Five things learned from Man City 2-1 SunderlandPublished August 15, 2016
Pep Guardiola’s first Premier League game ended in victory, as Man City narrowly beat David Moyes’s Sunderland 2-1 on Saturday, after a Paddy McNair own goal secured a late win for the Blues.
We at Free Bets, take a look at five things learned from the weekend encounter at the Etihad.
The Pep era has officially begun
It’s safe to say that City’s new boss isn’t playing it safe.
The Spaniard looked to impose his rather imaginative tactics right from the off, with full-backs Bacary Sagna and Gael Clichy pushed forward at every opportunity when City were in possession.
Guardiola instructed wideman Nolito and Raheem Sterling to stick to their flanks, meaning Sagna and Clichy could slot in alongside Fernandinho in the middle of the park and control midfield.
Faith in Raheem
After a dismal World Cup, there was plenty of speculation that the City winger would be axed by the ruthless Guardiola.
But the Spaniard kept the faith in Sterling, and the former Liverpool ace looked like a man reinvigorated under his new boss, playing a huge part in City’s opener, after winning a penalty early on in the match.
No faith in Joe
Whilst Pep has kept the faith in Raheem Sterling, the same can’t be said about City keeper Joe Hart.
The England stopper was dropped to the bench for the club’s opener with Willy Caballero chosen to start in goal.
It is rumoured that Guardiola is desperate to land a new keeper before the end of the transfer widow, and it is believed that Hart’s future at the Etihad is in serious doubt.
Moyes the right man at Sunderland
Whilst Sunderland will need to do something unprecedented for the club, and give a manager time, there were certainly signs that the appointment of David Moyes was the right decision.
The Black Cats were defensively organised and solid, something you would associate with a Moyes side, and Sunderland will count themselves unlucky to have not left Manchester with a very credible point.
Both sides a work in progress
It is clear from the weekend’s encounter that both sides are a work in progress under new management.
It will certainly take time for City to adopt to Guardiola’s methods, and the same could be said for that of the Sunderland players.
Whilst both sides of course have different ambitions, there are reasons for City and Sunderland fans to be optimistic about the season ahead.