Sunday, October 1, 2023

Manchester City’s Winter Madness | QNET Series

While October 2020 was an excellent month for Man City, November has had its highs and lows. It has been a topsy-turvy month with mixed results all over. Pep Guardiola’s men are back in their fight to regain the Premier League title for the fifth time. Out of all contests, Man City’s performances in the Champions League have been near perfect. QNET’s beloved football club Manchester City will always have the most significant fans in us. As we proceed into the festive season, December brought a busy month with a pile-up of fixtures. Let us look at City’s performances in the last couple of months and how they have fared.

Manchester City 1 – 1 Liverpool

November saw a slow start for the Sky Blues. They were held to a frustrating 1-1 draw in a match that surely could have delivered three big points over their title rivals. Liverpool started well and broke the deadlock early through Mo Salah. City replied with some good team play and equalised soon with a sweet Gabriel Jesus goal. The second half was thrilling for both sides, but it is City that had more to lose. Starman Kevin De Bruyne missed a penalty, and Jesus failed to put a regulation header into goal. Thus, the high-octane clash ended up sharing honours as City were held to a 1-1 draw.

Tottenham Hotspur 2 – 0 Manchester City

Man City x Spurs

Man City’s sluggish start to November continued when they travelled away to London to meet Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham Hotspur. The Spurs have had a terrific start to the season as they sit atop the PL table. City had their task cut out for them as Spurs managed to put two goals past their defence. City has been struggling with a few injuries, and their back 4 looked vulnerable against a high-intensity Tottenham Hotspur. This was City’s second defeat of the season.

Olympiacos 0 – 1 Manchester City

The Champions League has been the highlight of City’s season so far. With a successful trip to Olympiacos, Manchester City ensured their passage to the Round of 16 for a seventh consecutive time – a club record. City and England international young gun Phil Foden was the sole goal scorer as City took all 3 points home and registered four victories on the trot in the Champions League this season. City dominated the whole game but failed to convert a fair few chances and eventually had to settle for a 1-0 scoreline. All said and done; Pep Guardiola must be happy to have manoeuvred City to the knockout stages.

Manchester City 5 – 0 Burnley

Man City x Burnley

This is the game that every City fan had been waiting for. The Cityzens got off to a flyer with winger Riyad Mahrez scoring a brace and practically running riot on the right-wing. Defender Benjamin Mendy got in on the action with his first-ever goal for Man City. City were not done with Burnley yet. After the break, new signing Ferran Torres was set up by Gabriel Jesus to slot home the team’s fourth goal for the evening. The icing on the cake was Mahrez’s third goal of the night a few minutes later. Riyad Mahrez got his first Man City hat-trick when he headed in his third of the night. It saw Man City claim an astounding 5-0 victory and a glimpse of what is to come. It also meant that this was the fourth consecutive time City had beat Burnley 5-0, surely a drubbing that Burnley will want to forget.

FC Porto 0 – 0 Manchester City

A rare frustrating outing in the Champions League saw Guardiola’s Man City settle for a goalless draw against FC Porto on their home turf. The match ended with nobody getting on the scoresheet in what can be best described as scrappy football from both sides. Raheem Sterling had the best chance of the night, but his shot was cleared by the Porto goalkeeper skilfully. Eric Garcia had Gabriel Jesus came close to scoring but both were deemed offside. Porto’s goalkeeper Marchesin had a productive night between the sticks and left City ruing the loss of 2 points. However, with this draw, City were assured a top spot finish in their group.

Manchester City 2 – 0 Fulham

Man City x Fulham

A return to winning ways was always on the cards for this Man City team. A comfortable 2-0 win against a lacklustre Fulham saw City earn three easy points and gain momentum in the Premier League race. Raheem Sterling and Kevin De Bruyne scored the goals in the first half and Pep might have been left unhappy at the spurned chances late in the evening which could have enabled City to win by a bigger margin. However, the manager can heart from City’s dominant performance and must be itching to get back to a Top 4 spot on the table.

