Thursday, March 30, 2023

How The Manchester City Players Fared In What Was Potentially Joe Hart’s Farewell Match

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Sourav Bhakat
An ardent sports lover who loves to sleep, eat and watch Manchester City play. In that order.

Manchester City hosted Steaua Bucharest in the 2nd leg of the Champions League qualifier. While the match was practically done and dusted in Romania itself, the 2nd leg held interest elsewhere for the City faithful in particular.

The match itself looked like a training exercise for City for most parts but all the emotion and attention was on the Manchester City goalkeeper for 10 years; Joe Hart. In what was potentially the final match in a City shirt, the fans took the opportunity to show their love for the man. City emerged 1-0 winners as they exerted themselves to a bare minimum and gave rests to the big three up front.


HART- 8/10

The deserving captain for the night. Hardly put a foot wrong. Baffling to see him leave in place of Willy.

MAFFEO- 6/10

One of the four youngsters on show. Played the full match but nerves showed in the early stages and lack of physicality was evident. Will hope to get more chances.

STONES- 7/10

Selected for the 4th consecutive match to prevent any initial hiccups. Was calm and collected as usual. Substituted at the 60th-minute mark.


Another player looking to be a Pep favourite. Had a good game passing wise, no real threat from Bucharest to deal with.

CLICHY- 6.5/10

Had a fairly comfortable game like the rest of the backline. Passed the ball around as he looks to sharpen up.


Not the same impact as Fernandinho. Not willing to take risks with the forward passes. But maybe due to City’s unwillingness to move above 2nd gear.


Tireless. Full of running and willing to take on players. Not always successful but got the solitary goal with a glancing header and found himself regularly in goal scoring positions.


Looks like a spent force. A shadow of the player he once was. Sadly, the weakest link in the side. Tried his best but his touch was off. So was his passing. Will be easily overrun against tougher opposition.


Did not see much of the ball. Dispossessed a couple of times but always willing to attack.

NAVAS- 7/10

A very good performance in the first half with pace and trickery and put in a few good crosses. But faded in the second half before a well disguised back pass from Kelechi enabled him to put the assist into the box.


Struggled to get into the game as the ball was mostly passed around in defence and midfield. Tried to play one-twos with his teammates when given an opportunity. Carried off on a stretcher after what looked like a serious injury.



Seemed calm as usual but mishit a few balls and had a couple of suspect moments. Overall settled well.


Came in place of Nolito. Not much to do.


Came on after Iheanacho’s injury. Had a good runout for a little while. Absence felt in the centre of the park in the beginning.

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