Thursday, 28 August 2008

City vs FC Midtjylland Player Ratings

Hart. Even before the penalties he was our Man of the Match. Pulled off a few very good saves, including a superb one down to his right early in the first half. From the start of the shoot-out he was clearly relishing it, and after conceding the first two, saved the next. The save from the third penalty was wonderful. The hero of the day. 10

Corluka. Scored the winning penalty with what could conceivably be his last kick as a City player. A good way to go, but his performance was not what it could have been. Caught too far up the pitch too many times, but failed to really provide much incision going forward. Made one good saving tackle. 6

Dunne. Good to have him back. Comfortably our best defender on the night. Won almost every header, and kept close to some lively opposition forwards. A few colossal tackles at crucial moments. And in a game not marked out by the quality of the passing, you can forgive his straight up in the air clearances. 8

Ben Haim. Not as accomplished as the last few matches. Caught out of position at times, and looked rather flustered by the challenge, and in those conditions. No surprise that he was the defender to make way for Richards. 5

Ball. Generally competent and solid, but with two stand out moments. A heroic sliding tackle to prevent Midtjylland going 1-0 up late on in the second half. And the run and cross which Ched Evans headed onto Danny Califf's face. Could the last two games have turned Hughes (and Cook) away from looking for a new left back? Or will he too be off before Monday night? 7

Ireland. After such a confident performance on Sunday, I was hoping for a bit more. Failed to cause genuine problems for a well organised defence. Was muscled out of the game too easily, and when in good positions, did not always produce a good final ball. Today's events in Manchester put his place in serious jeapordy. 6

Richards. Did very well just to be here today, but is not a genuine central midfielder. Full of effort and running, but lacks the touch and nuance to play here much in the future. Defended competently when moved back. 6

. Not a good day out. Failed to impose himself on the Midtjylland midfield, letting their physicality get the better of his undoubted talents. Had a chance to win it for City in extra time and blew it. Then missed his penalty. 4

Petrov. Not as influential as he has been so far this year. Was tightly marked, and only rarely got down the byline. Delivery was not very good, and passed when he should have shot in stoppage time moments after our goal. 5

Elano. Another attacking player who failed to replicate what he did against West Ham. Tried hard in the first half, was probably our most threatening player. Was willing to shoot for goal, unlike some of his team mates. In the second half the close attention got to him, and he went into Bramall Lane mode. Should have been sent off for a headbutt, Hughes did well to get him off. 5

. Tried hard but looked like someone whose only City game had been six weeks ago against EB/Streymur. Never really linked up with Elano as we presumed the two lads from São Paulo would. Will need some patience before we see the best of him. 6


Did an important job well. Made sure we kept possession when the temptation would have been to go long or throw everyone forward. Will do a job for the last thirty minutes of many more games this season, I hope. Took his penalty like a man with 59 German caps ought to. 7

Sturridge Showed glimpses of the fire and flair we expect from him now. Did not find the conditions or the opposition easy, but generally lively and hit one great shot onto the crossbar. 6

Headed the ball onto Danny Califf's face for the goal, and took his penalty beautifully. What more could we ask for? 7

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