Pep Talk 23: Observations from ManCity’s comfortable 1-0 win away on a bad Wembley pitch


Twelve Observations

1. The NFL game affected Wembley pitch played ordinary yet Manchester City still managed their beautiful game on that awkward surface. The tram lines were confusing even for me as viewer, so sure the players would have found them very irritating.

2. With Trippier, Stones, Walker, Winks, Dier, Sterling, Alli and Kane on pitch .. this was virtually best of England (World Cup 2018 semifinalists) on show.

3. Benjamin Mendy was very ordinary tonight and repeatedly put the Manchester City defence under pressure. Sergio Aguero too had a below par game.

4. Sissoko and Lamela were the best two players for Totts. Lamela in particular has grown physically and finally looks comfortable in the EPL. Not on that instant though when he missed that 79th min sitter which could have been decisive.

5. Riyad Mahrez is reaching the levels at ManCity that fans dreamt of. He played 90min vs Shakhtar when Leroy Sane was on bench entire game; and yet Mahrez started ahead of Sane today and played entire game while Sane cooled heels.

6. Pep Guardiola now has a big headache ahead on whom to bench for Kevin De Bruyne .. as both Silvas, Sterling and Mahrez look indispensable.

7. Imagine how tough then it will then be for Sane to break into the starting XI. His best bet is to now score goals vs Fulham in the upcoming Carabao Cup clash. Ditto for Gabriel Jesus.

8. The EPL commentary in a 1-0 night is a league above the rest and a joy to hear; compared to the ordinary La Liga commentators even on an emphatic El Clasico 5-1 night.

9. The yellow cards shown to Laporte (52nd min) and Fernandinho (60th min) were correct and as per global standards. Unfortunately 90% of such fouls in the Premier League don’t get carded, especially when against Man City. Sissoko on the 84th min didn’t even get carded for a potential red card foul. New season, same old unfairness towards the sky blues.

10. Riyadh Mahrez looked to the night skies after his early goal, which turned out to be the winner. For gratitude and peace wishes to the late Leicester City owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha.

11. While EPL fans are busy debating if the best midfielder in the league is Jorginho or Ozil, David Silva has created more opportunities than any other player so far this season.

12. Man City are top of the league, courtesy a mammoth goal difference, with the meanest defence and most devastating attacking force. They have already played Arsenal, Liverpool and Spurs away from home.

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