Minor injury, back in a big way

Don’t you know you might find / A better place to play? (Don’t you know you could find a better place to play?). The clash of styles, possession versus withdrawal. The match was at 180′, Cholo was not in a hurry. Everything started as expected. City, like Guardiola’s team, with the ball and playing from behind. Atleti, as Cholo’s team, en bloc, waiting for the error, against, without fissures. The slates screeching like tectonic plates in their rubbing. Simeone surprised with the inclusion of Vrsaljko, leaving De Paul on the bench, Pep with De Bruyne almost false ‘9’, everywhere. Atleti, in their confinement, was just long passes in search of runs to nowhere from their tips, João and Griezmann. They were soon stopped by City. A City that played and played looking for cracks in that team locked up in their field. Cancelo and Mahrez were adding meters on the right. The first oops it was his. A limp shot between nosy legs like axes. To the water that fell from the sky was added the other. The one with the leather, the one with the ball, the one with Guardiola. He only lacked one thing: finisher for the rain of lateral centers.

You’ll never burn my heart (You’ll never burn my heart). Pep’s blackboard. That seemed to shout the City. Steal the ball, command, control. The forward pressure, yours. The recovery after loss, yours. The plays, the intentions. The ball was an oasis in the red and white boots. Incapable of three passes in a row. The pressure of City on their necks, their boots, tied like bridles. Everything happened near Oblak. 20 men at his feet. Theirs, the rojiblancos, without losing an inch of position, granite block, a bus. The others, the rivals, touch that touch. The music of the party at the antipodes of rock. Sponsored Danacol. In the City of Manchester there were only defenses.

Atleti managed to escape English pressure twice, twice, both with the same ending: none. João ran alone, Lodi couldn’t find Griezmann. City’s touch became parsimonious in that desperate exercise of stamping on a wall over and over again. And another. Scratching and scratching just to run out of nails, not at all, stamped in reinildo. The blackboard that he sent was that of Cholo. The first part came without shots on goal. Guardiola because he lacks a pure ‘9’ among all his cards. El Cholo because, in 45 minutes, his men only 20 had spun 20 passes in the opposite field. At Oblak’s feet they had not suffered but it was heroic to watch the game and not succumb to yawning. But don’t look back in anger (but don’t look back in anger). The refrain of Oásis in Pep’s eyes, lost on the grass, serious, while the teams returned from the break. Atleti had already consumed 45′, without suffering, of these quarters raised at 180′. But, if the first part had been to show the cards, the second would be to play them.

Immediately another intention was seen. From City, first time. Gündogan managed to sneak into the area to look for the shot. Savic deflected. Atleti responded with a counter, but Llorente’s motorcycle was out of gas. De Bruyne began to turn on his flashlight between the lines. Guardiola planted his board on the front after a foul by Reinildo on Mahrez that ended in another rehearsed play. And in a low shot by De Bruyne that forced Oblak low. The miracles of him came at night. San Jan did not block but it did not matter. With his foot he frightened away the danger from his area, when Rodrigo ran towards the ball. With a set piece, Laporte also looked for, with a header outside by a span.

Step outside, because summertime is in bloom. If at the hour Cholo introduced a triple change (Correa, Cunha and De Paul), in 69 Guardiola did it. As Plan A had not worked, inside B: Grealish, Gabriel Jesús and Foden. The last was the man, the drop of water, which explodes the stone, the Cholo slate. He only had to dance with De Bruyne. She received between the lines and found a corridor between Reinildo’s legs to De Bruyne, who broke through the wall, found the goal. He followed the game to his own. City plays and plays, but calmer, no longer in a hurry, Foden in command and Atleti incapable. Overcome but no blood. The small injury, the second leg, almost, where Simeone wanted it. Miraculously, but alive. Wounded but still standing. And flying to Madrid now. Slip inside the eye of your mind.


from Pablo (59′, Koke), belt (59′, Griezmann), Matheus Cunha (59′, Marcos Llorente), turnip greens (67′, Gundogan), gabriel jesus (67′, Libra), Foden (67′, Mahrez), Lemar (80′, Joao Felix)


1-0, 69′: DeBruyne


Referee: Istvan Kovacs
VAR Referee: Paolo Valeri
from Pablo (68′, Yellow) belt (82′, Yellow) gabriel jesus (84′, Yellow) Vrsaljko (91′, Yellow) Ederson Moraes (91′, Yellow