On a night where both Manchester clubs put in well-below average performances in the Champions League, it’s a shame that the major talking point ended up being a man who didn’t even step foot on the pitch: Carlos Tevez.
Incredibly, the Argentine striker refused to leave the dug-out to prepare to come on as a substitute in the second half of Manchester City’s game against Bayern Munich. With 35 minutes to go in the game and City down 2-0, it was perfect timing for Tevez to enter the match and be the game changer that we know he’s capable of being. But Tevez refused. Supposedly he was upset that he didn’t come on earlier in the game when Nigel De Jong came on to replace Edin Dzeko.
To be honest, I’m sick and tired of the Carlos Tevez saga. The sooner he leaves Manchester City (or rots on the bench), the better. This is an immature person who always wants to be at the center of attention and seems to put himself first instead of the team. For me, his refusal to come on as a substitute for City is the last straw. Even if he comes out and apologizes, he’s not fit to wear the shirt of Manchester City.
Give credit to Roberto Mancini. He didn’t mince his words in the press conference after the game when he said:
“This can never happen at a top club that one player can refuse to help his team-mates in an important match like tonight. In the next day I’m sure I will speak with Khaldoon [al-Mubarak] because he is the chairman and he will decide everything but let me ask a question: Do you think at Bayern Munich a player would ever behave like this. At Milan? At Manchester United? No. That is the answer. It is the same for everyone.”
And Mancini added:
“If we want to improve like a team, like a squad, Carlos cannot play with us. With me, no – it is finished.”
While Tevez stole the headlines, the story lines should have been about Manchester City’s and Manchester United’s woeful performances in the Champions League.
City started their match well in Germany, matching Bayern Munich stride-for-stride in the first 20 minutes. But City lost their concentration and made some stupid errors in the back which allowed Bayern to score twice. In both instances, I felt sorry for City goalkeeper Joe Hart who saved both of the initial attempts at goal, but City’s defense was too slow to scramble the ball away, allowing the German team to react first and knock the ball into the back of the net.
For a team of superstars, Manchester City played very poorly. Dzeko deserved to be substituted after a poor game for City, but Mancini’s decision to bring De Jong on for Dzeko was very puzzling. It didn’t make sense at all.
If it wasn’t for Joe Hart, the scoreline could have been much worse for City. But based on this performance, the Citizens have a lot of improvements to make if they hope to progress in this tournament.
At Old Trafford, there was no indiscipline exhibited by Manchester United players, but we did see a very abject performance by United after they got complacent with a 2-0 half-time lead. After plenty of sloppy passes and poor link-up play, where they were desperately missing the influential role that Wayne Rooney plays in midfield. Basel deservedly came back in this game with three brilliantly taken goals.
The Swiss side were incredibly dangerous on the attack as they continually pushed three players forward to cause havoc in the Manchester United area. Alexander Frei was especially potent for the Swiss side. And despite their herculean efforts, they almost held on for a shock 3-2 win. That was until Ashley Young scored an injury time equalizer as he headed in a cross from Nani.
Despite Man United finishing the game 3-3, this was a highly entertaining match that exhibited how surprisingly good Basel was, and how sloppy United were.