Media Watch

Media City: Press react to 'perfect' win

HITTING THE HEADLINES: City's dazzling display against Barcelona takes up the back pages
There are no prizes for guessing which topic dominated the City-centric headlines this morning…

And my, oh my, what pleasant reading they make.

Of course, the media world has been sharing its thoughts on the Blues’ stunning Champions League win over Barcelona – and it’s safe to say they were mightily impressed. So without further ado, let’s see what’s being said…

Kicking-off with the Mirror’s verdict, John Cross purred: “Pep Guardiola made the Etihad really feel like home on a breathless and brilliant night for Manchester City.

“This was the game which perhaps banished his 20 years as player and coach at Barcelona to the history books because there can be no doubt where Guardiola’s loyalties lie now.


“It was a sensational victory full of drama but also packed with determination and guts as City produced a wonderful fight back against one of the best teams in the world.

“Guardiola was brought in for his stylish football and they pressed tirelessly but they also showed incredible resilience and heart to claw their way back.

“In the end, City could have won more comfortably because they had Barcelona on the rack in the final stages in what was their first win in six attempts against the Spanish giants.”

The Guardian’s Daniel Taylor agreed: “They had not only beaten Barcelona but they had done it the hard way, coming from behind, and they have spent so long waiting for a victory of this magnitude it automatically takes its place as their most gratifying in the Champions League to date.

“Any success against a side featuring Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suárez has to be cherished but perhaps the most satisfying part for Pep Guardiola’s team is what it showed about their competitive courage and the shift in mentality compared with City’s previous attempts to overcome perhaps the most beautifully constructed club side there has ever been.


“Overall, however, there was the sense that City had reached new heights. They looked like a team with nothing to be afraid of.”

Richard Tanner of the Express reflected: “It was a performance and result that underlined the new level of technical and tactical sophistication they brought to the club when they appointed Pep Guardiola.

“They had seen what it had done with Barca and Bayern Munich and wanted him to start working his magic at the Etihad.

“He says he needs time but three months into the season City are already top of the Premier League, need only a win from two games to reach the knock-out stages in Europe, are scoring goals for fun and have finally broken their Barcelona jinx.

“Last night City showed what could have been as they produced the ‘almost perfect’ performance Guardiola said they would need to beat his former club.

“If they can reproduce their second half display no-one will bet against Guardiola guiding them all the way to the final this time.”


The Manchester Evening News’ Stuart Brennan wrote: “Manchester City out-Barcelona'd Barcelona on a night when they came of age in the Champions League.

“Everyone feared the triple menace of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez going into this game - but now Europe has a new trident to worry about, that of Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero.

“And what is more, the Blues came from behind to beat the Catalan giants for the first time, when in the past they would have crumbled.

“With the defence hurling their bodies in the way of every Barca attack, City played it beautifully on the counter.

“And it could have been more. City played it to perfection, not over-committing, stopping Barca's flow with niggly tackles and good organisation, and hitting hard on the break.”

Mark Ogden’s report for the Independent reads: “It has taken five seasons of heartbreak, near misses and harsh lessons learned, but Manchester City have now claimed their biggest Champions League scalp by overcoming Barcelona on a pulsating night at the Etihad Stadium.


“But while the result will go down as another significant milestone in the club’s Champions League story, the manner of the victory – how Guardiola’s player beat Barcelona at their own game – is surely the most important factor from a result which leaves City well-placed to qualify from Group C.

“So many City players were outstanding – Kevin De Bruyne, Sergio Aguero and David Silva the pick of the lot – and Guardiola must now use this as a yardstick for his players to match from this point on.”

The Daily Star’s David Woods echoed: “At times it was like the home side were on fast-forward and their stunned opponents, so used to having it their own way, just could not handle it”, while Goal’s Jack Davies stated: “The home side were good value for their victory on home soil and their high-tempo, high-pressing approach to the second half reaped its rewards.”

What did you make of the game? Let us know on Twitter @ManCity!

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