Opinion: City have rediscovered their most important quality in last three games
There’s a perverse pleasure to be taken in seeing a team as garlanded as Manchester City grinding results out.
Once again it felt like Pep Guardiola’s side were not at their free-flowing best against Porto in the Champions League, but just as they did against Arsenal on Saturday, they found a way to get the job done.
That’s a trait that has been lacking in their game since the end of their last title-winning season, when they showed nerves of steel to win their last 14 Premier League games, many of them by the finest of margins.
Last season when City had an off day the result usually went against them. They’ve by no means been perfect this season, witness that calamitous defeat to Leicester City, but they’ve hung around in games, dug deep and found ways to win, or at least not lose, as against Leeds.
Given the speed at which Champions League games will arrive this season starting with a win was essential and that is what City managed, despite struggling to penetrate a deep Porto defence.