Manchester City came from behind to beat Crvena Zvezda 3-1 in their opening match of the 2023/24 UEFA Champions League group stage at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday. Omar Bukari gave the visitors a shock lead in the 45th minute, but Julian Alvarez equalized for City just after the break. Alvarez added a second goal in the 60th minute, and Rodri sealed the victory in the 73rd minute.
City dominated possession for most of the match, but they struggled to create clear-cut chances in the first half. Crvena Zvezda defended resolutely and took their chance well when it came.
However, City came out firing in the second half and equalized within two minutes. They then took the lead and never looked back.
Venue: Etihad Stadium, Manchester
Date: September 19, 2023
Time: 8:00 PM CET
Ederson; Walker, Stones, Ake, Cancelo; De Bruyne, Gundogan, Bernardo Silva; Mahrez, Alvarez, Foden
Borjan; Gobeljic, Dragovic, Pankov, Rodic; Petrovic, Kanouté, Sanogo, Falco; Katai, Pesic
Crvena Zvezda took the lead in the 45th minute through Bukari. The midfielder picked up the ball on the left-hand side of the pitch and curled a fine shot into the top corner of the net.
City equalized in the 47th minute through Alvarez. The Argentine striker finished off a flowing team move, involving Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden, with a clinical finish.
Alvarez scored again in the 60th minute to put City ahead. The striker latched onto a loose ball in the box and fired a low shot into the bottom corner of the net.
Rodri added a third in the 73rd minute to seal the victory. The Spanish midfielder finished off a corner kick with a powerful header.
Manchester City’s 3-1 victory over Crvena Zvezda is a good start to their UEFA Champions League campaign. The hosts came from behind to win, and they showed great character to do so.
Julian Alvarez was the star of the show for City, scoring two goals and providing a constant threat. Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden were also excellent, and the overall performance was very impressive.
Crvena Zvezda defended well in the first half, but they were unable to cope with City’s pressure in the second half. The visitors will be disappointed with their performance, but they will need to pick themselves up for their next match against Sevilla.