Man City win their group

In home game against Hoffenheim Pep Guardiola was forced to make multiple changes because of players injuries. City started with 3 center-backs Otamendi, Laporte and Stones English center back played as right-back plus Zinchenko played as left-back. Gundogan played as number 6 with Bernardo Silva, Foden as numbers 8 in City attack played Jesus, Sane and Sterling. City started match nervously German club had not problem to bypass midfield and enter opposition penalty box, Stones looked uncomfortable as right back and often backed down when Hoffenheim players run at him from his position Kramaric made shot which was saved by tremendous Ederson save. Long shot from rebound after corner¬†resulted in numerous deflections and ball arrived to German player, Laporte was forced to make foul inside penalty box and concede a penalty. Kramaric scored penalty and City were forced to overcame deficit. City struggled in possession with Gundogan unable to connect with forwards also Bernardo Silva with Foden were largely ineffective, Sterling and Sane dribbling attempts hardly helped create any chances, Gabriel Jesus was often left isolated. Zinchenko played in possession as midfielder but he too didn’t help plus Ukrainian player often made mistakes in defense. All City chances in first half were created from corners and free kicks, two of them resulted in hit post and Stones shot was saved by goalkeeper. City scored at last minutes of first half after tremendous free-kick by Sane from around 26-28 meters. After first half Guardiola changed Stones for Walker and Walker started to help more in attack with Sterling wasn’t forced to play against 2 or 3 Hoffenheim players by himself. City were able to pressure more German club but ultimately best City chances came after counter attacks Gabriel Jesus, Bernardo Silva wasted great opportunities, City were able to score from quick attack after Sterling pass to Sane and German winger scored in 1vs1 situation against opposition goalkeeper. Foden was able to grew in game and had much better second half, he made numerous dangerous shots and created great chance for Sterling but his shot from 7-8 yards was wide. City conceded dangerous chance after long ball and miscommunication between Laporte and Zinchenko couple minutes later Delph came on for Zinchenko. For rest of game City had numerous great situations which didn’t materialized in great chances because of bad final passing, game ended 2-1 and City finished top of CL group. It was chaotic game in which best City chances came after corners, free kicks and counter attacks so it is hard to drew any conclusions about Pep side chances in playoff rounds of CL. City potential opponents in Round 16 are Atletico Madrid, Schalke, Roma and Ajax.

OP12

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