One of the most entertaining aspects of the influx of social media accounts across the world is that it now gives sports teams an extra medium to poke fun at their rivals on. No sport is this more evident than soccer, where teams now take every opportunity that they can to lambast, tease, and be plain old cruel to their opponents.
Manchester City had to contend with online abuse when they travelled down to London to face West Ham United at the London Stadium on Wednesday night. Before the game the club, or at least the individual who runs their Twitter page, were very excited that Manchester City’s brand new team bus was going to make its debut.
To celebrate they innocently uploaded a picture of Manchester City’s bus apparently travelling through London, past arguably its most famous landmark Big Ben.
There was just one problem. The image had been drastically photoshopped. Because their picture suggested that London was being bathed in glowing sunlight, when in actual fact the weather was much cloudier and depressing. West Ham United’s Twitter account quickly pounced on this gaffe, and decided to make the rest of the soccer community aware of Manchester City’s attempted treachery.
Manchester City refused to give up the charade, though, as they continued the clever back and forth with their opposition’s Twitter account by uploading another photoshopped image of their team bus outside the stadium.
However, rather than it being outside the London Stadium, which is where West Ham having been playing their home games since the beginning of this season, they jokingly photoshopped it outside of the Boleyn Ground, where West Ham played between 1904 and 2016.
Once the actual contest had begun, though, Manchester City made sure that West Ham’s Twitter account didn’t have any other reason to laugh at them, as they ran out comfortable 4-0 winners thanks to goals from Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva, Gabriel de Jesus, and Yaya Toure.
It was Gabriel de Jesus, who was making just his second start for Manchester City, that was the most impressive, as his goal meant that he has now scored one and assisted two in these encounters.
After the game when he was quizzed by the BBC about the performance of City’s £27 million ($34 million) acquisition from Palmeiras, rather than heaping praise on him in the usual manner Pep Guardiola bizarrely compared him to a watermelon.
“You never know. It’s like a watermelon. You have to open to see if it’s good or not. The prospect was good. He’s a young player. But he’s had a huge mentality.”
Pep Guardiola then went into more detail about why Gabriel de Jesus’ performances, which began with a substitute appearance in the draw with Tottenham Hotspur at the star of January, during which he scored a goal that was ruled out for offside, have been so good.
“He played a few minutes against Tottenham and created chances and it’s not easy to play at Crystal Palace. Gabriel Jesus is a fighter with instinct for the goal. He’s good at assists too. He made a marvellous assist against Palace and today with Kevin de Bruyne. He has dreams about what he wants to do in his future career. He wants to become something in world football, and we’re going to try to get it for us.”
[Featured Image by Alex Livesey/Getty Images]