It was a touching moment in every sense. It came after 65 minutes of this dead rubber of a Champions League play-off second leg, and it came from Manchester City’s heart. “Stand up if you love Joe Hart,” the City fans chorused as the Etihad rose in salute. Hart responded by touching the club crest over his heart.
In their desire to express their respect for the long-serving Hart, City fans stood up to be counted last night. They played it perfectly, voicing their deep admiration for Hart while also signalling total belief in their new head coach, Pep Guardiola, Hart’s nemesis. Guardiola is the future, Hart the past, and City fans saluted both. In Hart, they exalt. In Guardiola, they trust.
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