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Dinamo Fight Man City Tough In 2-0 Loss At Etihad

September 30, 2019

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After a 4-0 Champions League opening match victory over Atalanta, Dinamo Zagreb had to put their big boy pants on Tuesday night in Manchester as they marched into the Etihad against arguably one of the best football teams on the planet – Manchester City.



Even without Belgian midfielder star Kevin de Bruyne, City were favored in Vegas to beat Dinamo by four goals; and it looked like it would go that way early in the first half. Man City peppered the Dinamo goal with solid chances and even hit the crossbar, but the Croatian champions weathered the storm to go into the locker room at halftime scoreless.



Dinamo only managed ball possession for 26% of the match but they were playing for the draw against a team that nearly has a $200 million payroll for this season. And for 65 minutes it was working until Raheem Sterling finally broke the deadlock. City would score an insurance goal 20 seconds from the final whistle which meant Dinamo only conceded one goal in 94 minutes against them. Pretty impressive.



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This group was always going to be won by Man City. For Dinamo, taking points off of City was never part of the equation. Now the real Champions League season begins for them as they have a back-to-back home and away series vs. Shakhtar Donetsk. It will most likely decide who takes second place in the group and plays int he CL knockout round in February. Dinamo play in Ukraine first and a draw would be considered a success. If they can somehow grab four points from the two Shakhtar matches, Dinamo would be sitting pretty as their last group stage match with be at Maksimir against a Manchester City squad who will have wrapped up top spot by then.





Ante Kvartuč
Posted By: Ante Kvartuč 56 comments

  1. Maminjo says:

    Bigger game is the Atalanta vs Shakhtar match in Italy.

    If Atalanta loses that one, Dinamo has a very good shot at finishing third and continuing with Europa after this CL campaign.

    Atalanta has actually been doing well in Serie A, so I would be surprised if they lost. A draw would make things interesting, with both teams losing points.

    Hard to tell if Dinamo has a real shot at the Round of 16 just yet. We could get our hopes up, then Dinamo loses in Italy and Ukraine and it’s all over.

    Similar thing happened when Dinamo beat Arsenal, only for Olympiakos to squeak out two wins against Dinamo after.

    Either way, this game in Manchester means essentially nothing as it should and will likely be a loss (and that’s fine).

  2. Maminjo says:

    I forgot that UEFA goes head-to-head first…

    If Atalanta loses to Shakhtar at home in Bergamo, they are pretty much done.

    They won’t beat Man City in either game, and will likely lose in Ukraine as well.

    It will come down to them having to beat Dinamo in Italy by 5 goals.

  3. BZ says:

    Got my hundo down for Dinamo +3000, worth it to me. You gotta think, if given 30 chances Dinamo would win one, right? Let’s hope it is tomorrow, if not I’ll just have to cancel my Mani/Pedi scheduled for tomorrow afternoon.

    Livakovic’s true identity will be revealed tomorrow.
    Is he a hero putting up a zero? or just Subasic in disguise?

  4. Medo says:

    There could be far more cash going into the coffers of Dinamo with good performances from a few,even in a loss,than coming in 3rd and qualifying for Europa.
    Does orsic get a sniff from anyone if he bags one against city…Olmo…will he increase his value …livakovic getting peppered and standing on his head should throw an extra 10 million their way.Dino peric I haven’t heard much about him but a guy 6’6” and pretty mobile should have a few suitors?

  5. Dannyj says:

    Really would be great if we get close to a world class goalie for ya going forward
    Suba was great but he was what above average at his peak

    Anyways let’s go Dinamo
    U just never know…

  6. Slavonac from Canada says:

    The pressure on Dinamo’s midfield and defense is gonna be really tough today. My guess is they’ll have to deal with an overwhelming amount of possession by Man City and they will have to remain compact. I hope they can weather the storm for the first 30 minutes of the game cause its gonna be hell and things can go wrong very quickly.

    I have no expectations from Dinamo today. I’d be ecstatic if they got a tie but I’m expecting a very heavy loss! We are comparing two teams that are miles apart as far as quality and pay scale goes but I do also realize that these are just men against men and everything is possible!

    Good luck to Dinamo!

  7. CroatiaU14 says:

    Dinamo u19s tie Man City u19s 2-2. Leon Šipoš with both goals for Dinamo.

