Match Coverage

Laporte at left-back, outstanding Sané and a dreadful ref: Talking Points from Hoffenheim vs. Man City (Champions League)

Manchester City returned to winning ways in the Champions League group stage after a 2-1 win away to Hoffenheim, a much-needed win after their defeat to Lyon in the first set of fixtures.

However, while it was three points City desperately needed, it was no easy task as Hoffenheim took the lead through Ishak Belfodil after 44 seconds.

Sergio Aguero equalised for City six minutes later and the Blues were forced to work for the winner.

The match was one overshadowed by poor refereeing which is all too normal for City in European competition and despite having a stonewall penalty claim turned down, David Silva capitalised on a Hoffenheim defensive mistake in the 87th minute and slotted the ball into the far corner to claim the three points.

Here are some of the talking points from tonight’s game…

City looked far too open

Pep Guardiola’s style of football is great to watch due to its attacking flair and open play, but, during this match City were often caught out which allowed Hoffenheim’s attacking options to get behind the defensive line and cause problems.

While this style of play may work against lower Premier League sides, the Champions League is a completely different arena. When playing away from home, teams often have to be conservative and play a more boring style of football.

However, there was also the problem of City’s defensive personnel which made the team open to making mistakes and allowed Hoffenheim to create chances.

Don’t put Aymeric Laporte at left back

In the latest instalment of Guardiola confusing City fans with his team selection he decided to put Aymeric Laporte at left back in what could be a test for the trip to Liverpool on Sunday.

After this match, don’t do it again.

It may have worked before, but, Laporte looked uncomfortable in that position, often making mistakes giving possession away in crucial areas of the pitch and if Hoffenheim took their chances, could have left City with no points after two games.

Leroy Sané was outstanding

Following the international break, Leroy Sané has returned to his normal self on City’s wings and tonight was no different.

Sané was making blistering runs down the flanks and his commitment was second to none which included defending an open goal after a mistake from Ederson.

If there is one player that needs to play against Liverpool on Sunday, it is Sané.

Leroy is on a great run of form currently and if he takes that to Anfield on Sunday, the German could cause serious problems for Liverpool’s defence in what should be a high-speed game.

The referee and VAR

If you have a look on social media, you will see a lot of City fans complaining about referee Damir Skomina’s performance and tonight it was dreadful.

The referee did not seem to want to give City any decisions and how that penalty call on Sané was not given, we will never know.

With VAR being brought into the Champions League next season, this will hopefully remove some of the poor officiating City all too often encounter on European nights.

While there may be some criticisms from other fans when it comes to complaining about the referee, it is an issue which is now being noticed by Guardiola who has labelled it a worrying trend in his post-match press conference.

This also adds more fire to City fans and their poor relationship with UEFA and the Champions League.

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