Julian Alvarez Saves City From Danger After a Wasteful Matchday 1 in the UEFA Champions LeagueSports Soccer 

Julian Alvarez Saves City From Danger After a Wasteful Matchday 1 in the UEFA Champions League

Despite being heavy favourites prior to their match against Crvena Zvezda, Manchester City require an in-form Julian Alvarez to dig them out of trouble after wasting an awful amount of chances in the first half. After Erling Haaland and Phil Foden fluff their lines in front of the indomitable Omri Glazer, Red Star went up the other end and got a shock lead heading into the interval. However, just like what happened at the weekend against West Ham, City came out with hunger and got an immediate equaliser through Julian Alvarez. City continue pushing and eventually the two goals from Julian Alvarez and one from Rodri helped the defending champions to a 3-1 comeback to start their campaign.

Also Read: Evan Ferguson Scores a Sublime Hat-Trick as Brighton Defeat Newcastle 3-1

Julian Alvarez and Erling Haaland Are a Formidable Pairing

While Erling Haaland took most of the praise last season for breaking record after record, Julian Alvarez silently enjoyed one of the best seasons a player could have. To put into perspective, Julian Alvarez won the World Cup, Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup last season while scoring 23 goals and providing 6 assists.

After the unfortunate injury of their teammate Kevin De Bruyne, Julian Alvarez had the chance to cement himself a place in the starting 11, and he did brilliantly, as he got himself 2 goals and 3 assists in 5 games this season. With him playing as a number 10 behind Erling Haaland, the two have developed a linking chemistry reminiscent of the duo of Spain’s Fernando Torres and David Villa. 

For example, the two demonstrated a perfect push-and-run tactic for their equaliser, as Alvarez lay off the ball to Haaland before running past the Norwegian to latch onto his one-two and round the keeper for his first goal. Although the two did not combine again on the scoresheet this game, they had carved open Red Star on relentless occasions, and we expect the pairing to continue developing their partnership further. 


Pep Guardiola’s Official Post-match Statements: “He Has Everything.”

Julian Alvarez is rapidly becoming a guaranteed starter for Pep Guardiola, as he has started the season in top form for City, scoring four goals and providing four assists in six games across all competitions. Many of which either are from deficits or critical moments. The Spanish Manager quickly recognised this feat and praised the Argentinian for his contribution and the City staff for hiring him. 

“He is so young, what a signing the club has done from Argentina. He has everything – fighting, goals, assists. A lovely guy, playing behind Erling, an incredible threat. I am really pleased for him because he deserves it. Last season, we had Kevin and Gundogan in that position. Gundogan was in incredible form. Sometimes, it was hard to find space, but I never had a doubt.”

Pep continued by stressing the importance of others stepping up and not overplied and tired the Norwegian. “With Gundo gone and Kevin injured, we need players to be close to Erling. Do not put all the responsibility on the shoulders of Erling to score goals. That is why when Phil plays there, Julian, they create a lot of chances. Just now, we are missing them.”

Also Read: Gareth Southgate Agitated by Comments on Harry Maguire After His Own Goal in the 3-1 Win Against Scotland

Julian Alvarez for Ballon d’Or? 

With claims of either Erling Haaland or Lionel Messi poised to battle each other for the Ballon d’Or this year, what else does Julian Alvarez need to do more to put himself in the conversation? 

According to French actor and sports commentator Frank Leboeuf, he would give Julian Alvarez the edge for the 2023 Ballon d’Or award. “If we give the award to the player because of what he won, or how many goals he scored – I am sorry, there is one guy who made the quadruple. He did what Messi and Haaland did, but he did all of it in one – World Cup, Premier League, League Cup & UEFA Champions League. His name is Alvarez, from Argentina.”

However, Frank Leboeuf claims that the chances of him winning are close to zero as the young striker is a less attractive figure to support than Haaland and Messi. “Of course, nobody cares about him as politically he is not interesting to anybody.” What do you think? Let us know in the comments below or on our site here

Live Score Websites to Watch the UEFA Champions League

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