Sportsdesk | October 6, 2013
For about 60 seconds yesterday, the sky was falling on Manchester. Fortunately for City, there was Alvaro Negredo.
Following the 3-2 loss to Aston Villa and then the 3-1 undressing by Bayern in the Champions League, Man City were in a bit of a rut. The seeming juggernaut that dismantled United just a couple weeks prior now looked again like the underachiever that fell to Cardiff City 3-2 in just the second match of the season.
Just who were the real Manchester City?
For that minute there, after Romelu Lukaku beat the embattled Joe Hart, it looked as if the disappointing City were the true City. But it only lasted the one minute, before Negredo put things back on track.
Yaya Toure threaded a fine ball to Negredo, who deftly touched it past Tim Howard and abruptly lifted the sinking feeling Lukaku’s goal had instilled. They struck once more just before the half, this time with David Silva passing through to Sergio Aguero who beat Howard shooting to the far post.
That is how it’s meant to work for Manchester City, how Manuel Pelligrini drew things up for his squad before the season began. When Negredo and Aguero can finish like that, it’s hard to find a way to stop this team.
They even added one more, with poor Timmy Howard being charged an own goal after he pushed Aguero’s penalty try into the post, only for it to bounce back into his head and dribble in.
On Saturday, at least, Hart was able to look on as another keeper fumbled through 90 minutes. And what looked, at least for a minute, like another City disaster, instead turned into a textbook example of how things are supposed to go for Pellegrini’s club.