The Premier League runner-up, Manchester City, will have their hands full tonight when they open the brand new season at home against Newcastle United. This was a game that was expected to be a win; not a thrashing 4-0, but it was thoroughly deserved.
The home side have made three key signings: midfielders Fernandinho and Jesus Navas, and striker Alvaro Negredo. All three plays know how to play this game well, and are expected to make an immediate impact, both domestically as well as in the Champions League. Tonight, however, they were all very impressive.
Farnandinho started in the defensive midfield role, right next to Yaya Toure, who scored a sensational free-kick. Fernandinho’s job was to cover ground, both defensively and in the middle third, and he did just that; he slid to prevent opponents from running away with possession, and knew when to hold onto the ball and distribute to team mates. He looks to be even more dangerous than was originally thought.
Navas ruled the right flank as he continuously ran up and down the right flank, distributed to teammates, and simply made a nuisance of himself with his blistering speed.
Negredo netted a goal by tapping home from close range but the referee raised his flag, wrongfully assuming he was in an offside position prior to hitting it home. Besides this one play, he ran back into the midfield to give his teammates another passing option.
City were absolutely prepared for this match, and they proved so by dominating possession, winning the 50/50 chances on most of the occasions, and creating more scoring chances to score four goals while keeping a clean sheet in the process.
By creating the largest goal differential after the first week of games, City sits atop the league, just ahead of Manchester United, who also scored four in their opener but allowed one into the back of their net as well.