Manchester City is continuing their up and d0wn first year under Pep Guardiola. They are on another up swing after scoring a 4-0 win over West Brom over the weekend with a 3-1 win over Barcelona on Tuesday. City was so good that the score could have easily been even more lopsided. When you beat Barcelona, you “save the puck” because it doesn’t happen very often. But to dominate them the way City did is even more astounding.
Barcelona spent the first half looking like we would expect. They led 1-0 on a counter attack goal from Lionel Messi that was as fast as lightning and looked supremely easy. It was one of those goals that demoralizes a team that goes from looking like they might score to down a goal in a blink.
The announcers in the game were lamenting that City just didn’t have the players to hang with Barcelona and then all of a sudden, City struck on a very Barcelona-like goal that consisted of a couple of beautiful passes and then a shot banged home by Gundogan who scored twice in the West Brom game.
Then in the second half, City controlled the ball most of the way. This resulted in a free kick goal form DeBruyne to put them up 2-1 in the 51st minute. While we all thought the equalizer would come at any time, and it nearly did when a Barcelona shot from point blank hit the top of the goal and bounced back, City then got another goal from Gundogan in the 84th minute to put the game away.
City now has seven points in Group Stage play with two games to go. Borussia Monchengladbach is third with four points after their 1-1 draw with Celtic. The two meet in Germany in two weeks. Monchengladbach would draw even with a win over City, but they would still have a match with Barcelona left while City ends Group Stage play with Celtic. This win virtually assures City of advancing to the Knockout Stage.
It seems like a long time ago that Barcelona beat City 4-0 and then City went to Manchester United and lost 1-0 a few days after United was embarrassed 4-0 at Chelsea. But it was only last week. They went from winning their first 10 games under Guardiola to winning none of the next six to this. Hopefully for City fans they can keep this going for a while.