Manchester City’s mid-week win against CSKA Moscow mustn’t go undervalued.
It was a tremendous week for Arsenal as they defeated Borussia Dortmund away from home but a result in Manchester at the Etihad Stadium was arguably more significant for a number of reasons.
Manchester City won comfortably against CSKA Moscow thanks to a brace from Sergio Aguero and a hat-trick from Alvaro Negredo which can now create a very positive ripple effect for the club.
The result moved City onto nine points, putting them second place in group d behind Bayern Munich, ensuring progression to the first round of the Champions League knock out stage.
That’s a positive achievement and creates momentum for Pellegrini’s men considering they have fallen short in the European tournament over the last couple of seasons.
It’s a very ominous sign for the rest of Europe because City have one of the best squads of players around, filled with different options and the side is arguably only going to get stronger from this point forward.
City, like any other side, will have the chance to kick on in the January transfer market with Pellegrini having plenty of resources to go after players that he sees as good individuals to improve the squad and the balance of the team.
City’s progression in the Champions League will allow them to go after signings in mid-season, with players potentially coming in (who aren’t cup tied) knowing they have a very good chance of winning a lot of silverware over the second half of the season.
Some inconsistent league form and that defeat to Bayern Munich in the earlier round of the Champions League, showed some shortcomings in this City side that Pellegrini can now deal with.
The real test for City is going to be when they play Bayern Munich again in December and how they get on if they are handed a monster of a last 16 knock out tie against one of the favourites to win the Champions League.
It may all seem a bit daunting as City head into the knock out stage of the Champions League for the first time but as Arsenal have shown, if you can play good football and build momentum then no side can get in the way.
image: © geetarchurchy