It was City’s best performance of the season. - so far.

Published: Monday, 05 June 2023

Sensational. City’s first goal - not the performance apparently. We’ll get round to that. Let’s deal with the goal.

It wasn’t from City’s tippy-tappy playbook. It was as a result of a monster punt downfield by Ortega, a flick from Haaland, seconds from de Bruyne and the most glorious of strikes by Gundogan. I’m certain it would’ve got a ‘what a hit son, what a hit’ from my mate. Perhaps ‘tek a boo’

It was pure. Absolutely pure. So good that Gundogan didn’t break stride after he’d hit it. He wheeled away celebrating before it had hit the net. He knew where it was going the moment he hit it. Glorious. It reminded me of Rooney’s v Newcastle at the Stretford End. I’m salivating just writing about it. It was a fitting way to set a new record for the fastest goal in the Cup Final.

But what a betrayal of ‘the right way to play football’ though! The purists must have been furious. Gundogan even had the temerity to hit the ball from outside the box. 😂.

City’s performance was nowhere near their ‘best’. That’s what I kept reading post match. How do we define that I wonder? Is a good performance measured by hitting a frightened opposition for six? Or it is measured on getting the job done at the business end of the season in the middle of a tumultuous spell? For me it is. I thought it was a really impressive performance. They’re best of the season - so far. And now comes the big one.

City just have to win the CL - or this whole season will have been for nothing again. It’s the one Guardiola was employed to win. It’s the one they’ve spent a couple of billion buying players to win. It’s the one that will take them to the next level. A domestic double is something to be proud of, but if they get beaten next weekend the season will feel empty. Oh - I should add, prizes accompanied by an asterisk. I’m sorry, but until the financial irregularity charges are answered, that will always be the case.

Inter are more than capable of winning. They’re horrible if they want to be. They can squeeze the life out of teams but they’ve got a threat. They should not be taken lightly. I hope City don’t underestimate them. I have to say, reading Nathan Ake in The Mirror today saying ‘now City’s players are talking about winning the treble’ worried me. No. Don’t. Forget about what’s been achieved. Concentrate of the job ahead now.

I’ve also read a lot about how poor United were. It’s as though people are surprised. Why? I’ve been saying this all season. They’re miles away. I said a couple of weeks ago that ten Hag hasn’t taken them anywhere. Why would Harry Kane consider joining them? He might as well stay at Spurs, where he’s loved and where he and his family enjoy a fabulous life-style off the pitch. Why swap all that for the occasional League Cup win? Real Madrid? Now that’s a very different proposition.

A quick word on the United pen. Of course it was a ridiculous award. Absolute nonsense, but I’m afraid that’s where we are with the handball law. Nobody knows how to fairly and accurately enforce the interpretations of what was once a very simple law. David Elleray and his mates at IFAB are to blame. It’s got to be looked at again. How about ‘was it intentional or not?’ Wait a minute - isn’t that how we used to make decisions?

I’ll guarantee you Anthony Taylor’s decision not to give Roma a pen v Sevilla is what sent Mourinho over the edge the other night. I’m not excusing his post-match behaviour, but he was enraged because that’s a pen in Italy. It’s a pen if European officials are in charge - but it isn’t a pen if PL officials are.

‘Ah,’ I can hear you say ‘but what about the one at Wembley?’ That’s fair. They’re all subjective. It’s a nonsense. During his time in charge at IFAB, Elleray gave us 179 different law changes. 179 ffs - including the ‘innovative’ new kick-off - straight from the hockey rule-book. Elleray was a hockey teacher. He should’ve stuck to his profession.

It’s time football people started making football decisions again - starting with the handball shambles. VAR is irrelevant whilst those watching have no idea what they’re looking for.

Good luck to West Ham this week. I’d love to see David Moyes win a trophy at last. He’s a good man, who was deeply affected by the treachery that saw him shafted at United and he did well to recover from it. I often wonder what might have happened had he been given the time he was promised when he took charge. United would certainly be a lot further forward than they are now.

And good luck to City. All these big games are live with us on beINSPORTS. I’ll see you next weekend.

Sent from my iPhone