View photos Credit: REUTERS
Silva and Hysaj have a nasty little clash of heads and have to be repaired, like it's Robot Wars or some sort of physical sport.
9:09PM 65 mins
THAT MUST BE A PENALTY! City finally do get caught out with their passing from the back! Fernandinho dives in with a slide tackle as his control lets him down, Stones throws himself at the shot to block and it seems to hit his arm... but the referee says no. Replays show Stones didn't handle the ball but I'm not sure about the Fernandinho challenge - that may well have been a case of playing on with advantage... but wouldn't a penalty be an advantage?
9:07PM 64 mins
Ederson is good at passing. At some point this season he's going to get caught out but what he brings to the team is absolutely worth that one moment it does happen.
Zielinski goes down in the area as Walker comes back to block his run and for a few seconds, seems to consider rolling around and pretending to be injured by the collision. Mercifully, he does not do this.
9:05PM 61 mins
Ironic cheers from the home fans as Silva wins a free-kick off Hamsik, Napoli having won a few fouls in the last wee while. Guardiola is prowling his technical area; the atmosphere has dropped a little as City find it a little more difficult to create in this half. Sterling wins a corner.
9:04PM Time on ball (45 - 60 min)
Possession: Man City vs Napoli
9:00PM 58 mins
Ederson races off his line even though Stones is in a position behind the other centre-backs, which there are currently three of in this phase of play. It makes sense, he can see the play in front of him, Stones is having to track backwards.
Insigne has gone off to be replaced by Allan. Whenever I hear his name on commentary, it reminds me of this golden cinema moment:
8:58PM 55 mins
Reina is nearly caught on the ball by De Bruyne, who pushes high to try and win it back. Callejon goes crying to the referee because Ederson deviously steals it to prevent him taking a quick throw-in, with the goalkeeper miles off his line. You know what they say about snitches, Jose.
Fernandinho carries the ball and holds off Hamsik, feeds Jesus with a through-pass and Sane works on the left to ry and find room for a shot, winning a corner. Napoli deal with it and win a free-kick as Hysaj is knocked to the floor by Fernandinho.
8:55PM 52 mins
Silva drives through the middle, Sane flies forwards like a rocket, sprinting into space on the left and Silva uses him as a decoy, choosing to cut inside rather than make the obvious pass. He's tackled. A rare poor decision by the Spaniard!
Stones makes his first hurried clearance of the game, choosing to boot it rather than pass out from the back. It's the right decision in that situation - City were penned in and any mistake right then and there would have given a big chance to Napoli, who are occupying as much space in City's half as they can at the moment.
8:52PM 49 mins
City read the Napoli build-up, draw the through-ball and intercept before pinging short, quick passes between defenders, midfield and goalkeeper to keep possession and move out from the back. It's brilliant - brave, risky but an incredibly useful way of keeping the ball and turning defence into attack without having to chase the ball endlessly.
8:50PM KICK-OFF 2
We're back! Napoli start the second half with a cavalry charge but City cancel it out and start playing their passing game again. The full-backs are much wider already... and Sterling is in behind the Napoli defence! Already?! His weight of pass is nothing on De Bruyne though and Jesus doesn't get a chance to shoot.
8:46PM City's tactics
Napoli's plan was to stay compact, press in numbers really high up the pitch and stay relatively narrow. City are stretching them with long, switched passes. When the pivot - usually Fernandinho has the ball at the halfway line, a runner sprints forward to overload in attack. For the first goal it was Kyle Walker, who nailed it into the box to take that first shot.
As City naturally tired towards the end of the half, the pressing levels went ever so slightly down - this gave Napoli a split second extra to think about where they wanted to put their passes, and allowed them to show that they are actually a very talented, extremely dangerous team.
I'd expect City to come out with more of the same in the second half, and to potentially have a little Plan B up their sleeves to close the game out later on.
8:43PM A nice stat for you
6 - Manchester City goalkeepers have saved each of the last six penalties that they have faced in the Champions League. Madness. — OptaJoe (@OptaJoe)
pic.twitter.com/ewpNCWNBWw October 17, 2017
8:40PM De Bruyne annoyed
City's star player had to be forced off the pitch by his teammates at half-time, clearly furious with the yellow card he was awarded. KDB takes particular exception to Silva and Fernandinho's intervention.
