Date Published: Tuesday, 27 November 2018 10:38
They came for a slice of fixed, but they were a taster of something altogether more oral-watering. They came for a look at this little feather, but their message was transmitted by something more eye-catching.
The secret is: European football is given a new French kiss of life. Monaco was victims of their own success two seasons back, almost reaching the top of the football before being mercilessly sent back from whence they came. They are selected and piled, the remnants of their eyebrows spread far and wide by Europe's elite, even before the final credits began to roll on their 15 minute celebrity.
Lions will not match the semi-final petition of their legion and rivals, and should not be expected. But to be one of only seven teams still unbeaten in the season's Champions League, playing the tournament favorites both home and away, is a remarkable achievement. They are on the verge of their first place in the knockout stages since 2012.
Manchester City has focused 39 different teams since Peppa Guardiola is appointed manager, and not only to hit only four of them. Lions retain their location in an eclectic list, including Celtic, Wigan and Wolves.
They can only hope to keep up with their main cast members for more than Monaco. There is no personal defining prospect compare with Kylian Mbappe on this side, but Bruno Genesio has stumbled across a personal potential goldmine. Memphis DePay and Nabil Pecker dominate the headlines and claim the spotlight; They played second rounds to their all-time themes on Tuesday.
No longer, the elves have never been more alright. Jason Deneyer, 23, made it his personal mission to show City that they left this summer, exploding in central defense. Ferland Mendy, 23, gave a more like a clear impression of his £ 52m name, making a difference at both ends. Maxwell Cornet, 22, took both his goals in delightful fashion, doubling his tally for the time in one game against one of the best sides of the continent.
But it was in the middle where the biggest impact was made. Tanguy Ndombele, 21, and Houssem Aouar, 20, are phenomenal, providing tantalizing glimpse of the midfielders of the future.
Naboboele completed 93.7% of his passages, and had 95 touches as he dictated the rate of depth. His confidence in possession is striking, a player with less than 100 first-team career appointments past gliding and the City's expensively-assembled army. He has completed more dribbling (3) than Rakhh Sterling and Radyah Mahrez combined, and only Air Lourport (6) made more accurate long passages than his five.
Together with it, aouar is arguably even more impressive. He carried the ball forward from midfield with grace, and proved impossible to dispossess. He was also as destructive as he was deft, his five tackles, two interceptions and three clarions forming the basis of Lion's admirable gameplay.
It was the perfect blend of poisons and power, skill and strength. Nöbbele and Aouar found it as easy to Bully City in submission with their physical as they had charmed them in indecision with their technique at a time. They would have been forgiven for feeling overdue, but now it will certainly be known abroad.
That the additions came up to a 33-year-old Fernandinho and a 32-year-old David Silva – and a side-potentially looking for successors to both – said it all. Many asked Guardiola's decision not to start much food in France, but that call was justified by full time: as brilliant as the 18-year-old, it would be a test that he would not either have passed or studied.
This game was supposed to provide the platform for fodders to prove its talents, or for fixed to show the Premier League What it was missing. Instead, Lion's own new generation stalled the show. Now the whole world is watching.