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Manchester City Kick Off UEFA Champions League Defense with Impressive 3-1 Victory Over Red Star Belgrade

Manchester City, the reigning UEFA Champions League titleholders, commenced their campaign to defend their coveted trophy with a resounding 3-1 victory over Red Star Belgrade at the Etihad Stadium.

The match, played 101 days after City’s historic European triumph in Istanbul, witnessed an exhilarating performance featuring a brace from Julian Alvarez and a strike by Rodrigo, overcoming an early setback.

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Red Star’s First-Half Surprise

Red Star initially took the lead on the brink of halftime when Osman Bukari’s goal was awarded following a VAR check for offside. This development marked an unexpected twist in a half where City had dominated possession and created numerous chances.

Julian Alvarez’s Impact

Julian Alvarez emerged as the catalyst for Manchester City’s comeback. Just 73 seconds into the second half, the Argentine forward swiftly restored parity. He showcased his individual brilliance, racing onto Erling Haaland’s clever reverse pass, dribbling around the Red Star goalkeeper, and slotting the ball home from a tight angle.

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Alvarez’s second goal, a free-kick intended more as a cross, took a fortuitous deflection off Red Star goalkeeper Omri Glazer and found the back of the net, completing City’s turnaround.

Rodrigo Seals the Victory

The game was made safe for Manchester City by Rodrigo, who exhibited a cultured finish in the 73rd minute. His goal showcased his versatility as a midfielder, affecting both defensive and attacking play, and underlined his commitment to contributing in various areas of the pitch.

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Notable Performances and Debuts

Matheus Nunes, making his full debut for Manchester City, demonstrated his talent by distributing incisive passes, delivering delicate crosses, and carrying the ball effectively. The Portuguese midfielder shared central space with Alvarez and Phil Foden, earning valuable experience alongside seasoned teammates.

Rodrigo’s Influence

The Man of the Match, Rodrigo, was a driving force for City throughout the game. Operating as a deep-lying midfielder, he played a pivotal role in protecting the defense and initiating attacks. His goal showcased his exceptional quality and forward-thinking attitude, emphasizing his significance to the team’s play.

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Group Stage Kickoff

With this victory, Manchester City kickstarted their Group G campaign in the UEFA Champions League with three valuable points. In a group that includes RB Leipzig and Young Boys, City aims to progress to the knockout stage, continuing their quest for European glory.

What’s Next

City’s next challenge sees them return to the Etihad Stadium to face Nottingham Forest in the Premier League. This fixture promises to be an exciting clash as City continues their domestic campaign alongside their European journey. The Champions League adventure continues with an away match against RB Leipzig on Wednesday, October 4th, as City seeks to assert their dominance in Group G.

Fidelis Musamba

Christian | City News Centre & TinnovAce founder/CEO | Full Stack Web Developer | MERN Stack Developer | Ethical Hacker | Blogger | Animator | Rapper/Songwriter | Problem Solver | Logical Thinker | Tech Enthusiast | Innovator • 💻 ☕ 📖 🎧

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