It was presumed that BPL title-holder Manchester City would take care of business against Newcastle on Sunday. And the Sky Blues did exactly that, blanking their opponent, 2-0, with striker Sergio Aguero sealing the victory in the waning moments of stoppage time.
Although they had a quiet offseason on the player acquisition front, manager Manuel Pellegrini relishes his team’s favorable result on opening day, and as for contending for a second-consecutive championship, City could have that necessary combination of skill, drive and determination.
“The players are not able to play 90 minutes at the moment, but we continued with our attitude and scored the second goal.”
“I think the players were both hungry and humble,” he said, per ESPN FC. “We need both those things if we are going to continue winning titles and if we want to improve on what we did last year. It was so important to me that the players had that attitude from the beginning to the end of the game.”
City’s defense held Newcastle in check when crunch time surfaced, but Pellegrini believed it was obvious his squad was dragging its feet during the competition’s final stages.
“We were very solid at the back and Joe Hart didn’t have any problems, and in the second half it was normal that we were starting to get tired.”
For Pellegrini and Co., this contest isn’t exactly a great example of the sides they will need to defeat in order to hoist the hardware in the May 2015. Not deviating from their triumphs in 2013-14, where these sort of score lines were indicative of their performances, the 2-0 victory signifies their organization is still intact, showing qualities of a top-tier Premier League defense. And witnessing Aguero notch that timely goal reminded football fans that he can be a vital part of the attack, after he faced injury for a portion of last spring.