World Soccer Talk – Man City recovering from slow start to see Porto


Luis Diaz’s solo effort punished a sloppy start by City for the Portuguese champions, who felt badly done when Sergio Aguero equalized thanks to penalty award

However, the quality of the Premier League squad shone after half-time when Ilkay Gundogan’s free kick and substitute Ferran Torres propelled City to the top of Group C

Guardiola admitted on Tuesday that he still felt guilty about the experimental training and training that led to City’s latest Champions League calamity in last season’s quarter-finals against Lyon a year ago little more than two months

The Catalan is in the last year of his Etihad contract and perhaps his last chance to land the most desired City award when they brought him to Manchester five years ago

However, in the opening weeks of the season, City have appeared to be a faded force since Guardiola’s reign by winning back-to-back Premier League titles between 2017 and 2019

Without injured Kevin De Bruyne, the English giants were again far from their record and Porto took advantage very early on

Former Benfica captain Ruben Dias was guilty of giving the ball away for the opener against his former rivals

But Diaz still had a long way to go to overcome the timid challenges of Rodrigo and Joao Cancelo before unleashing a powerful effort in the far corner.

The visitors’ lead lasted only seven minutes and City equalized a good fortune

Gundogan inadvertently caught Porto goalkeeper Agustin Marchesin as he attempted to steer the ball towards the goal and after the German’s shot came out of the post Raheem Sterling was pushed into the box by Pepe

After a lengthy VAR review, Gundogan’s challenge was not seen as a foul to overturn the initial decision to award a penalty and Aguero smashed his first goal of the season

Porto still had the best chances to regain the lead before half-time as Matheus Uribe shot with the gaping goal on a poorly placed clearance from Ederson

Kyle Walker then stopped Dias from scoring an own goal by turning Moussa Marega’s recoil back to his own net

City regained control after the break, but it wasn’t until one moment of Gundogan’s magic 25 minutes from the time they passed

The midfielder won a free kick on the edge of the box and then rolled the ball over the wall to Guardiola’s relief on the sidelines

Gundogan was starting for the first time since testing positive for coronavirus and was replaced seconds after scoring as Guardiola added another injection of rhythm to Phil Foden and Torres

The 20-year-olds combined to seal the points as Foden’s pass fed the Spaniard, who jumped inside Pepe before curling up in the far corner

Marchesin kept the score low late with excellent saves from Riyad Mahrez and Rodrigo, while spirits erupted between Guardiola and Porto boss Sergio Conceiçao after Pepe and Sterling clashed on the ball

However, City suffered a late injury when captain Fernandinho, who had only been on the pitch for nine minutes, was forced to leave with what looked like a muscle problem

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Manchester City FC, UEFA Champions League, FC Porto, Pep Guardiola, Sergio Agüero

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