leg. Sure, that they had 30 per cent possession within the first half and it took them half-an-hour to have their first shot, we’re not saying they went bonkers, however they pressed progressively increasingly more as the sport went on, and Joao Felix had increasingly more firm within the City field.

In the second half, City had been rattled. More maybe than they’ve ever carried out, Pep Guardiola’s aspect had been easing strain via booting it lengthy, and it stored coming again.

Antoine Griezmann had a shot deflected behind, he had a second wonderful effort from the sting of the field sail simply large, Felix maybe ought to have carried out higher with a free header, Rodrigo De Paul had a few possibilities, John Stones was pressured into a powerful block. It was solely one-way site visitors and Diego Simeone and his gamers will rightly really feel aggrieved to not have received this sport.

The City gamers did not heed the recommendation of the peerless soccer polymath Jake Humphrey, who advised them from the BT Sport studio earlier than kick off that “the best way to beat Atletico is to play brilliantly”. They couldn’t maintain possession, couldn’t get out, and the ahead gamers, Riyad Mahrez moreover, all had a little bit of a stinker.

The Atletico Madrid centre-backs, within the absence of their favoured goal Jack Grealish (although he nonetheless managed to get his hair pulled by future pen pal Stefan Savic), directed their finger-pointing and whispered candy nothings at Phil Foden.

Simeone was additionally clearly properly conscious of the principle Manchester City dangerman when, within the fifteenth minute, he made a stretcher gesture to the fourth official with Foden prostrate on the ground following ‘a challenge’ by Felipe, who acquired the primary of his two yellow playing cards for his hassle. Simeone was suggesting that perhaps, simply perhaps, it wasn’t secure for Foden to proceed.

Foen man city

But with head cummerbund including to his caricature character look, the Bash Street Kid performed on and illustrated the consequences of contagious shithousery within the first of what turned out to be 11 minutes of stoppage time on the finish of the sport. Having been kicked by Felipe, who acquired his marching orders in consequence, Foden rolled onto the pitch having been not less than a few yards off it. He knew what he was doing and so did Stefan Savic, who was a really offended boy.

In the purest, finest instance of shithousery throughout each legs, Foden received one centre-back despatched off, despatched the opposite one completely batsh*t in order that he ought to have been despatched off, and fully disrupted the momentum that regarded for all of the world as if was constructing to an Atletico equaliser. Well performed, Phil, properly performed.

The City gamers celebrated wildly at full-time, not less than as a lot as a result of they wished to rub it within the faces of their opponents as their precise pleasure at getting via to the Champions League semi-final. And nearly all of what’s mentioned and written about this sport will seemingly be about City’s grit and willpower, in addition to the way in which they stored their cool within the warmth of battle towards the hardest of all European opponents. But did they actually maintain their cool?

 

Sure, they didn’t have anybody despatched off, however is that the one measure of cool? It’s a phrase ceaselessly used to explain this City aspect, and rightly so, they ooze cool more often than not, however this was not a efficiency resembling something like what we’re used to seeing from them.

Their indignation on the typical antics of Atletico Madrid, which regardless of the late nonsense was in essentially the most half not proportionate to the antics themselves, appeared to have an effect on the a part of their brains that permits them to go, make runs and create possibilities. After Ilkay Gundogan hit the submit within the thirtieth minute, they created nothing till the identical man ought to have sealed victory proper on the finish of the sport.

As Atletico piled on the strain, City didn’t revert to kind however tried to outlive taking part in precisely the way in which Atletico wished them to. City might and may have handed them to dying, however as a substitute misplaced their heads and had been lucky to flee the Wanda Metropolitano alive.

 





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