    I agree with Slavonac, I’d be extremely happy with a tie. Just imagine if we win today. It’d be nuts. I’m trying not to get my hopes too high though.

  8. Maminjo says:

    Is it?

    Dinamo’s U19 team has been beating top end clubs Europe for a while now.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Dinamo’s U19s were disappointed with just a draw.

  9. Maminjo says:

    After this Champions League campaign, Dinamo will probably make 150 million in prize money and transfer fees total.

    They only paid something like 5 million Euro in total transfer fees for this current squad, haha.

  10. CroatiaU14 says:

    @Maminjo seemed like Dinamo was happy with the tie, I saw vids of them in after the game. I’d take it too if I were them, an away tie vs. City, most likely the only team that is a threat to them winning first place.

    This U19 team is stacked. I like how they still have a lot of the same guys from last year.

  11. Anonymous says:

    The Boers gave away the country they built so their soccer team could play internationally. Stupidity has always been a capital offense.

  12. Maminjo says:

    ——- Halftime Report ——-

    Man City is doing what anyone would expect and totally dominating possession (like 80:20).

    However, they haven’t had any real shots on target. They had around 4 or 5 chances, but they were all misses (with one hitting the upright).

    Dinamo has been pretty compact and good defensively, and these 4 or 5 chances that Man City had were only from poor passes and mistakes made by Dinamo’s central defenders.

    Too many bad passes in Dinamo’s own goal area were made by guys like Dilaver and Kevin Theophile-Catherine. Peric is also trying to catch guys using the offside trap as well. Pretty risky move.

    But, Kevin Theophile-Catherine is just to slow and nervous back there. He made at least three very weak passes in the goal area, that were intercepted and lead to chances. These should have been hard clearances, not light passes.

    Livakovic has good fundamentals, and was caught in a couple of bad spots, but held his ground (and didn’t bite) forcing Aguero (and some other players) to pass it off instead of trying for goal.

    Our LB and RBs are doing okay in Stojanovic and Leovac.
    It’s just our three central defenders that are playing too nervous, but it looks liked they’ve calmed themselves down.

    Olmo hasn’t really touched the ball. Same goes for Bruno. Orsic has had some touches and if anyone is gonna score on Dinamo, it’s gonna be him. He’s hungry for it. You can tell.

    But overall, Dinamo has been very compact and limiting Man City’s chances.

    If our central defending trio can calm their nerves and make solid clearances (instead of those weak scary passes), then Dinamo might pull away with a scoreless draw.

    Of course, if we make a mistake, the wheels can come off and we lose 3-0, LOL.

  13. Slavonac from Canada says:

    quite honestly…Petkovic might be good and holding up the ball but he’s lazy as fuck to chase guys down…looks like a liability!

  14. Maminjo says:

    He’s not good when his team has no possession.

    He’s more of a stalker who floats around, waiting for a pass, and pulls some nifty move.

    He’s not some high endurance Mandžo type of guy.

  15. Slavonac from Canada says:

    a jebiga…soo much for the comparison to Mandzukic.

    I guess what you’re saying Maminjo is that he’s effective when we have the ball…but not much when we don’t?

    maybe that why he failed in Italy?

  16. Dannyj says:

    Well they defended valiantly
    Atalanta lost so they have a fighting chance at 2nd place
    3rd should be very realistic other wise

  17. Maminjo says:


    He’s similar to Kalinić in that he needs to be fed the ball.

    The possession in this game is like 80/20 against him, so it’s rare that the National Team would ever be in a situation like this.

    We haven’t even had one cross in this game, and every chance we had was just a quick individual counter by Oršić.

    This just wasn’t a good game to play him, but Dinamo doesn’t really have the depth in their roster to put on a Rebić or Olić type of player.

  18. Maminjo says:


    Actually, the fact that Atalanta lost at home gives Shakhtar an advantage over us for second place.

    We will have to go into Italy and do the same thing (assuming we split points with Shakhtar).

    However, this pretty much guarantees that Dinamo finishes in third at worst.

  19. Dannyj says:

    Oh I see
    Well hopefully they can beat Shaktar then

    Crappy as I think it was tied late

    But for them to go to Europa league after a few good games in champions league could be healthy for them and maybe they can make some noise there

    Livakovic was solid
    Moro from what I could tell looked decent as well
    Peric couple hard challenges but maybe a potential repka

  20. Maminjo says:

    well, they did go through VAR for a contested penalty and it was denied…sooo, I guess it wasn’t so clear?

