You shall see that in every season, there is a time when the eventual champions play nothing like it, but still go on to win. The Frederico Macheda moment has become a legend that will go on for many years even if Macheda himself slips out of the footballing radar.
But its these dogged days, fighting performances, that eventually go on to decide who goes on to lift what defines a season – a trophy.
One might be inclined to mention skill, strategy and a plethora of other things, but more than anything it is a skill of the mind. To know you’re cramped up, but the will to almost command the ball to land where you stand. And that mentality, that vital force that draws the line between champions and talented comes from winning. It comes from such strength of steel that manages to turn setbacks into the greatest source of motivation.
I saw something of the sort last night. Man City scored with the last kick of the match. That one James Milner pass that changes the fortunes of Man City in their inaugural Champions League season. You can almost sense that there are more Frederico Macheda moments. The question is what jersey is going to pull it out this season. History would say Manchester United. And we all know history repeats itself. But then there will always be a first time that it doesn’t.