It’s been one of the most dramatic and shocking World Cup finals in recent memory, but which City players live to fight another day in Russia? As the first round of knockout fixtures draws to a close, we review how the fifteen remaining Blues fared at one of the biggest tournaments of their lives…
Nicolas Otamendi started one of the games of the competition and played reasonably well, but couldn’t stop his country crashing out thanks to a 4-3 defeat at the hands of France. Sergio Aguero scored the final goal of the match, a late header in injury time after coming off the bench.
Vincent Kompany made his first start of the tournament, lining up behind Kevin De Bruyne, as the Red Devils survived a major scare to edge past Japan. Despite going 2-0 down, Belgium won 3-2 after a crazy second half- and it was De Bruyne who led the counter attack from which Nacer Chadli scored in the dying seconds.
Brazil recorded their third consecutive win – all by a 2-0 scoreline – as they saw off surprise package Mexico. Gabriel Jesus played the full match, making an important tactical contribution, while Fernandinho came off the bench. Danilo and Ederson were on the bench once again.
It’s not as if you don’t already know what happened on Tuesday night, when the Three Lions saw off Colombia to reach the quarter finals against Sweden at the weekend. Coming off for Jamie Vardy late on was Raheem Sterling, who started along with Kyle Walker and the magnificent John Stones. Home was where Fabian Delph watched on from as his wife is about to go into labour.
Benjamin Mendy played no part in France’s win over Argentina.
Despite a heroic, one-man-army performance from Bernardo Silva, Portugal were no match for Uruguay, who won thanks to Edinson Cavani’s brace to reach the quarter-finals.
David Silva’s Spain crashed out at the hands of Russia after a shocking performance. The 2010 winners were uninspiring and struggled to create chances before Russian goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev produced a heroic shootout performance to knock out one of the tournament favourites.
So, a staggering ELEVEN Manchester City players have reached the last eight of the tournament despite shocking early exits for Spain, Argentina, Portugal and Germany, as well as four first-team regulars either not qualifying or being left at home. No more than nine will see the semi-finals as Brazil play Belgium this weekend- we’ll be back on Saturday night to see who’s still standing at the 2018 World Cup…