January 9th 2016 will go down in Manchester City folklore.
It was a day on which splendid individual goals from Sergio Agüero, Kelechi Iheanacho and Kevin De Bruyne reminded us that our lads are still capable of playing intoxicating football; a day on which those three whacks into the back of John Ruddy’s net saw the tempestuous seas of the acclaimed Poznan return to the shores of English football and a day on which Manuel Pellegrini opted to hand a talented academy graduate his first-team debut instead of wafting a senior onto the field when there was really no reason to.
Could it have got even better? Yes. I shook the hand of City legend Dennis Tueart this morning while enjoying a fabulous bacon butty at a local cafe. He told me about his overhead kick as tomato sauce dripped down my chin.
But could it have got even better than that? Well, yes. We could have actually seen the bloody game.
I think City Twitter took over the world today. Type in ‘anyone got a stream?’ into the Twitter search bar and you’ll get about 3,000,000 hits from desperate Blues all over the world. A Kosovan channel bottled it last minute when they switched to the Barcelona – Granada game and Twitch.tv lasted an impressive five minutes after one dope announced to the world that it was showing the second half. With no feasible way of watching the game, City fans took a trip back to the 90s as Teletext and even BBC Radio Norwich shuffled their way into the living rooms of those unprepared to miss out on their weekly fix of football.
For me, it was Ian Cheeseman and Fred Eyre on BBC Radio Manchester. I’ve not listened to football on the radio since that gobshite Collymore joined Talksport back in 2008, but I must congratulate Ian and Fred on their excellent commentary today.
And then came City Watch to save the day. Our excellent site editor managed to get hold of footage of all three goals, sparking a frantic discussion in the website forum over whether our servers would be able to handle the demand. I’m happy to inform you that it was, so maybe the day couldn’t have been more perfect after all.
Agüero’s solo effort was a work of art. The Argentinian weaved his way around four Norwich defenders to poke in City’s opener and then turned provider to set up Iheanacho for our second. Pellegrini called on the youngster to prove why he has so much faith in him before the trip to Carrow Road, but those demands are impossible to meet without a significant amount of game time. Kelechi has now netted five goals in 451 minutes of football and will hopefully be given more opportunities to impress after another positive display today. The game was wrapped up with De Bruyne sold his man to make it three and secure our place in round 4 of the FA Cup.
A fairly brief round-up today, Blues – I only saw the goals… But a good sign that a little change here and there can freshen things up. Pace and energy was exactly what we needed today, and we delivered.
For me, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be going with a similar XI against Everton on Wednesday night.
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