Manchester City beat BSC Young Boys 3-1 at the Wankdorf Stadium on Wednesday to all but secure their place in the next stage of the Champions League. Man City maintained their perfect record in the group, having won each of their three matches thus far. The games they have lost so far this season have come in the Premier League and EFL Cup.
The Cityzens will want to top the group in order to avoid facing a extremely tough opponent in the last 16 of the competition. Pep Guardiola knows how to navigate his way through this competition having won it three times as manager (twice at Barcelona and once at Man City). What could work against the Cityzens is that they will not have the hunger to win the tournament having won a treble last season. However, Guardiola is the type of manager who can spur on a team of players who have tasted unprecedented success.
Erling Haaland remains unstoppable
Haaland scored a second half brace to lift his team to a victory over the Swiss side on Wednesday. The Norweigen’s two goals took him to 11 goals in all competitions this season, and he could have scored more had he not scuffed one of his shots with his weaker foot. Haaland, along with Kylian Mbappé, are perhaps the two best players in the world because of the numbers they have put up so far in their careers.
The Norweigan was the missing piece of the UEFA Champions League winning puzzle as the Cityzens have lacked a world class number nine since Sergio Agüero has departed from the club. He will need to continue this fine form if City is to win their second consecutive Champions League.
The 22-year-old is undoubtedly one of the best finishers in the world. Not to mention that he has world class movement as he rarely makes the wrong run. These two attributes help him score on a consistent basis. If Haaland can work on his passing and dribbling, he could be one of the greatest strikers of this generation.
Sublime squad depth
Pep Guardiola is coaching some of the best players in the world at Man City. They have numerous world class midfielders such as Rodri, Kevin De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva. Rodri’s is the second most important player as his playmaking from deep and his range of long passes and crosses have become an essential component in City’s team in recent times.
On top of the world class midfielders, they have a plethora of decent defenders such as Ruben Dias, Kyle Walker and John Stones. Very few teams in Europe have a better center back pairing then Rúben Dias and John Stones. In relation to their attack no team has a better number nine then Haaland and their are very few back up strikers better then Julián Álvarez.
With all those resources and their amazing UCL run, Guardiola’s side are the favourites going into the knockout rounds. The Sky Blues could run into a team who is extra motivated giving they are facing the reigning European champions. However, in Guardiola, they have a manager who will guard them against complacency.