Thursday, 19 February 2009

F.C. København 2 - 2 City

  • More pluses than minuses, for sure. Overall it was our best attacking performance in 2009, and our best performance away from home since Schalke in November. Conceding two leads (one in the 91st minute) was a blow, and not unfair given how we defended. But the front three - Robinho, Bellamy and Wright-Phillips - were all very good and ought really to have put the game beyond F.C. København.
  • It was, like Schalke, a much better executed game plan for an away performance than we tend to see in the Premier League. After a nervy first fifteen minutes we generally succeeded in soaking up pressure from the home side - those chances they did have were more often from avoidable instances of poor marking than anything else - as Kompany and Zabaleta increasingly blunted the opposition's attacks. And some of our counter-attacking was exhillarating. The quality of Ireland's passing, combined with the pace of Robinho, Bellamy and SWP meant that we frequently got in behind their defence and could have won the game comfortably.
  • So when F.C. København attacked in stoppage time, we should have been more than one goal clear. But we weren't, and our bad marking cost us. Richards should have been closer to Martin Vingaard, just as Nedum Onuoha let Ailton Almeida get away from him for København's first goal. It was good to have Richard Dunne back at centre half, but the fact that his and Shay Given's first game together in blue (they have played many times together in green) did not lead to improve communication. And with three Englishmen and two Irishmen in the back five we can't blame language problems either.
  • But who wouldn't have taken 2-2 before the game? It's certainly a better result for us than for them. Any win, a 0-0 or a 1-1 sends us through to a game with - most probably - AaB in March. Given our performance today (and theirs), our quality at home and our increasing comfort with UEFA Cup football, I'm genuinely hopeful that we can go through.


tommytheblue said...

i mainly agree, apart from exhillarating, if you found ant of that exhillarating then you need to get out more.

The defending was poor, our second goal, finsihed well be stevie ...but he wasnt marked, swp just ran past the defender. robinho pass to swp in the box , prob the best of all the efforts, but again poor finishing meant we couldnt kill off the game. The passing wasnt clinical enough. The balls going in the right directions but only robinho has the ability to really play a perfect ball. The defending was poor, pool will be looking on and will attack us set piece wise.

Overall, not convinced, best attacking display of 09 lol, without doubt. But still poor where and when it matters.

Gary Nolan said...

Im not sure about thefront 3 being very good, I thought SWP was terrible by his standards, Robinho wasn't in the game much and Bellamy kept choosing the wrong option.

ChrisR said...

Thank god for Onuoha's 40 yard thunderbolt to take some pressure off the frontmen