When Manchester City started their defense to the Premier League title with 2 wins out of 2 against former title contenders Liverpool and a pretty decent Newcastle side away from home, people were right to raise their eyebrows as certainly everything was clicking for the reigning Champions. However in a friend turned enemy in Mark Hughes who probably hadn’t forgot the last day of reception he got from Sheikh Mansour, the Citizens were blushed really badly as Stoke put to practice the Under-dog strategy of digging deep and going for the win as a 2nd half goal from Diouf took Manchester City back to earth.
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It is the 1st time since 1980 that Stoke City have defeated Manchester City at the Etihad stadium.
Manchester City have spent really big in this transfer market as players like Eliaquim Mangala and a goal-keeper Willy Caballero have come to Etihad, however it was their free signing of summer in Bacary Sagna who started the game with a multi-million pound man in Fernando who later subbed of due to injury. While City were really posing threats outside the box and maybe inside the box as well with their crisp passing and balls coming in from both flanks, Stoke Goal-keeper Mark Begovic hadn’t had to make one decent save as Stoker earned their 1st victory against Manchester City since 1980.
Both Liverpool and Arsenal, who were un-done by some good opposition last week have now got themselves a blessing in disguise as the Champions have slipped early. While Arsenal were undone by Everton, Liverpool were knocked out by a ruthless Manchester City side.
Both Arsenal and Liverpool, like the Champions were handed early tough draws in the Premier League and subsequently in the Champions League as well as both of them have to face big horses when the Champions League starts. So probably both of them will feel this is the mistake they definitely have to capitalize if they are to disturb the Elite class in Premier League.
All Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City have been handed tough groups in the Champions League this season.
Liverpool will face Tottenham as the Reds face a side that is yet to drop a single point this season and have started the Premier League up and running. Mauricio Pochetino side is looking for a revenge as a 5-0 demolition cracked their season last term. Liverpool, on the other hand, are looking to put their fears behind and start a new era with players like Mario Balotelli and Lazar Markovic getting in the starting 11. So if they could get a win, let alone looking to that 5-0 demolition of last December, they will be pretty happy to get 6 points from the games in which last season, they earned 3 points.
Arsenal on the other hand, after putting the Champions League scare against Besiktas off their path are now looking to be serious in Premier League. If you look at both the games Gunners have featured in Premier League this season, against Crystal Palace and Everton, they weren’t off and running rather it was their merry dance passing and attacking at the very end that kept them aboard. So when they will face their opposition this Sunday, they will look to start right from the final whistle with either Lukas Poldolski or Alexis Sanchez leading the command in the absence of injured Olivier Giroud.
Amir Bashir follow him on Twitter.