Bravo already voiced concern over sharpness
CLAUDIO Bravo could have seen the unfortunate events of last week coming.
The City goalkeeper has had a difficult time at the Etihad. Having been controversially brought in to replace fan favourite and England No.1 Joe Hart in Pep Guardiola’s first transfer window at the club, he was part of a defence that failed to impress and his form would cost him his place in goal, temporarily to Willy Caballero and then permanently to Ederson.
Having lost his place in the starting XI, some good performances in the Carabao Cup during the 2017/18 season that saw the Blues win their first silverware of the Guardiola era redeemed his reputation among some supporters.
However, a serious injury in his third season saw him sidelined and he is far from challenging Ederson for the No.1 spot.
Speaking to journalists Pol Ballus and Lu Martin in their book, The Making of a Superteam, Bravo is not too complimentary about his time at City as he moans about a range of topics including the reaction he got from supporters, the lack of respect goalkeepers get in England and the time it takes to get from his Wilmslow house to training and back.
It is his comment about his second season at City, however, when he was the cup goalkeeper that has borne out over the last week.
“This is a very different job if you are not getting a game,” he said. “It’s much harder to maintain your competitive edge.” So it has played out.
He looked rusty well before he made the rash decision to charge out of his area in the Champions League game at Atalanta that saw him earn a red card less than 40 minutes after coming on for the injured Ederson.
And while it would be harsh to blame him for Fabinho’s screamer, he was certainly one of the players culpable for the third when he thought about coming for the cross before retreating and being unable to keep Sadio Mane’s header out at his near post.
Bravo wasn’t the reason City lost at Anfield but his lack of match sharpness was a factor that contributed to their defeat as a team that needed everything to go its way saw too many fine margins go against them.
Guardiola is hopeful that Ederson, who missed his first City game through injury on Sunday, will be fit enough to return after the international break when Frank Lampard’s Chelsea visit the Etihad.
City’s manager was at pains last week to defend Bravo and insist that he had the same qualities as Ederson but by the Chilean’s own admission the Blues lacked a touch of sharpness without the No.1 that they cannot afford to repeat.
City keeper Claudio Bravo