Manchester City 3 – 0 Marseille

The last round of the Champions League group stage was an evening to feel good about. Despite a slow start to the match, City maintained a good rhythm, and both teams played out a goalless first half. The second half kick-off whistle saw an amped-up Man City side out on the field. Sterling had replaced Gundogan, and the change made an immediate impact in tempo. City scored through Ferran Torres in the 48th minute to take the lead. This was Torres’s fourth goal out of 5 games in Europe. Sergio Aguero made his return to European football, and it took him not more than 10 minutes to get on the scoresheet to double their lead. In injury time, Sterling flicked the ball into the box, and it took a deflection off of Marseille centre back Gonzalez to cap a comfortable 3-0 victory for Pep’s City. The third goal of the night was a historic 1000th goal at the Etihad Stadium. After having advanced to the knockout stages, the win against the French team meant that Manchester City remained table-toppers of their group.

Manchester United 0 – 0 Manchester City

Manchester City

Back in the Premier League, the 183rd Manchester Derby awaited the two giant cubs. With no crowd presence, the familiar atmosphere was missing, but City began the game well. A couple of failed attempts on goal by Kevin De Bruyne and Sterling meant an uneventful first half. The home side came out harder in the second half with a few counter-attacks but failed to materialise on them. Man United even got a penalty awarded to them before VAR ruled the play offside rightly. The men in blue had a promising final third, but United’s defence was up to the mark that day. In the end, it was honours even at Old Trafford, and both sides walked away with a point each.

Manchester City 1 – 1 West Bromwich Albion

The most frustrating evening of December was probably when Guardiola’s men hosted West Brom. After an engaging half-hour, City broke the deadlock via Ilkay Gundogan’s low shot into goal from a slick Raheem Sterling pass. However, just before the break, the visitors got a lucky break when Semi Ayaji took a shot at goal from a West Brom freekick and got a huge deflection from Ruben Dias in defence and rolled into the net. A frustrating second half ensued, and for City, there was no luck despite a few great chances to score. The night ended in a 1-1 draw that Pep Guardiola must not have been happy about.

Southampton 0 – 1 Manchester City

The following weekend, Manchester City travelled to Southampton to face an in-form Saints team who had only lost once in the last 11 games. City’s tempo was matched equally by Southampton right from the start, but just in the first 15 minutes, Kevin De Bruyne capitalised on a loose ball and delivered a pinpoint cross for Sterling to strike into the bottom corner for an early goal. Southampton fought back really hard but ended the half training against the Sky Blues. The second half was a no-contest with Man City unleashing attack upon attack. Guardiola would have been left frustrated as many a chance went to waste, and City only had the solitary goal to show for their efforts. However, returning to winning ways in the Premier League and three huge points in the bag were the takeaways.

Arsenal 1 – 4 Manchester City

City v Arsenal

The defending champs of the Carabao Cup visited the Emirates Stadium for a knockout quarter-final tie. Manchester City entered the pitch with only a win in mind and began with their typical attacking football and scored in the 3rd minute when Gabriel Jesus nodded in a header from close range. Arsenal went on the defensive and started to rebuild and about 30 minutes later equalised through Lacazette. The half-time scoreline read 1-1, and the tie was only going to get interesting. Just 9 minutes after the restart, Riyad Mahrez curled in a brilliant freekick to again give City the lead. Five minutes later, Phil Foden scored a beautiful goal after receiving a wonderful pass from Fernandinho, and the game was in the bag. The final nail in the coffin was defender Laporte’s towering header into the Gunners’ net. City won the tie 1-4 and will now play Manchester United in the semi-final in January.

Manchester City 2 – 0 Newcastle United

City v Newcastle

The Boxing Day clash against Newcastle United was a comfortable win that the fanbase is used to. Manchester City has been consistent, and it is starting to pay off. Gundogan and Ferran Torres’s goals in either half capped off a regulation 2-0 win for the Sky Blues. The win means that City’s unbeaten run stretches to 10 matches in all competitions. Pep Guardiola’s City is currently 5th on the EPL table with 26 points from 14 games. They will be raring to catch up with the League leaders, and on current form, nobody looks as menacing as City.

QNET x Man City

QNET is proud to represent Manchester City as its official direct selling partner globally. Success for Man City means more success for QNET as a brand. A partnership that began in 2014 and extended to 2024, QNET has been associated with Manchester City for quite a while. Sponsoring the Manchester City Women’s Team in 2016 has been an honour for QNET. QNET released a limited edition QNET City Champions watch for all the beloved fans to honour this partnership. With another great start to the season, QNET puts its full support behind Manchester City. As their official direct selling partner, we cannot wait for them to bring home many trophies every season. Here is wishing Manchester City another great month during the busy fixture season.

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