August
There was quite a lot of transfer activity in July for City. Departures included Sterling to Chelsea for 51 million pounds, Jesus to Arsenal for 47 million, Zinchenko also to Arsenal for 22 million. Others going were Porro, Itakura and Muric. Alas Fernandinho finally left us too.
Arrivals included Erling Haaland for 54 million, Kalvin Phillips for 44 million, Stefan Ortega and Julian Alvarez
There has been a lot of talk about the possible arrival of a new left back - Marc Cucurella from Brighton. Early City offers were turned down so we wait with a lot of hope as we need to improve the defence.
City went to the USA for a couple of pre-season games and won them both against Club America and Bayern Munich.
Then came the first major game of the season - The Community Shield match against Liverpool at the King Power Stadium in Leicester.
Alas City were well beaten 3-1. City were well off their best and Liverpool were quicker off the mark and it was no surprise when they scored on 20 minutes - a shot by Alexander-Arnold flicked the head of Ake and flew past Ederson. After the break City improved a bit and Alvarez managed to score from close range thanks to VAR. However we did not thank VAR when it confirmed a penalty for hand ball against Dias. Salah scored of course and near the end Nunez made it three.
Making his debut Haaland did not have the best of games. He missed a sitter late on and will find it difficult to fit into the way City play. Alvarez had a good spell and looked quite fit. Mahrez missed several chances and De Bruyne's key passing was well below his best. Cancelo was put under a lot of pressure with little help from Grealish. With Laporte injured it looks like Ake will partner Dias against WHU unless Stones is fully fit.
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City 2021 - 2022
West Ham U 2-0 away
A good start to the season with City getting all three points against West Ham. It was a pretty easy win with the sky blues putting out a strong team - Haaland making his debut. He celebrated his debut with two goals - an achievement only equaled by a certain Aguero who also notched two goals on his debut in August 2011 against Swansea - pics here
City had about 75% possession and Ederson only had one save to make with the defence keeping the home side at bay. Though the City defence had some anxious moments when a couple of misplaced passes in the City half gave West Ham chances but the home side failed to take advantage of the errors. Both Ake and Diaz had fairly comfortable games while Walker and Cancelo played a big part in attack.
It was good that both Foden and Grealish played (Mahrez on the bench) and they both had some good moments. City did score on 26 minutes but alas the offside flag was raised so we had to wait another 8 minutes before Haaland took a pass from Gundogan and surged towards goal where he was brought down by the substitute keeper ( Areola had replaced the injured Fabianski )
Haaland took the kick and shot low past the keeper who had gone the wrong way. City were one up
- at last! He took the penalty with great confidence. So City led at half time but we needed more second half and on 64 minutes Kevin De Bruyne who had not been at his very best put through a great pass to Haaland who sped past a defender and shot past the keeper to make it two nil. We saw his ability to anticipate the pass and his coolness in shooting past the keeper to the bottom left hand corner - outstanding!!!!
What a debut - we shall see much more of his pace and shooting ability.
City did make some late changes - giving a debut to Phillips and some time to Alvarez, Palmer ,Mahrez and Benardo