Trouble in the Eastlands
Today I was able to take in Champions League action on my own TV in the comfort of my home, rather than on my computer screen in Iowa City.
I was able to take in Manchester City — who currently lead the Premier League with 34 points, five ahead of Manchester United — face Napoli.
The star of the match was 24-year old Napoli striker, Edinson Cavani.
Cavani, a target for City during the summer transfer window scored two goals in a shocking 2-1 defeat.
Even more shocking was the fact, City’s best scorer, Sergio “Kun” Aguero started out the game on the bench and wasn’t subbed in until almost the end of the game.
Cavani scored in the 17th and 49th minutes against City and England goalkeeper Joe Hart. Mario Balotelli scored City’s only goal in the 33rd minute.
During the final 20 minutes or so of the game, City boss Roberto Mancini generously subbed players and put out Samir Nasri, Aguero, and Adam Johnson to desperately try and attack Napoli.
Despite many chances on goal for the Sky Blues, Napoli prevailed.
This loss was enormous for Manchester City due to the fact they may not move on to the next round of Champions League play. Napoli currently holds the tie-breaker against City and are among Bayern Munich as the top two teams in the group.
City has to beat Bayern, which come to Manchester in two weeks and then hope that Napoli lose or draw to fellow group member, Villareal.
This situation is certainly unexpected by players, fans, and the media. Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour has poured in close to £800 million since summer 2008 to rebuild the team by acquiring star players.
It will certainly be entertaining to read the British papers the next couple weeks leading up to the match, due to the enormous amount of pressure City will face from this embarrassment.
If City somehow lose before the knockout stages of Champions League I am somewhat nervous to see the money they will throw at more star players. This is a team currently that was expected to not only contend, but to dominate and win silverware this season and for the foreseeable future.
Almost forgot the best part about City losing… this picture from Getty Images.