8:33PM The hosts looking dangerous in this first half
Man City have been peppering the Napoli goal with 11 shots, with five of them on target
Man City vs Napoli shots on goal
8:33PM Time on ball (first half)
Possession: Man City vs Napoli
8:33PM HALF TIME
Utterly brilliant. That whizzed by. More please, Clive.
8:33PM Average touch positions (half time)
Average touch positions (half time)
8:32PM 45 mins
City have turned the volume down a bit these last few minutes, which has allowed Napoli to get back into the game. The problem with playing such a relentless attacking game is that when you lose momentum, that team shape leaves holes to exploit.
De Bruyne is booked for... something. I'm not sure what, though it may have been dissent.
Hamsik gives the ball away - CITY ARE IN! Jesus is at the back post... but is blocked. So close! Guardiola yells at his players to get back in their defensive shape as Napoli counter.
8:29PM 42 mins
Stones plays a pass forward to Silva which takes out about five Napoli players at once, Silva drives towards goal and nearly threads Sane in behind. The ball drops to De Bruyne, who nutmegs Hamsik with his next pass... and eventually ends up with a free-kick wide right for City. De Bruyne doesn't get enough height on his curling effort towards the near post and Napoli try to play their way out from the back.
They do so well and Mertens has a chance to shoot from the edge of the box! Blocked! Napoli keep the pressure coming, City drop off them a bit and Callejon is chipped into the box! He's offside.
8:26PM PENALTY SAVED!
Great save by Ederson! He dives low and blocks the drive by Mertens, Fernandinho charges into clear off the line! The crowd roars in appreciation.
8:25PM 38 mins
Napoli should score there. Hamsik has space in the area as they attack quickly and Mertens tries to use him as a decoy, ducking the other way to have a go at goal himself. Instead he runs into Delph, who is furious with his defensive colleagues for leaving that space open. Napoli have a corner.
AND IT'S A PENALTY! Walker grabs hold of Albiol and pulls him to the ground in the six yard box! Definite penalty for me Clive.
8:22PM 35 mins View photos Credit: EPA
"What does this say about Serie A and what does it say about the Premier League?" asks Robbie Savage. We're only 35 minutes in so Napoli are not out of this one - it only takes a mistake or a clever move to unlock City's defence. If they take their foot off the gas, there is every chance that the Italians get back into this one.
And as I say that, Reina plays the ball out and Jesus reads it, slides in, and gives City a four on three in attack but the ball comes off Sane's shinpads and rolls back towards the goalkeeper.
8:18PM 32 mins
City get the ball in the box, Reina comes to punch, it pings about the area a bit and Delph shoots wide from distance after the scramble. City are simply too good for Napoli right now, who are now trying to just keep possession for a little bit but finding it too difficult due to the high press. City are working so hard off the ball to win it back that nobody has any time to think.
8:18PM Time on ball (15 - 30 min)
Possession: Man City vs Napoli
8:16PM 29 mins
Is it three?! No! Goal-line technology comes in handy as Koulibaly literally stands on the line and just waits for the ball to stop rolling before attempting to kick it away. City are all over Napoli - what a performance.
Average touch positions (25 min)
Look how deep they have Napoli pinned back!
8:15PM 26 mins
DE BRUYNNNNEEEEEEEEEEE off the underside of the bar! From 20 yards, the Belgian takes it on his left foot and absolutely rattles the underside of the bar and watches the ball bounce away. What a hit. So unlucky!
Post: Man City ( 25 min )
Post: Man City 2 - 0 Napoli (Kevin De Bruyne, 25 min)
I am struggling to summarise just how impressive City are here - Napoli can't keep the ball and the passing, movement and workrate by Guardiola's side is incredible.
8:12PM 25 mins View photos Credit: GETTY IMAGES
That's a photo of Jesus' goal from earlier.
8:10PM 23 mins
Walker steps up to get tight to the left winger, the Napoli central midfielder moves into the left winger's space, Sterling spots it and drops into right back. Guardiola has his team very well drilled defensively.
Delph is now operating as a central defender, Otamendi left-back... and now he's a centre-back. It's so fluid! Playres are just operating in positions and occupying space rather than being in set numerical formation.
