Manchester City continued their tradition of losing their opening Champions League group game last night, this time losing 2-1 to last season’s runner ups Juventus at the Etihad Stadium.
The Premier League side took the lead shortly before the hour mark through a very contentious goal. David Silva crossed in a corner from out on the left was headed in by Giorgio Chiellini for an own goal, but Man City captain Vincent Kompany was climbing all over him with his arms around him preventing him from being able to jump and challenge for the ball. Chiellini ran over to the referee asking for a foul, which nine times out of ten would have been given, but was denied and the goal stood making it 1-0 to the home side.
Manchester City’s lead was short-lived however as less than 15 minutes later Juvenus got an equaliser through Mario Mandzukic. Paul Pogba whipped in a brilliant ball from out on the left that Mandzukic only had to get the slightest touch on to guide the ball onto the post and into the net.
Ten minutes later Juventus took the lead through a stunning effort from Alvaro Morata. He hit the ball first time with his left foot curling it past Joe Hart who stood no chance in getting to it.
It could have been worse for Manchester City as Juventus had a goal disallowed for offside after just 12 minutes. Juan Cuadrado crossed the ball into the box where Pogba, who was onside, headed into the net. However Morata was stood in the middle, clearly in an offside position, where he challenged for the ball before it reached Pogba and may have got a slight touch to it.
There was more bad news for Manchester City when Kompany went off in between Juventus goals with what is rumoured to be a calf injury.
So it’s a familiar story for Manchester City. They do well in the Premier League, winning five games out of game and not conceding a goal along the way, but as soon as they reach European competition things fall apart.
This is a bad result for City, yes Juventus are the Serie A champions and they reached the Champions League final last year but they have lost Carlos Tevez, Andrea Pirlo, and Arturo Vidal this summer, and they have gotten off to a poor start in the Serie A failing to win one of their opening three games.
Manchester City needed to pick up at win at home because they are now in a position where they will always be chasing and trying to make up for lost ground.
The players have to take a lot of the blame. Wilfried Bony doesn’t look like an elite level striker, his one clear chance at goal he ended up sending high and wide.
Raheem Sterling too had chances and at £49 million you would have expected him to have done better with them but when you are up against Gianluigi Buffon that is easier said than done.
That was the difference between the two sides. Juventus made the most of the few chances that they got while defending well and frustrating Manchester City by restricting them to long-range efforts and making them play at a slower pace than their usual game.
If City don’t find a way to win in the Champions League they could be making another early exit.