Published on September 16th, 2015 | by Daniel Cheeseman1
Manchester City 1-2 Juventus | Daniel Cheeseman
I’m sure that most, if not all of you will agree with me when I say that yesterday’s game ended up being a bit of an anticlimax. Off the back of five straight wins in the Premier League, with eleven goals scored and none conceded, I can’t deny that I was quite confident we’d get some sort of a result against the Italians – but once again it turned out to be another case of “same old City” in the UEFA Champions League.
Having said that, from Juventus’ point of view I don’t think that they could have caught us at a much better time, as it was obvious that the Blues were still feeling the effect of Saturday’s long trip to Crystal Palace. It didn’t help either that Sergio Aguero was missing from the starting eleven and that both David Silva and Raheem Sterling had only just returned from injury, so when you take all those things into account I suppose it wasn’t a huge surprise that things turned out the way they did in the end.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely not the sort of person who makes excuses after a defeat because I’m more than happy to admit if and when we are outplayed, but I just don’t believe that was the case yesterday. In my opinion both teams were playing at a similar standard and in truth it could have gone either way, Juventus have had a very poor start to the season in Serie A and didn’t look anywhere near as good as they did in the Champions League last season, so from our point of view it was also a good time for us to play them too.
We'll be alright in the Champions League this year, I'm confident. Thanks for your support. Focus on West Ham now. #MCFC
— Vincent Kompany (@VincentKompany) September 16, 2015
For me the main difference between the two sides was the attacking quality, as even though they had less shots on target over the course of the game they were much more clinical in front of goal. I remember Sterling and Bony in particular missing several golden chances between them, which at this level you can’t afford to do as the standard of the opposition you are playing means that they’re more than capable of taking theirs if and when they come. That doesn’t mean to say that the defence wasn’t at fault too for the goals we conceded, as I thought both of them were preventable, but what I mean is that those goals wouldn’t have mattered anyway if we’d have just taken our chances earlier in the game.
Although I don’t like criticizing the manager, I think it’s only fair to say that Manuel Pellegrini was partly to blame for the result yesterday, as I thought he got both the starting eleven and his late game tactics wrong. I think most of us were expecting to hear Kevin de Bruyne’s name as the teams were read out, especially after his great debut against Palace at the weekend, and I personally thought that immediately bringing Silva and Sterling back to the starting eleven after both had missed through injury was a bit of an unnecessary risk. I also thought that the Chilean waited far too long to make any changes in the game. Bringing on Aguero with less than 10 minutes to go was almost pointless because at that point Juventus had already made plans to park the bus, he should have either brought him on 15 minutes sooner or not at all.
Anyway, as Vincent Kompany essentially said on Twitter earlier today it’s still very early days in the Champions League and Juventus is a team that we can actually afford to lose to and still go through, so I’ll try not to be too harsh on them for now – they’re top of the Premier League, after all! Let’s just hope this hasn’t affected their confidence now and that they can continue their league form against the Hammers on Saturday.