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Talking Points: Attack speed and wing wizardry

LINING UP: The players get ready in the impressive Arena Nationala

LINING UP: The players get ready in the impressive Arena Nationala

There was much to admire in City's 5-0 victory over Steaua Bucharest in the Champions League - here are six talking points from the match.

1 Attack speed

Manager Pep Guardiola declared he wanted his side to attack quicker after the victory over Sunderland on Saturday, and boy did the players take notice! The ball was zipping around the Arena Nationala turf at blistering pace and the Steaua defence simply could not cope. It was five, but as Kevin De Bruyne said post-match it could have been eight or nine. Pulsating stuff.

2 Sterling show

A reborn Raheem Sterling was a key part of setting that whirlwind tempo. His personal stats are fantastic: five dribbles, 80 per cent dribble accuracy, 79 per cent passing accuracy, 68 touches, three chances created and two assists. Afterwards Sterling hinted that Guardiola has played a vital role in his resurgence when he said: “I’ve come back wanting to play football under this manager and he’s given me real encouragement.” Long may it continue!

3 Squad options

The social media reaction from spectators was great to see during and after the game. Here are three examples:

“That was brilliant. Really strong performance lads!!”

“Beautiful performance. #ManCity”

“Wow! 5-0 with some amazing goals from my team-mates. Fantastic job @ManCity”

Did you get the clue from the last tweet? Those were comments from three City players who are yet to set foot on the field this season: Ilkay Gundogan, Vincent Kompany and Leroy Sane. The fact that trio are still to come in and strengthen the squad is a mouth-watering prospect for fans.

 

 

4 Yes, Nolito!

One player well and truly up and running is Nolito, ManCity.com’s man of the match in Bucharest. His link up and movement was sparkling all evening and his performance had everything. His pinball pass exchange with Sergio Aguero produced the goal of the night while he showed great composure to latch onto Kevin De Bruyne’s through-ball, round the goalkeeper and score one for himself.

5 Aguero's odd night

Two missed penalties and a hat-trick – that cannot have happened many times before in professional football. Strangely enough Aguero’s finishing from open play looked in superb order, with each of the goals requiring precise execution. Here’s hoping those missed penalties are out of his system, at least if you are to make a slip up from the spot, this was the night to do it!

6 Stoke test

Excellent though City were, Steaua gave Pep Guardiola’s men space to exploit. Stoke will surely provide a stiffer test on Saturday lunch-time so the Blues will have to readjust quickly to Premier League life. Losing at the Britannia Stadium was one of last season’s low points, Saturday would be a good time to right that wrong.

First Team News

Social reaction: Steaua v City

What the Media Says

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What the Media Says

Press praise for 'scintillating' Sterling

IN FORM: Raheem Sterling was singled out for praise after a comfortable win in Bucharest.

A five star performance in Bucharest has got media tongues wagging this morning, with Raheem Sterling the man making the headlines.

Our City-centric round up from the nation's papers.