- 1 #1 Thе Sеrgіо Aguеrо-Gаbrіеl Jesus Conundrum
- 2 #2 Van La Parra's Rage Could Prove Very Costly For Him and the Club
- 3 #3 Chinks Have Begun To Develop In City's Armour
- 4 #4 Huddersfield Have Turned Kirklees Into a Fortress
- 5 #5 Manchester City Are Set To Make History
5 Tаlkіng Pоіntѕ-Huddеrѕfіеld Tоwn 1-2 Mаnсhеѕtеr City: Manchester City huffed and puffed, but narrowly edged through with a 2-1 victory over a stubborn Huddersfield Town outfit at the Kirklees stadium to maintain their pole position.
Having frustrated the mighty visitors for a good part of the first 45 minutes, the Terriers deservedly went ahead at the stroke of half-time when Nicolas Otamendi inadvertently turned a Huddersfield header into his own net.
With frustrations simmering, City upped the ante after the break and Aguero soon levelled the proceedings from the spot. The runaway Premier League leaders then threw caution to the wind in search of a desperate winner, and found exactly that when Raheem Sterling fortuitously nudged a rebound into an empty net to ensure an 11th straight victory for the Skyblues.
Here are some of the talking points from the rather tight-knit affair:
#1 Thе Sеrgіо Aguеrо-Gаbrіеl Jesus Conundrum
Pер Guаrdіоlа has tried and tested so many formations this season. But he's yet to face a failure. One of his best tactical moves was to deploy both his marksmen, Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus in the same line-up, a machination that bore sweet fruits.
In the last few games, though, he's seen playing only one of them in the attack - preferably Jesus - partly due to Aguero's unavailability on account of an off-the-field accident. But even after his return, the Spanish gaffer has refrained from using the old trick.
His Argentine striker led the line today, and struggled to break down a resilient Huddersfield. His only notable contribution in the game was the penalty he dispatched as Jesus watched from the bench, helplessly.
Though the Brazilian did bring a sense of guile in the final few minutes, playing both of them at the same time is something that the fans are clamouring for. And now, with a thick bunch of fixtures coming up over the next two weeks, the time may be ripe for Guardiola to unleash both his predators. Together.
#2 Van La Parra's Rage Could Prove Very Costly For Him and the Club
It wasn't all perfect for them. Yet, Huddersfield were supposed to head back into the dressing room with some degree of pride. If only van La Parra had allowed it.
The 26-year old got involved in some fisticuffs with Manchester City's Leroy Sane after the full-time whistle, resulting a red card for him for grabbing Sane's face, whilst the latter walked away with just a yellow. Now, the Dutch international faces the prospect of a three-game ban on the grounds of violent conduct.
Van La Parra evidently didn't have a memorable outing, particularly in the second half when they were forced to spend most of their time in their own half as City threw the kitchen sink.
Frustrations on letting slip the game may have been felt by the home side, but van La Parra went a step ahead to express his vexation and landed himself in hot water.
Now with an impending embargo hanging above him, he could be temporarily sidelined, but manager David Wagner will have a selection headache on the left-wing to deal with.
#3 Chinks Have Begun To Develop In City's Armour
Manchester Cіtу'ѕ rесоrd this season іѕ аbѕоlutеlу реrfесt. Finishing at the top of the group in the UEFA Champions League and running away with the Premier League, Guardiola's band of swashbucklers are on a roll. But a microscopic view in their last two performances, especially today, reveals a pertinent point that rivals would want to take note of.
In all honesty, City have started to show signs of slowing down. If the laboured 1-0 win over Feyenoord in the mid-week Champions League tie wasn't reason enough for you to believe it, then today's game must really force second thoughts.
The Skyblues weren't impeccable today; they were indifferent. And only a fortuitous goal in the dying embers helped them escape with a favourable result.
Huddersfield had their numbers in the opening half of the game, thwarting their chances at goal with an obdurate show at the back. The blue Mancunians lacked the cutting edge with which they've torn defences asunder, and these are signs of a fatigue after months of big results.
#4 Huddersfield Have Turned Kirklees Into a Fortress
One of the main reasons for newcomers Huddersfield pootling near the mid-table and not struggling at the rump as they were expected to, is their near-perfect record at home.
Of the seven games they've played at the Kirklees stadium, the Terriers have lost only twice, including tonight's result, a record that suggests their comfort of playing in front of the home crowd. Although victories too have been hard to come by - just three so far - Huddersfield have nonetheless proved to be a tough nut to crack when strutting around in West Yorkshire.
Just ask Manchester United.
Their crosstown rivals too, found the going a tad tougher today, than what they've witnessed recently, and only needed a penalty and a stroke of luck to walk away with all the three points.
Huddersfield overall could be average at best, but are a different beast at home. Only Tottenham Hotspur can truly claim to have conquered the Kirklees with a dominant 4-0 win in September. But for the rest, it has been quite a slog.
#5 Manchester City Are Set To Make History
With the 11th straight victory today, Manchester City have equalled their own record for the most consecutive wins in the league that they set back in 2015. The run, at the time, began with a 2-0 home victory over West Ham United in April, and continued into the following season till the 0-1 victory over Crystal Palace in September.
Just over two years later, the Skyblues have embarked on another blistering run in the league, but this time, in the same season, accentuating the imperious run that they are currently enjoying.
After dropping points at home in an ill-tempered 1-1 draw to Everton on matchday two, there has been no stopping Guardiola's side, who have been on a rampage ever since.
Their tally of 11 victories on the trot, is embellished with some highly resounding results - 5-0 vs Liverpool; 6-0 vs Watford and 5-0 vs Crystal Palace - and also a hard-fought 1-0 win at the home of defending champions Chelsea, thereby cantering their way to the top of the table.
For all the hindrances today, City managed to achieve the objective they came for, and now stand on the cusp of a slice of history, as they host Southampton in their midweek fixture, and will aim to make it 12 in a row.