Ederson’s Man City heroics might mean soup diet as Ferran Torres needs more seasoning

As he bit down on his newest matchday accessory, Ederson would have been forgiven for thinking, “I really shouldn’t be here”.

Pep Guardiola only found out Manchester City ’s first-choice goalkeeper could play on the morning of Saturday’s game at Leicester City, after the Premier League and FIFA came to a resolution with regards to the dispute over players not being released to play for countries on the UK’s travel red list during the international break.

Not to besmirch Scott Carson and his cult hero status, but it is safe to say Pep Guardiola’s side would not have claimed a hard-fought 1-0 win without their brilliant Brazil international.

Ederson’s first key involvement at the King Power Stadium was a painful one.

The reigning champions dominated the initial action and should probably have already been in front by the time Jamie Vardy sprung down their right flank and crossed towards Harvey Barnes.

Accompanied by the similarly brave Kyle Walker, Ederson flung himself at the feet of the Leicester attacker to avert the danger but emerged with a bloodied mouth for his troubles.

Tissue issues

He had to change his jersey and – in a move that was more Sunday league than Premier League – played the rest of the first half with his mouth stuffed full of what looked like a family box of Kleenex.

If Ederson’s exploits come at the cost of him reverting to a liquid diet for the next few days, it at least continues a theme.

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 11: Ederson of Manchester City saves from Ademola Lookman of Leicester City during the Premier League match between Leicester City and Manchester City at The King Power Stadium on September 11, 2021 in Leicester, England.
Ederson was not scared to put himself in harm’s way at the King Power Stadium.

“Ferran has to eat a lot of soups at dinner time to try to be compared with Jamie Vardy, what he has done in his career,” Guardiola remarked at his pre-match news conference, to widespread bemusement when discussing the development of in-form forward Ferran Torres.

As it happens, Pep was using a literal translation of a Spanish idiom – something you might say to a young child to encourage them to grow big and strong.

In footballing terms, Ferran is certainly on that path. He scored a brace in City’s 5-0 win over Arsenal before an international break where he promptly advanced his Spain tally to 10 goals in 20 caps.

City failure to sign a specialist replacement for Sergio Aguero and Guardiola’s assertion that winger Torres is probably best used as a number nine places a considerable amount of pressure upon the 21-year-old, although he appears more than adept when it comes to shouldering it.

Learning the trade

As the visitors dominated early on at Leicester, Torres was bright and alert. The 28th minute save he drew from Kasper Schmeichel will have drawn nods of approval from penalty box veterans, given it came about from an attempted lay-off going awry and a ricochet falling back into his path.

Lucky? Of course, but Torres’ tenacity and awareness demonstrated a player who always feels as if he is in the game when the ball is close to goal. Those are instincts that are hard to teach.

Leicester’s deep-lying defence meant the former Valencia youngster was unable to demonstrate his aptitude for piercing runs in behind before the break but a chance arrived when Ilkay Gundogan released him in the 55th minute.

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 11: Ferran Torres of Manchester City shoots whilst under pressure from Caglar Soyuncu of Leicester City during the Premier League match between Leicester City and Manchester City at The King Power Stadium on September 11, 2021 in Leicester, England.
Ferran Torres was unable to add to his goal tally as Man City beat Leicester 1-0.

The pass and run were both perfect, but Torres shot wastefully wide of the near post. If the transition from wideman to striker is to stick, those are the sort of opportunities he simply must put away.

Ferran saw the last of his four attempts blocked shortly before Bernardo Silva netted decisively and Raheem Sterling replaced him in attack.

Special from the specialist

It was over to Ederson to help preserve a slender advantage. He saved brilliantly from Ademola Lookman on the end of Kelechi Iheanacho’s cross.

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He then flung himself effectively at the feet of ex-City striker Iheanacho, not caring a jot for his earlier injury.

Ederson’s immaculate passing and absurdly calm approach to elite football matches are the main things that endear him to City supporters. But once again he showed himself to be crucial when delving into the muck and the weeds of ‘proper’ goalkeeping, busted mouth and all.

The adaptability of Ferran and others will continue to be a huge asset in a Guardiola team but sometimes, when the pressure is on and the points are on the line, a specialist is what is required.

What did you think of Ederson and Ferran Torres’ performances against Leicester? Follow our City Fan Brands Editor Dom Farrell on Twitter to get involved in the discussion and give us your thoughts in the comments section below.