Perhaps no team in the Premiership has had such a bizarrely inconsistent start to this season as Manchester City. While local rivals United were always expected to have a tough time due to the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson and some obvious weaknesses in their squad, City, under new manager Manuel Pellegrini, possess arguably the strongest team in the league. For some reason, however, there have been times when their football simply hasn’t clicked.
Captain Vincent Kompany has been extremely notable by his absence at times this season, as he was last year, and the team has desperately missed his organisation of the back four. Their defensive issues were exasperated by Joe Hart’s repeated errors, often handing goals to the opposition, and his replacement by Costel Pantilimon looks to be one that will last for the foreseeable future.
Unlike some of their rivals, City have not been a team who endured a bad start and have slowly improved, rather they have been a strong team who have suffered a number of erroneous losses for Premier League. Their defeat to Cardiff during the second weekend of the season was a huge upset, but one that could be attributed to a fierce crowd, determined opposition and a squad still adapting to each other. Losses to Aston Villa, Sunderland and a draw at Stoke all came away from home, but were absolutely games City were expected to win, given the strength of their squad.
When City have been on form, however, they’ve looked the best team in the league. A 7-0 win against Norwich was a ruthless display against a weaker team, but their 6-0 crushing of Tottenham last weekend was staggering. Spurs certainly underperformed, but a win of such magnitude against a team considered potential Champions League qualifiers cannot be ignored.
When the question was raised of which new manager in Manchester would claim their first Manchester Derby win, Pellegrini took it in devastating fashion. City, as the home team, were considered favourites but a 4-1 win was deserved on the day, and United’s performance could have frankly seen them concede more. Follow the latest live football streaming matches from English Football and Bundesliga and be part of the live sports online
Pellegrini has already brought improvement where European performance is concerned, one of the major reasons for his replacing Roberto Mancini. Though handed an easier group than Mancini faced last season, City have qualified comfortably from the group stage of the Champions League. In spite of this, a 3-1 loss, at home, to Bayern Munich begs the question of just how capable the team will be against the continental elite. If they play their best game, there’s no reason that City can’t progress far, but they will need to cut out their inconsistency.
City fans can take solace in the fact that, though they would surely like to be nearer the top of the league, they are six points behind first position and only look to be getting stronger. With Spanish imports Negredo and Navas contributing considerably in attack and Agüero having a prolific season, City look capable of outscoring any opponent. When Kompany returns, likely in the near future, they might be unstoppable.
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