Belgium are currently the number one ranked side in world football, overtaking superpowers like Brazil who they eliminated from last year’s World Cup. Simply put, no country per capita is remotely producing as many top footballers as they are. So what’s their secret?
Vincent Kompany, 11 years a loyal Manchester City servant and a symbol of the stratospheric changes the club has undergone in that time, scored his first goal in 13 months at the most opportune moment and in the most spectacular fashion last night.
Manchester City can consider themselves highly unfortunate not to beat Wolves. They hit the woodwork three times, Rui Patricio made a world-class save from Raheem Sterling, Gabriel Jesus missed a simple chance, and the Wolves’ goal should have been disallowed for handball.
And then there was one. Well, two actually, but the World Cup third-place play-off is definitely one of those nominally competitive fixtures which presents a fairly robust challenge to my old friend Declan Lynch’s wise maxim that there’s never a good reason not to watch a football match.
The period 1991 to 2006 will probably carry little significance to most people reading these words, but in that not inconsiderable time frame, Manchester City registered precisely zero victories over Arsenal. To say the Gunners had become a bogey team was to massively misunderstand the word bogey.