8:07PM 20 mins
Napoli are now trying to double in wide areas and take the gamble that they are able to pass out from the back past the front three. The ball is given away to De Bruyne, the midfielders steam forward... and Napoli win it back in their own half.
8:07PM Man City are dominating the ball so far
Man City are letting the ball do the work - they've had 190 touches compared to just 100 for Napoli.
Man City vs Napoli
8:05PM 17 mins
Delph is tucking into a central midfield position every time City go forward, Walker makes it a back three, Fernandinho drops deeper, Otamendi goes wide left.
Gabriel Jesus with the goal to make it 2-0." data-reactid="328">Man City have doubled their lead, and it's
Gabriel Jesus with the goal to make it 2-0.
Man City 2 - 0 Napoli (Gabriel Jesus, 13 min)
This is an amazing performance so far from City. They're playing one of the best, in-form teams in Europe and are demolishing them. It's still early - Napoli may well shut the doors and try to keep them quiet for a while now.
8:00PM 12 mins
HONK England World Cup hopes mention alert HONK
Ian Darke has just pointed out that an improved Raheem Sterling is good for England at the World Cup. Not yet, Iain. Calm it down, my friend.
City are dominating Napoli on and off the ball. They're working so hard to win it back and Napoli are being pushed back towards their own goal with waves of attack. The long pass forward from Napoli is used again and MERTENS IS IN BEHIND THE DEFENCE! Ederson reads play superbly and comes off his line to head away the danger - the kind of goalkeeper City didn't have last season.
Raheem Sterling strikes early to open the scoring - it's 1-0 to Man City.
Man City 1 - 0 Napoli (Raheem Sterling, 9 min)
That's a great goal. This game is already ace. Silva's movement is brilliant for this goal and Walker - the right-back! - takes the first shot of the game, hitting a defender and teeing up Sterling's surprisingly accurate left-footed finish! When that boy has confidence he's some player.
7:55PM 8 mins
Napoli still going direct towards the Man City centre-backs, putting them under real pressure as quickly as possible to try and snap on a mistake.
City are passing well - no signs of errors yet.
7:53PM 5 mins
It looks like Napoli's plan is to get the ball forward quickly and chase it, forcing City into a mistake in their own defensive third.
City's one-touch passing is good to watch. It's genuinely entertaining. Just when you think Sane is going to control the ball, let it drop and pass, he heads it first time and starts an attack. So simple but the technique required to keep passes like that under control is so difficult.
7:50PM 3 mins
Napoli pressing high from the start - they want to stop City playing out from the back but City put a lovely little move together near their own box and work it up to Sane on the left. He can't keep the ball under control and it's out for a throw. City are now pressing high trying to win it back, force Napoli to go long and then Napoli press them high.
And we're off!
7:44PM Here come the teams!
Napoli players are in the tunnel ready to go... and Man City keep them waiting.
Both are here after a short while, David Silva gives Raul Albiol a nice little greeting.
7:33PM Guardiola's pre-match interview
Pep is asked whether he is looking forward to a game between two teams who have scored 71 goals between them already this season:
"Mmmmmm. Yeh. The numbers, anyone can deny the numbers, both teams to score a lot of goals, both teams too... what we can do. Hopefully today it can happen again."
Are Napoli at a higher level than other teams you've played this season?
"I would not say that because it would be disrespectful for other teams but is one of the best teams in the world right now. Eight games eight wins so the way they play, we are lucky to see how is our level.
"We like to play football like an amateur because football is a game but we have responsibility, you have to win games. But we want to do in our way."
7:22PM Sarri-ball - a glossary of tactical systems
This is great by Charlie Eccleshare:
As Napoli bring 'Sarri-ball' to Man City, a glossary of football's tactical systems " data-reactid="369">
As Napoli bring 'Sarri-ball' to Man City, a glossary of football's tactical systems
It's the kind of thing those interested in tactical systems and varying styles of play might enjoy.
7:19PM Owen Hargreaves has just said
"David Silva... he's literally a magician."
Cool. Hey Siri, add to that my list of things I didn't know.
7:18PM Man City players arriving View photos Credit: GETTY IMAGES
Hmm. Is it just me or is poor form that Mangala is just plowing on with his headphones on while these little guys and girls come to say hi to him? Perhaps he's trying to get his head in the game with noise cancelling, maybe he's listening to... Band of Skulls (dunno where that came from) or maybe it's a motivational speech by Guardiola.
