Men's Team

Talking Points: Garcia the find of the season?

PLAYMAKER: Aleix Garcia put in another good performance in midfield.
The emergence of Aleix Garcia, Kelechi's timely reminder and red-hot Sergio - just some of the talking points up for discussion....

1 Garcia's emergence

There have only been a few occasions when Aleix Garcia has had the opportunity to play this season.

With so many world class performers ahead of him, it’s understandable that his game time has been limited, but when he has played, he has impressed each time.

Last night he was handed the responsibility usually given to Fernandinho or Yaya Toure, and he rarely put a foot wrong.

                        ALEIX GARCIA : 'A special talent' says Pep
ALEIX GARCIA : 'A special talent' says Pep

Neat and tidy in possession, he is clever with the ball and has a habit of picking the right pass.

At 19 and under the tutelage of Pep Guardiola and influence of David Silva, Garcia may be one of the Premier League finds of the season.

2 Boro await...

So it’s off to Teesside in the FA Cup Sixth Round.

Boro have long been something of a bogey team for the Blues and there was a time, not so long ago, when City couldn’t buy a win against Boro.

Earlier this season Aitor Karanka’s team snatched a last-gasp equaliser at the Etihad Stadium to knock the stuffing out of the Blues and put an early dent in City’s title challenge.

WATCH: City v Boro: Brief highlights

At a packed and passionate Riverside, Boro are unlikely to ring the changes, but by the same token their main focus will surely be on Premier League survival.

They will be organised, compact and probably look to catch the Blues on the break, much as they did at the Etihad.

But with a semi-final at Wembley to play for, it should prove to be a pulsating clash.

3 Kelechi reminder

It’s easy to forget what a talent City have in Kelechi Iheanacho.

With so much media focus on Gabriel Jesus’ arrival and the current form of Sergio Aguero, the Nigerian youngster has had to sit patiently in the wings for a chance to shine.

                        CING ON THE CAKE: Kelechi Iheanacho rounds off an excellent night with City's fifth
CING ON THE CAKE: Kelechi Iheanacho rounds off an excellent night with City's fifth

He hasn’t featured at all in the past eight games, but he needed just 11 minutes to find the net for the seventh time this season when he was called off the bench against Huddersfield.

That’s 21 goals from just 20 starts now for Kelechi – quite a record and a reminder, if needed, of what he can do.

4 Electric Aguero

Pep Guardiola’s assertion that Sergio Aguero’s performance against Huddersfield was the best he’d seen the City striker play is further evidence that the Pep magic is working on Kun.

In a number of games this season, Sergio has not quite found the rhythm he wants and, taking on board the manager’s wishes has meant he’s had to adapt his game somewhat.

But, just as he did against Monaco, when all the pieces come together, he is devastating.

WATCH: Every Angle: Sergio Aguero v Huddersfield

Kun hardly put a foot wrong – his touch was excellent, his dribbling direct and his work rate was tireless.

Four goals in two games suggests he is peaking at exactly the right time and he will be looking to inflict more carnage on a beleaguered Sunderland defence on Sunday as the Blues return to Premier League action.

5 Consistency

Nine games ago City took on Everton at Goodison Park and for half-an-hour, did everything but score.

The hosts went on to win 4-0 that day, but since then, the Blues have remained unbeaten.

                        PEP: Happy with form...
PEP: Happy with form...

Eight games, six wins, two draws and 23 goals suggest that Pep has found a formula that scores goals and largely keeps them out at the other end.

Consistency is the only way the Blues can make inroads into Chelsea’s sizeable lead at the top and with Sunderland and Stoke up next, Pep will be targeting nothing less than six points.

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