The City walked in the Etihad in front of a prostrate Birmingham. It was recognized inferior from entry and did not get rid of that label, without any option in Manchester. More than Mourinho, Karanka seemed a friend of Guardiola. The Basque is a mild-tempered coach, surrendered to the overwhelming dominance of a rival who used the crash as if it were a training session in another solid version that helps City to stay alive in the FA Cup (3-0).
The rush could not but he attacked with pause, although progress was quickly made thanks to a clumsiness in a rebound that Bernardo Silva took advantage of to impale on goal. Good goal from the Portuguese, skilled in placing the body so that the shot went to the squad. Without feeling harassed, the former Monaco was crowned in an afternoon in which he also scored 2-0: with the outside, Mahrez found De Bruyne in space and the Belgian gave the goal to Bernardo Silva.
It was a soliloquy from a City so superior that there was not a trace of emotion. Birmingham went cautious, an unforgivable sin for a team that was not on trial for losing at the Etihad. In any case, he is criticized for not being a rebel. And before that scene Foden gave the lace to Karanka. The Englishman shot from the front, with his left foot, unappealable. The young man has a nose, a footballer who is more and more established and more common in Guardiola’s eleven.
With the ticket in his pocket, Santpedor’s was dedicated to making changes in a second half without much news. Agüero, long awaited on a date like this, was left off the list for having been in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID. For one reason or another, City have gone around the world without their most precious striker in almost a year, bad news for a team that did not miss their goals against an unambitious Birmingham on their visit to Manchester.
Manchester City, 3
Steffen; Cancelo (Harwood-Bellis, 45 ‘), Rúben Dias (Stones, 45’), Walker, Mendy; Rodri (Fernandinho, 66 ‘), De Bruyne (Nmecha, 45’), Bernardo Silva; Mahrez, Foden, Gabriel Jesus (Delap, 75 ‘)
Coach: Pep Guardiola
Tight; Colin, Clarke-Salter, San José, Friend; Kieftenbeld, Sunjic (Bela, 67 ‘); Sánchez, Toral (Clayton, 45 ‘), Leko (Jutkiewicz, 68’); Hogan (Roberts, 45 ‘)
Coach: Aitor Karanka
Goals: 1-0, Bernardo Silva (7 ‘), 2-0, Bernardo Silva (14’), 3-0, Foden (32 ‘)
Referee: Robert Jones. He admonished Sunjic (44 ‘), Walker (74’), San José (88 ‘)