Defending champions Manchester City cruised to a clinical 5-0 win over relegation battlers Cardiff City which saw the hosts dominate the entire game at Cardiff on Saturday.
City now sit on the second spot behind Liverpool, who top with 18 points. City however have the highest goals for, 19, which shouldn’t surprise many given their prowess upfront.
Cardiff failed to impress yet again, succumbing to a third consecutive defeat and are already in the relegation zone. The side must change the tide of results if they are to remain afloat in the competition and their next big test is facing Burnley at home next weekend.
As a wrap up to gameweek-6, here’s 5 talking points of the Cardiff City vs Man City clash:-
(1) No Silva, No Problem :
Guardiola fielded a David Silva-less squad against the high-pressing Cardiff side for the first time since facing Arsenal in the first week. City however faced no problem and excelled in midfield with the triple pairing of Bernardo Silva, Ilkay Gundogan and Fernandinho displaying beautiful possession football. The connection between Bernardo and Gundogan upfront behind the forward line penetrated the opposition backline on numerous occasions and with Pep already stating fans should expect seeing less of Merlin, who is 32 now, the team looked smooth enough in his absence.
(2) Gundogan 2.0 :
Ilkay Gundogan’s City career has mostly seen him sidelined at the touchline with glimpses of brilliance once in a while and staying injured for the majority of it. After a disastrous World Cup campaign in the summer, the German star who was under serious treatment of his fans over his Turkey visit, has silenced his critics in a wonderful manner scoring a goal and registering 2 assists already in the new season. Gundogan scored once and assisted Mahrez for his first on Saturday and while de Bruyne’s injury keeps him off for sometime, it is Gundogan’s golden chance to rise to the occasion. City manager Pep Guardiola hailed the German’s impact in the team and hoped he continue his momentum.
(3) Worrying Times For Cardiff :
The Welsh outfit, who qualified for the top tier of English football this season, have not yet put a convincing performance so far. The team looks lack of ideas at times and failing to convert whatever opportunities they create has magnified their problems further. Cardiff boss Neil Warnock has emphasized on the need of the team to minimise their mistakes and work for the rest of the season and only take positives on the way.
(4) Continuity Key Now For City :
If City are to retain the Premier League, they must now focus on continuing their run in the league with no room for error. With rivals Liverpool and Chelsea being in sizzling form, with the Reds already clinching six wins in a row and Sarri’s Chelsea sitting on par with City on points; Guardiola’s men should have no place for complacency to hinder them in anyway possible and with de Bruyne already sidelined until October, it’s high time for the men in blue to push to the limits.
(5) Mahrez, Finally! :
After the big summer move to City which cost €60 mil, the Algerian announced his arrival at the new club perfectly, striking two goals in the second half, coming on for Sergio Aguero in the 61st minute. City boss Pep Guardiola seemed happy with the ex-Leicester man’s performance away from home and stated that it was a pleasure to see his side play. With the European competitions on the move already, it should be exciting times ahead for the City wingers, specially Mahrez who will look to show the club what he has to offer.