  21. Slavonac from Canada says:

    Maminjo, if Olmo kicked Silva or Aguero in the head, raising his foot that high, would he have been red carded? Would the game have changed?

  22. CroatianPerson85 says:

    @Slavonac – couldn’t agree more re your comment on Petkovic. On the ball he’s good, off the ball not so much. You need to be pulling some Messi, Ibra esque type offensiveness for people/your team/coach to be ok with you offering little without the ball. I haven’t seen enough goal scoring or creating from Petkovic to give him a pass on his work off the ball. 1 move against Slovakia isn’t enough.

    Part of the reason why Mandza lasted as long as he did under Allegri, Heynckes. He could score with proper service but he was a workhouse without possession grinding down the back line, creating chances freeing up space for players around him. He leave his heart on the field as much as he pissed me off when not finishing.

    Only special players can play one way and Petkovic is not special enough to merit his lax defensive work.

    Is Petkovic good enough to be a regular maybe not starter on our NT at the moment for Strikers.

  23. Maminjo says:


    It was early in the game AND it was Man City at home.

    No ref was going to give a red for that due to those circumstances above…but it definitely could have been one.

  24. Maminjo says:


    Petkovic is a useful depth player for our National Team…but he’s still not as good as Krama.

    We just need to stick with whoever is in better form (or in recent games) whoever is not injured.

    If we need pressing, we can always sub in Rebic off the bench.

  25. BZ says:

    if you think Petkovic is lazy on D, wait til you
    see Kramaric. He looks like me when I go on vacation in the Dominican Republic.

  26. BZ says:

    I took Ante’s advice (as I always do) and took the over for another $100. Another loss. There goes next week’s mani/pedi too.

    @Ante-do u have any performance stats on your betting advice? Cause it seems like I always lose when I take your advice.

  27. CroatianPerson85 says:

    @ BZ and Maminjo – valid points. Krama is a ghost defensively more often than not. I feel though that he’s done more offensively for the NT. Granted we won’t know what Petkovic can do unless he has enough playing time. 2 different styles. Yes agreed, whoever is in form and not injured should be playing.

    I like Vlasic and Brekalo. Should they get the nod over Rebic and Perisic for the next games or come off the bench again albeit much earlier ? I think they are craftier against bunker teams generally speaking. Is it 3 games left ? Will Hungary bunker or come out and play? They’re only behind 1 point.

  28. Ante Kvartuč Ante Kvartuč says:


    Sorry buddy. I actually waited to place my bet right before kickoff. When I heard de Bruyne was out, I changed my mind from Over 4 to Dinamo +3. Every single City game has gone over this year. They’re averaging something like 3.5 goals per game.

  29. Maminjo says:

    Hungary is bunkering 100%.

    They are one point behind, but they hold the head-to-head record against us.

    After the game in Split, Hungary takes on Azerbaijan at home whereas we go to Wales.

    It’s not unlikely for us to lose points in Wales and then Hungary leapsfrogs us for first place in the group after they beat the Azeris.

    Going into the final round with Croatia playing a desperate Slovakia side with Hungary one or two points ahead of us AND holding the head-to-head record on us is an amazing position for them to be in.

  30. The truth says:

    A real frustrating part of this group for Croatia has been the lack of ties elsewhere

    You would’ve thought Azerbaijan would pull off a tie against someone else as well

    I still think they will

  31. Dalmaita says:

    We get a phantom foul called on Brozovic and a bogus handball called on Perisic in world cup final. Both early in the game and you can’t show a red to someone kicking the opposition in the head during the group stage?

  32. Elvis says:


    They hate us but we don’t care!

    If Croatia knocks off to many big counties alot of money is lost.
    Remember that bogus call against Brazil in 2014. The offical had to resign. Or that offside goal and Corluka foul from Spain.
    The Portugal stomp on Luka ete etc etc.

  33. vuki says:

    I just saw the Petkovic comments and I couldn’t agree more. I don’t think he is starter material for the national team. He’s capable or random brilliance but he hasn’t even scored that many goals even when he plays weaker teams in the HNL. Kramaric, on the other hand, is lazy on defense but it doesn’t matter because his finishing is top tier for me and is easily better on the ball than Petkovic. He is selfish but is still a better passer as well. The only thing Petkovic is better at than Kramaric is physicality and that’s mainly because of his height.

