One of the most important European fixtures was played between Manchester City and Atletico Madrid at Etihad Stadium on Tuesday.
The first quarterfinal leg saw the English champions take on their Spanish counterparts. There was a buzz all around the week for the match to be a belter. But it turned out to be a mismatch in the end.
Struggling domestically, Atletico Madrid came into this game as a strong competitor. They had managed to knock out Manchester United in the previous round. And people expected them to put up a great show against City.
Their performance turned out to be anything but great though.
On the other hand, the English champions started from where they left off in the Premier League. City came into this game on the back of a dominating victory against Burney, and they continued in the same fashion.
Atletico Madrid parked the bus at Etihad
City controlled the first half in a visibly dominating manner. Not only did they have most of the ball and chances in front of the goal. But the way in which they almost single-handedly ran the game was quite palpable.
The game was played majorly in the box of Atletico Madrid. Manchester City had just one job, to keep firing in the crosses and find someone to net them.
Atletico, on the other hand, seemed to have sensed the danger. Hence, they decided to apply a technique called park the bus. According to footballing pundits, in this defensive technique, a team uses all its players to stop the opposition from having a direct attack on their goal.
The technique was oh so successful in the first half of the game. Manchester City came at the Atletico goal with vicious attacks. Yet none of them could find the back of the net.
Manchester City left the field frustrated by the lack of goals at the end of the first half. Atletico must have been relieved to have not conceded any goals.
Foden’s moment of brilliance
The second half started on the same note. City attacked the goal with all their might, and Atletico defended it.
However, it was the introduction of Phil Foden that made all the difference for the English Champions.
Around the 70-minute mark, City finally threaded the Atletico defense. A series of passes initiated by Phil Foden saw the Manchester City captain into space. And Kevin De Bruyne was too good to miss from close range.
This was the only chance that City converted in the entire game. Atletico, on the other hand, failed to put up a show. They only had 30% of possession in the whole game and couldn’t put up a single shot on target or off it.
As a result, it was an easy victory for Manchester City at their home ground.
Atletico might be happy that they managed to keep it down to 1 goal. Although the manner in which they played second fiddle to City, they will be required to be more proactive in the second game.
As things stand, Manchester City leads the tie by 1-0.