A double from JULIAN ALVAREZ and a fine third from RODRI help the Champions avoid a scare
Defending European Football Association Champions Manchester City’s first home game of their title defense was a nail-biter, but they came out on top against Crvena Zvezda. Despite City peppering the Belgrade visitors’ goal the first half, the visitors from Belgrade scored soon before halftime. But Julian Alvarez answered back after the intermission and tacked on a second goal thanks to some fortunate bounces of the ball.
Champions League champions for the past season On Tuesday night at the Etihad, Manchester City rallied from a goal down to defeat Crvena Zvezda 3-1.
Manager Pep Guardiola shuffled things up by playing bench warmers, and suԀԀenly the home team was having trouble finding its rhythm.
Phil Foden and Erling Haaland both had golden opportunities in the first half that they squandered, and Osman Bukari capitalized on them by scoring an offsides goal in stoppage time, which was confirmed by video review.
After only two minutes of the second half had passed, Julian Alvarez tied the game thanks to some excellent combination play with Erling Haaland, and then, on the hour mark, Alvarez scored again off of a seemingly innocuous free kιck thanks to an unfortunate error by Omri Glazer. Glazer, who had been brilliant in the first half in keeping City out, took a devastating loss.
After that, City pressed for additional goals, and their champion from the previous season, Rodri, curled in number three.
Yes, they dominated the second half, but they were sluggish to start the game. It was too languid of a game, and they weren’t really аggressive up front.
In contrast, Crvena Zvezda prioritized efficiency and made the most of their resources to get the upper hand.
Guardiola’s team has few obstacles to overcome, but hubris and mistakes made from inside could be the toughest obstacle.
Before making a crucial mistake, Omri Glazer appeared to be the best player, but Alvarez ended up being the difference-maker. The Argentine is taking on more responsibility in an effort to emerge from behind Erling Haaland.
Players used by Man City: Ederson 6, Walker 7, Dias 6, Ake 6, Gomez 6, Bernardo 6, Nunes 6, Foden 7, Alvarez 8, Haaland 6. Phillips (C), Doku (8G), Akanji (7A), Bobb (C), Lewis (C).
Stamenic 6, Hwang 6, Ivanic 6, Bukari 7, Mitrovic 6, Ndiaye 6, and Glazer 5, for Crvena Zvezda. Olayinka, Krasso, Lucic, Kanga, Degenek, and Degenek all come off the bench.
RECAP OF THE GAME
At the 25-minute mark, Haaland bangs an effort over the keeper from close range, but it rebounds off the crossbar after being set up by Foden’s left-wing loop.
45′ – GOAL! BUKARI SCORES FOR CRVENA ZVEZDA AS MAN CITY LOSE 1-0 IN THE FIRST HALF. The striker raced through the middle and clipped in an amazing finish.
47′ – GOAL! The Argentine is played in by a deft reverse pass from Haaland, and he finishes from a narrow angle to tie the game at 1-1.
53′ – GOAL!? Perhaps not; Walker is just onside when he pushes the ball inside, where it is diverted back into his path and, this time, past the keeper; but, VAR rules against him.
60′ – GOAL! Man City 3, Crvena Zvezda 1: Alvarez scores on a left-wing free kιck that is deflected into his own net by Glazer, who was trying to puncҺ Alvarez.
73′ – GOAL! City of Man, 3-1 RODRI SCORES! He dribbles into the penalty area and curls a shot inside the far post for a CRVENA ZVEZDA.