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The current European champions eagerly welcomed Crvena Zvezda to the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday, with the goal of launching their 2023/24 UEFA Champions League title defense with a victory against the Serbian side. However, Barak Bakhar’s team also has a history of European success, having tasted glory in 1991, and they were determined to secure their first win on English soil in fifty years.
Manchester City found themselves trailing for the second time in less than a week on Tuesday evening, conceding a goal just before halftime when Osman Bukari scored to give Crvena Zvezda a surprising lead at the Etihad Stadium. Bukari was played through on goal by Mirko Ivanić and remained composed when facing Ederson one-on-one. A VAR check confirmed that there was no offside.
However, City quickly leveled the score just ninety seconds into the second half when Julián Álvarez capitalized on Erling Haaland’s pass. The Argentine forward rounded Omri Glazer and slotted home from a tight angle, setting the stage for an exciting second half.
On the hour mark, Álvarez completed his brace with a free-kick that took advantage of a mistake by Glazer. The goalkeeper tried to punch the delivery away but misjudged his connection, allowing the ball to sail uncontested into the top corner, giving City full control of the match.
With less than twenty minutes left in regular time, Rodri added City’s third goal, marking his first goal on the European stage since his decisive strike against Internazionale in Istanbul. Receiving a pass from Phil Foden, the Spaniard elegantly danced through the defense before curling the ball past Glazer.
Manchester City’s next UEFA Champions League match will be an away game against RB Leipzig on October 4th. Crvena Zvezda will be hosting Young Boys at the Rajko Mitic Stadium for their next fixture.
- MCI: Ederson; Gómez, Aké, Dias, Walker; Nunes, Rodri; Foden, Álvarez, Silva; Haaland
- CZV: Glazer; Rodic, Dragovic, Djiga, Mijailović; Stamenić, Hwang; Mitrović, Ivanić, Bukari; Ndiaye