City’s 4-1 win over Stoke at the Bet365 stadium on Saturday got journalists purring over a combination of defensive resilience and ruthlessness going forward.
Stuart Brennan of the Manchester Evening News hailed Pep Guardiola’s “revolutionaries” as they made it nine goals in two away games.
He said: “when you see the guts and gumption shown by the Blues to battle their way to a lead at the Britannia Stadium, and then finished their opponents with swagger from the subs, it is hard not to believe in Guardiola’s Blue revolution.
“Last season City crumbled under an inspired Stoke assault led by Xherdan Shaqiri and Marko Arnautovic – they looked tactically, technically and psychologically bankrupt at that point.
“The difference under Pep was immense. John Stones showed he is much more than a fancy-dan footballing centre half, sticking his head in at vital times and showing some cute defensive awareness at others.”
Meanwhile, The Guardian’s Sachin Nakrani praised City’s willingness to overcome adversity in a fixture known to wear opponents down.
“It may no longer be called the Britannia Stadium but this was one of those days that served as a reminder that the home of Stoke remains an intimidating venue for visiting opponents. The crowd is boisterous, the conditions are gusty and the team in red and white are no mugs,” he reflected.
“Yet none of that could stop Manchester City from recording a victory that maintains their perfect start under Pep Guardiola and suggests they are indeed intent on making their mark on all fronts this season.
“The visitors came through a frantic and full-blooded affair that was a throwback to the days when Tony Pulis was in charge of Stoke and those occasions, like last season, when City found themselves overwhelmed at the ground now known as the bet365 Stadium. But here City played with poise, grit and a level of ruthlessness that enabled them largely to dominate proceedings and make it 11 goals scored in three matches.”
Finally, the Stoke Sentinel runs quotes from Ryan Shawcross who was at the centre of not one, but two, penalty controversies at either end of the field.
The Potters defender gave a refreshingly candid take on both decisions, stating his belief that Mike Dean was right to penalise him for holding Nicolas Otamendi while admitting that the spot-kick given to his team shouldn’t have been awarded.
Shawcross is quoted as saying: "I've let the team down with a silly mistake having known what's been said in the summer after meeting the refs. It's a stupid mistake on my part and hopefully I can rectify that in the future and not get done again."
As for the Stoke penalty, he said: "I didn't appeal, I didn't think it was a penalty.
"I got my head reasonably close to the ball, I didn't think I'd been impeded too much … but if they're going to change the rules as they have done then they're going to have to do that for every game."