City Duo In Team Of The Week (25/9/17)
Manchester City are represented in the latest Premier League team of the week that has been selected by BBC pundit Garth Crooks.
Actually Garth is now down as a 'Football Analyst' these days, a posh term for a pundit then!
The performances by Leroy Sane and Kevin de Bruyne in the five nil victory over Crystal Palace at the weekend at the Etihad Stadium was enough to earn them a place in the side alongside the other, in the opinion of the former Spurs striker anyway, most impressive performers in the topflight over the latest weekend.
I think we'll already know ourselves, and not just based on the latest performance, why Crooks, we'll also not argue with it, selected the duo as part of his team but explaining his choice he told the BBC.
'BBC commentator Steve Bower nailed it when he said the game needed a moment of magic and Leroy Sane provided it. City had already knocked Watford for six so Roy Hodgson must have had a difficult night's sleep before his team took on Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium. Yet Palace should have had two goals before City fans had stopped singing 'Blue Moon'. If Ruben Loftus-Cheek is going to be a player he must be better in front of goal. The moment those two opportunities went begging Palace were dead men. Sane's finish was a touch of class and epitomised how the game has changed over the years. In my playing days the goalkeeper would have taken Sane out and left the young man in an agonising heap. Stretching to get a final touch to score a goal in the '80s and '90s was tantamount to a death wish. I can name numerous goalkeepers who would have taught the youngster a serious lesson in self-preservation for such audaciousness. Nevertheless, the powers that be are determined to clean the game up and quite rightly.'
'Since making his Manchester City debut in the Premier League in September 2015, Kevin De Bruyne has made more assists than any other player (30)
I can hardly go through any game involving Manchester City without mentioning the name Kevin de Bruyne. I said two years ago, after a Football Focus interview with the player, that he was the future at the club and I see no reason to change my position. To replace the goals and assists of Yaya Toure was a big task for City but De Bruyne has filled that void. The ball to Sergio Aguero from the Belgium international was simply sensational but the touch for Raheem Sterling from the Argentine striker for Sterling's second goal of the match suggested something much more interesting is going on than goals at City. Aguero is one of the best finishers in the world and yet featured in all of Manchester City's first three goals as their provider. What's more he looks leaner and sharper than I have seen him for some time. There is no doubt in my mind that coach Pep Guardiola, who comes to work dressed like he's going to a family barbecue on a Sunday afternoon, has his entire team playing a far better all-round game than I have seen to date, even under Manuel Pellegrini. There is no secret that Guardiola has had some difficulty imposing his authority on some big names and strong characters at the club but it would appear he has won that battle. Getting City to play in the mould of Barcelona and win the Premier League title at the same time would be a major achievement. I personally don't think it is achievable but it would be amazing football to watch if they did.'
It's always good to see the club represented in this way, and well played to both for their recognition, but the most important thing about the weekend was of course the win.
Simon Mignolet (Liverpool), Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Adrian Mariappa (Watford), Leroy Sane (Manchester City), Christian Eriksen (Tottenham), Phillipe Coutinho (Liverpool), Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City), Oumar Niasse (Everton), Alvaro Morata (Chelsea), Harry Kane (Tottenham).