Match Coverage

Swansea 1-2 Manchester City (EFL Cup): What We Learned

Vincent Kompany goes back to heaven

It was nearing the final whistle and I was already thinking about complimenting Kompany on a fine display. This comeback felt different, this time it felt as if he was ready to put his last year in hell behind him.

So when he walked off in the dying embers of the game (apparently holding his right hamstring), it felt like all the hope in the world had blown up in your face. And that’s the thing with Vincent Kompany, he always had a knack for putting in great performances in between his injuries. And you know how the saying goes – it’s the hope that kills you.

So where do you place the blame in all of this? At a player who always gives it his all and wants to play every minute or at a coach who said Kompany was possibly only ready for 15-20 minutes a few days ago but decided to give him a full game. I think you know the answer to that.

A mixed showing from the kids

It was a poor first half performance from Manchester City. There were a host of changes and the starting line-up was littered with teenagers. Kelechi, Angelino, Garcia and then Brahim Diaz and Tosin Arabayio who came on later. It might sound harsh but just because you’re young, it doesn’t mean you deserve to play. You play because you’re good enough to play at that very moment, not because you might be a few years down the line. Pep was adamant when he joined that he can’t wave his wand and make a player out of someone. There has to be something in there that he can activate.

So Pep will be disappointed with a few showings: Kelechi looks like he could’ve used a rest, Angelino looked lost as a midfielder and Leroy Sané is still waiting for that one moment to get him going. It said a lot that Pep had to bring on his main man Kevin De Bruyne to get something out of today.

There were a few positives to take though. City’s kids proved they knew what it took to play a signature Pep counter-attack and 1999 born wonderkid Brahim Diaz made his debut. A certain silky Spaniard looked quite good too…

Aleix Garcia

One youth player who did impress tonight though was Aleix Garcia. The 19-year-old Spaniard was great in midfield and took his goal very well.

If you haven’t noticed, judging by our line-up, we are quite light in midfield options. Yaya Toure’s exile and Fabian Delph’s continuing injury issues means there are few senior players available to rotate in for our first choice midfield three. And not only are the options few, but they aren’t the exact profile of a midfielder that Aleix Garcia is. Garcia is comfortably our best option to cover Fernandinho at the moment and he displays a maturity and calmness on the ball that far precedes his years. His biggest advantage though is that he is a different player to Fabian Delph and Fernando, a player who enjoys being on the ball and can evade pressure.

Garcia has forced his way into the City squad several times this season and if he keeps up these kind of performances then we’ll be seeing him on even bigger stages soon.

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