Saturday 24 March 2018

Claudio Bravo has shaky debut as City edge United in Manchester derby

Claudio Bravo looked uncertain even as Manchester City won on his debut
Claudio Bravo looked uncertain even as Manchester City won on his debut

Claudio Bravo endured a baptism of fire as Manchester City's new goalkeeper made his debut at Manchester United.

Here, the Press Association's Chief Football Writer Simon Peach looks at how the former Barcelona man fared in the 2-1 win at Old Trafford.


Ever since Pep Guardiola's appointment, England goalkeeper Joe Hart looked a man in jeopardy. The fans' favourite was soon shipped off on a season-long loan to Torino and Bravo arrived from Barcelona, giving City a goalkeeper more comfortable in possession. The sweeper-keeper style was in evident in the first half, playing the ball around the back with his defence. Ability is one thing, but knowing when to keep it simple is another. Bravo was fortunate not to give away a penalty and see red after turning in his own box and having to lunge at Wayne Rooney to win back possession.


Bravo had precious little to do in the opening 40 minutes as City attacked and the home side struggled to create. Things changed when a simple, floated free-kick from the right came in, requiring a simple catch. Instead a collision with John Stones saw the ball fall loose and Zlatan Ibrahimovic volleyed home impressively to peg Guardiola's men back. He will need to learn to be stronger from set pieces and crosses if his Premier League stint is to be successful.


A solid if unspectacular start quickly changed as Ibrahmiovic's goal clearly rattled Bravo. A save soon after could not disguise the 33-year-old's shakiness, rushing off his line to collect the ball, only to fail in his pursuit as Ibrahimovic's tame shot was cleared off the line. The regular wobbles continued until the dying minutes - an afternoon to forget, albeit Bravo has a win to savour.

Press Association

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