After the latest week of Champions League play, one of the big winners is Kevin de Bruyne. Initially, there had been some worries by soccer odds fans about how Manuel Pellegrini would integrate de Bruyne into his Manchester City side, but right now he is playing so well that it doesn’t really matter how well he integrates to the system. Martin Samuel wrote in the Daily Mail, “What are we to make of Wolfsburg’s demand of 46 million pounds for Kevin De Bruyne, a player who was given his chance and could not stay in the team of Chelsea?
The price is much less of an issue than the change he has brought as online betting fans have witnessed. DeBruyne has started six games now with City, combining EPL and Champions League fixtures: two on the right wing, one on the left wing, one in the left midfield and two at the #10 position. Pellegrini has versatility – and one of the brightest stars in Europe. He has already scored five goals and tallied four assists in those six games, most recently a left-footed winning goal that required calm in the midst of chaos. He is creating a chance every 24.8 minutes, a full five minutes last year than David Silva did last season.
Speaking of Manchester City, their penchant for late goals is becoming a Champions League mainstay. In their last six Champions League wins, they scored in the 78th and 86th minutes to knock off Viktoriz Plzen 4-2; they scored in the 85th and 90th minutes to edge Bayern Munich 3-2; they scored in the 86th minute to ice Roma, 2-0; they scored in the 90th minute to beat Borussia Monchengladbach 2-1; and they scored in the 90th minute to knock off Sevilla, 2-1. They have scored eight goals in the last five minutes of Champions League action in the last two years.
Any losers? Let’s start with English teams playing Champions League games on the road. Since November 2012, Manchester United are 1-8 in road CL games. Chelsea is 2-8 since November 2013. City are 2-4 since December 2013. Arsenal are 3-5 since November 2013. All in all, that’s 33 road fixtures for the best football teams in England…and only eight wins.
What about Manuel Neuer? A lot of people like to talk about how he has “revolutionized” the position f goalkeeper. However, the mistake that Neuer made to let Olivier Giroud knock home a goal has made him the goat on Twitter. It’s difficult being a goalie, week in and week out.
Jose Mourinho keeps complaining about his setbacks as well. Mourinho clearly has the skill to coach at this level, but he spends so much time whining after losses that he is eroding that goodwill.