    I still personally put Rebic at ST over Petkovic. Rebic’s finishing can be inconsistent and his dribbling is basically just Olic’s dribbling but slightly more clunky since he’s bigger. And by that I mean, he’s decent on the ball and can get by a defender, but often times dribbles too much and loses it. But I still say he’s overall better than Petkovic because of one quality that I absolutely love about him. He will pressure the defense and make them uncomfortable with continuous running (much like Olic). Yes, he gets a lot of stupid yellow cards, but that’s because he just plays like a bull and runs into people. Rebic basically just needs to start finishing the easier chances and then people will see him as more valuable.

  34. Slavonac from Canada says:

    CroatianPerson85, I can appreciate many styles of players, as long as their style ends up being effective enough for the overall team. I can’t see how a player at this day and age can walk around the field while his entire team is under severe pressure and then at the end of the game state he “should have reacted earlier”…thats a damn cop out and a lackadaisical comment. If I was his teammate I’d tell him to go pound sand! The pressure was predictable and fully expected and Petkovic looked like he was picking daisies…what a terrible performance from him at a crucial game!

    Maminjo, I understand and agree that Petkovic plays well in a system where we control the play, he is more effective BUT for the love of God, some sacrifice is required.

    BZ, never get confused to believe that Kvartuc has soccer knowledge and use his betting tips on anything soccer related. He knows who’s who and can name every player, where they play and what year something vital might have happened but he’s a deer in headlights when it comes to watching and identifying whats going on during a game. Take that advice and hopefully you’ll save a few bucks for a pedi!

    Kramaric is not someone I enjoy watching, nor is he someone I’d ever want to play along-side. Yes, he can score but in my opinion…at what cost? In this game there are simple so-called rules or settings in the game where a pass come to you, a player makes his run and you might fake one way and send the player over-lapping you with a pass. If Kramaric is the one receiving the ball and Perisic is over-lapping out on the wing, you can bet that 90% of the time Krama will try to do things himself…and ONLY if he is completely shut down and running into trouble will he then try to send a ball to Perisic, who by then is already covered.

    Krama in the box is very good, Krama outside the box is still very talented, shifty, can create…but in this game when the ball moves faster than any player and he has the ball…he frustrates the living shit outta me.

  35. Slavonac from Canada says:

    BTW Maminjo, I asked if “Olmo kicked Silva or Aguero in the head, raising his foot that high, would he have been red carded? Would the game have changed?”

    The kick was head high while Olmo was standing fully upright. I think that was a definite red if things were the other way around. Even if Man City went a man down I do believe they would have won…but I believe the high foot, then kicking a player in the head and drawing blood should have easily been a simple call.

  36. vuki says:

    Good question truth. From what little I’ve seen of Leon Sipos (highlights and basic stats) he looks to be a decent finisher and makes good runs into space. I was actually planning to try to keep a closer eye on him after last match so I’ll let you know what I think. He hasn’t been prolific in the 2. HNL, scoring only once. However, he also has only played more than 70 min in one of his 5 appearances.

    I think Roko Baturina is trusted more than he is which is why he has already made a senior appearance. I personally rate Sandro Kulenovic over both of them right now, but that could just be because I’ve seen him play more. We do have a decent few young strikers with these 3, Mario Cuze, Michele Sego, Dion Drena Beljo, and Igor Matanovic (who could also play for Germany). So hopefully at least one of them turns out good.

  37. The truth says:

    Thanks for the info. I read some Croatian media hype on him calling him a dinamo jewel but saw on your write ups you thought he was a middling prospect. Decent dinamo u19 run though

  38. CroatiaU14 says:

    @truth like Vuki said, he hasn’t seemed to be too special. He’s only 19 though so he has a lot of time to prove himself. I think he’s pretty tall but I remember that he’s not the fastest.

    A lot of the offense on this U19 squad comes from really good ball movement in the midfield, then stretching the play to the wings. They have great team play.

  39. Maminjo says:

    We haven’t seen Kramarić play with Brekalo and Vlašić.

    We need to see what our “high talent” offensive lineup can do when playing together.

  40. BZ says:

    Agree with many of you,

    needs to be tested.

    I would love to see it.

  41. Idemo says:


    And did u watch the var, 1 they reviewed the wrong one and that one was still a pen, plz don’t be a homer
    They were all clear pens ref prob won’t ref again

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