Pep Talk 25: De Bruyne, Delph & Diaz shine on a 3D performance from ManCity


Ten Observations

1. Other than John Stones, none of the starters vs Totts took the field today. I expected Stones to be rested and Nicholas Otamendi to start. Was surprised not to find the Argentine’s name even on the bench.

2. Nice to see Danilo and Fabian Delph back on the pitch, post injury layoffs. Delph was the outstanding player, aside Kevin De Bruyne, in this game.

3. Ilkay Gundogan is reportedly also back from injury, I don’t expect to see him start vs Southampton but he should start vs Shakhtar Donetsk. It’s a good stretch of home games for the sky blues.

4. Fulham just had one touch in the ManCity box entire first half and less than dozen touches there in the second half vs a second string home team. 19yr old Aro Muric made his home debut but the highly rated City custodian wasn’t tested entire game and was often found well outside the D, doing the sweeper role!

5. There is talk of Brahim Diaz leaving ManCity for free to Real Madrid. This talk is similar to what was being told about Raheem Sterling leaving till yesterday. Diaz played 77 mins, sealed the game with a goal each in either half; all of which should shut down all these baseless rumours. Sterling meanwhile has signed on a sterling new contract!

6. Leroy Sane, Gabriel Jesus and Phil Foden often get a lot of media attention about their playing time in the premier league starting XI. To make a strong case, each of them need to score goals in bulk in such home games, such is the level of competition internally within the #Centurions ranks. Tonight, each of them wasted easy chances to score at least two goals each. This match should have been 5-0 by the 50th minute! Having said that, each of the three players while wasteful in front of goal, were good in pressing Fulham players and building up attacks.

7. ManCity will now play the winner of the Southampton vs Leicester game for a place in the Carabao Cup semis. City have now conceded just one goal in last nine games in all competitions.

8. My pick for the best three ManCity players tonight will be De Bruyne, Delph and then Diaz.

9. The only worry (and the big worry) on the night is if De Bruyne has injured his knee ligament again. He walked off around the 85th min.

10. Eighteen year old defender, Claudio Gomes, purchased from PSG this summer, came on as a late substitute, but it was too late in the game to make any impact or impression.

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