Or maybe it's a Spotify playlist. Or a podcast, like the Telegraph's Total Football.
View photos Credit: GETTY IMAGES 7:15PM Robbie Savage on KDB
Kevin De Bruyne has a huge amount of freedom in this Man City system and Guardiola is getting the absolute most out of him as a result. City's fluid play depends on players who understand space and movement, making the pass and moving into space to give the man on the ball an option - creating triangles all over the pitch. This is what KDB does superbly and when you can work a way to get someone like him into vast amounts of space, pump him full of confidence and give him world class teammates, the things he can do are astonishing.
There were a couple of passes that De Bruyne made in the 7-2 win over Stoke that genuinely made me go "WOH!" while watching highlights. His vision and reading of the play are incredible.
Robbie Savage has been forced to eat humble pie on BT Sport too, which seems harsh, but then again he did say a couple of years ago that he "wouldn't pay to watch De Bruyne". It's funny (it actually isn't) how shortsighted many pundits can be. To be fair to Savage, he admits his mistake. Still shouldn't have made it.
Savage has just said:
"De Bruyne is now the best midfielder in the world. I thought it could come back to haunt me and it has! But I don't mind."
7:09PM Owen Hargreaves reckons Guardiola won't underestimate Napoli
"The only person who knows how good Napoli is is Pep Guardiola. Most people in this country think City will just turn up but Guardiola knows."
7:06PM Look how cool the sky is
View photos Credit: GETTY IMAGES
View photos Stunning skies over the Etihad stadium Credit: GETTY IMAGES
6:58PM Three in a row
That's the third game in a row that Pep Guardiola has named an unchanged side. Since Benjamin Mendy's injury and Fabian Delph's switch to left-back, they've beaten Chelsea, Shakhtar and Stoke. The latter was a 7-2 hiding and featured some of the best football I think I've ever seen an English team play. I realise that's quite a bold statement but if you haven't seen City's second goal, find it online immediately (through copyright approved means, of course).
6:48PM The teams are in
Man City: Ederson, Walker, Otamendi, Stones, Delph, Fernandinho, De Bruyne, Silva, Sane, Sterling, Jesus
Napoli: Reina, Hysaj, Koulibaly, Ghoulam, Albiol, Hamsik, Zielinski, Diawara, Callejon, Mertens, Insigne 6:46PM Preview
Manchester City host Serie A leaders Napoli in a highly anticipated Champions League clash on Tuesday night at the Etihad stadium.
Pep Guardiola's side is on fire at the moment, giving a series of Premier League rivals hidings, including a blistering 7-2 win against Stoke on the weekend and look to be at the start of something special. Guardiola isn't one to get carried away and has warned his players that anything less than total effort will result in disaster against a team as talented as Maurizio Sarri's.
“Of course, if they think that, they will be stupid,” Guardiola said. “That isn’t going to happen.
“I am going to show Napoli to my players – how good they are. Napoli can kill you with high pressing. They are able to press our keeper. But I’m very happy to have the opportunity to play this kind of game.”
Sarri has been similarly complimentary of City's astonishing form:
"The feeling I get watching Manchester City play, I didn't even get watching Real Madrid last year," he said, with Napoli three points shy of City heading into matchday three on account of their group-opening defeat at Shakhtar Donetsk.
View photos Napoli fans at the Etihad stadium prior to the match Credit: REUTERS
"I always felt my team could give opponents a hard time, but this time I think Man City are a formidable team.
"If we want to play at a certain level, we have to do it in important matches and aim at achieving results."
"I would like to die a sudden death if I have to, not a painful slow death. When you play a tactical, savvy and gifted team like Man City, who are well prepared from a physical point of view, you have to be careful not to overthink things.
View photos Credit: REUTERS
"We have to focus on our game. They could be superior to us on the pitch. From the technical point of view and speed they might be slightly better.
"All I am asking us is not to be fearful, to respect our opponents but not to fear them. Fear paralyses you and prevents you from doing your best.
"I want to see 11 players who believe in themselves. It may be impossible but maybe we have to be a little crazy. If we do not have this crazy belief then what is the point?"
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Source : https://sports.yahoo.com/man-city-vs-napoli-champions-171325122.html