Here’s what we learned from Monday’s win via Football Weeks:
The Sky Blues went to Stoke City and got a result that was more than expected. It appears a little bit scrappy at times, and it felt a bit like a “rainy night at Stoke”, even though Manchester City won. But they were the better side and played enough to easily earn all three points.
1- Age is just a number to David Silva
David Silva, also known and referred to in local parlance as “El Mago” – still continues his wonderful and legendary performance for City to show that age is just accumulation of numbers. With two goals and picture perfect chances created in tight spaces, the Spaniard dominated the game at the bet365 Stadium and clearly man of the match out there, and he’s one of the most underrated players of this past decade and still of the best across England. It’s such a joy to watch the Spaniard play. Silva may not get the global recognition in the likes of Iniesta, Xavi, Mesut Ozil, Xavi Alonso, but any fan of City knows just how spacial Silva. He appears to be a fine wine, that just keeps getting better with age.
2- Raheem Sterling now a world-class under Guardiola’s tutelage
Raheem Sterling who just got back from an muscle injury was handed a start against Stoke to replace injured Sergio Aguero. Sterling showed a top class performance like he never missed any time. Aside from the fact that he’s just returned from injury, the Englishman jumped right back into the action and dazzled everyone with fine touches, pace and ability to maintain possession in tight spaces. The move he showed that beat three Stoke defenders inside the box was incredible.
The England international has netted 20 goals across all competition for City this season. Pretty good for a played who once used to be unbalanced in front of goal. 20 goals for a winger in England is the same number top strikers in the league are scoring every season. Sterling world-class performances’ credit should be given to Guardiola, who seems to be getting the best out of the winger every week. Sterling had always shown to be a lethal striker due to his pace, but his first tough, footwork and goal-scoring abilities have all been different under the tutelage of the Spanish boss.
An incredible training footage November, 2017 proves Pep Guardiola is responsible for Sterling’s incredible goals so far in the season:
3- The Blues are marching on and nobody is stopping them
Man City did dominate possession, but the match did have that “rainy night at Stoke” feeling, and at times, it was a bit cagey. With City leading by one goal at half-time, Stoke were still very much in this match and they probably felt good about their chances of getting a goal. But at this stage, nothing is stopping the Blues’ train. Guardiola’s men managed to get that much needed second goal early in the second half and they continued their relentless possession of the ball. The second half of the game seemed very much aggressive, and while that wasn’t pretty, City played enough to get the result.
Paul Lambert‘s men were relying a bit on their mojo, hoping that their past victory against top 6 teams would carry into the match on Monday. And giving that a thought, Stoke did set up and lined up well enough to get a result. Even though City were the better side, and clearly deserved to win, the Potters managed to turn the match in a classic tough English fixture, where it could have easily been a 1-1 draw instead of a two-goal loss.
There’s no denying that they are going to win the title. It’s become pretty much impossible for anyone to stop them at this point. Teams have thrown everything they can at City, but is clearly the best team in England this year. Monday result was tough, but simply routine. Thanks to brilliant work from El Mago and Sterling, City were able to walk out of a challenging bet365 Stadium with all three points. City can now rest and heal with no fixtures for almost three weeks, and get ready for what will surely be a very tough Champions League quarter-final.