Due to goalkeeper Claudio Bravo receiving a red card, Man City was held 1-1 by Atalanta in the fourth match of the group stage on 6/11.
Goals: Pasalic 49 ‘- Sterling 7’
Red card: Bravo.
If you win Atalanta, Man City will soon win the right to qualify for the Champions League. That is within the ability of the English team because two weeks ago, they won the opponent 5-1 at home. Raheem Sterling’s opening goal in the seventh minute, right in the first phase, gave the visitors an extra advantage against an Atalanta who lost all three matches. Gabriel Jesus’s backheel-back kick gave Sterling a fifth Champions League goal, equal to Son Heung-min and just two behind Erling Haaland and Robert Lewandowski.
Doing well the task of creating space and linking attacks but Jesus did not have the opportunity to score. Two minutes before the break, Sterling’s 16m50 penalty kick touched the ball at the edge of the fence by Atalanta. Thanks to VAR, the referee Aleksey Kulbakov gave the visitors a penalty. Jesus took the responsibility, but his low shot went wide of the post.
Outside the line, Coach Guardiola scratched his head regretfully. After the trip to Atalanta, Man City will be a match with Liverpool – the match is like the English Premier League final. The Etihad owners are six points behind Liverpool and they need the most effortless victory against Atalanta, creating a momentum for the battle at the weekend.
And yet sad because of the penalty penalty of Jesus, Guardiola had to welcome two other bad news. Goalkeeper Ederson got hurt, having to make room for Claudio Bravo in the second half. When the Copa America hero of the Chilean team could not warm up, he had to go into the net to pick up the ball. After 49 minutes, Alejandro Gomez hung the ball from the left wing precisely to Mario Pasalic and headed to the near post, leveling the score. It was also the first finishing phase of the home team.
Playing lack of people away, Man City accepted to pinch the match to have a point to bring home the fog. Guardiola wanted to solve his Champions League task neatly, before thinking of a race in the Premier League, but couldn’t. He still has to strain in the next round at the end of this month, in the context of Liverpool waiting ahead and having an advantage over a day off.