Sometimes, the opposing manager has a line or two which sums up the brilliance of the victors.
That’s the case Tuesday, as Shakhtar Donetsk manager Paulo Fonseca was downright glowing after his side frustrated Man City before falling 2-0 in UEFA Champions League action at the Etihad Stadium.
[ RECAP: Man City 2-0 Shakhtar Donetsk ]
“We were very compact and we were not leaving many gaps for them, and trying to attack them,” Fonseca said. “I always watch all the matches of City and this year City have not met a team who has created any problems. … I think all our players were playing at a very good level and as I said, it is difficult to come here and demonstrate such courage as our guys have demonstrated today.”
Don’t tell Paulo about the Bournemouth and Everton matches, but we get the idea.
City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne downplayed his evening, but turned the keys that led to several chances. He started and finished the side’s first goal after a 1-2 with David Silva.
Yet the name on Pep Guardiola‘s lips was Fabian Delph who, after scoring a stunning goal in the Premier League this weekend, put in a strong performance at… wait for it… left back!
“Fabian Delph was man of the match. When a guy who is so kind and can help the team, he is intelligent, is physical and never loses the ball. He controlled Marlos and did it very well.”
Entering the season, Delph had made just 39 performances in two seasons since arriving from Aston Villa. Guardiola is making things happen for most of his players this season, and it’s starting to feel like some special things are cooking on both sides of Manchester.
As for Benjamin Mendy, who was seen on crutches following an injury against Crystal Palace, the wing back could be set for a while on the sidelines.
Guardiola says Mendy will undergo tests on Wednesday in Barcelona, calling his absence “a major setback.”
“He is a unique player,” Guardiola said. “We will see in January about a new signing. We have alternatives.”