Five games this month, and pretty good. Two wins, two draws and a loss is as well as we've done for a while. The Portsmouth game was obviously terrible, but the last three performances have all been very solid.
Middlesbrough (h) 1-0 (thoughts, ratings)
Portsmouth (a) 0-2 (thoughts, ratings)
F.C. København (a) 2-2 (thoughts, ratings)
Liverpool (a) 1-1 (thoughts, ratings)
F.C. København (h) 2-1 (thoughts, ratings)
Player of the Month
It has to be Craig Bellamy. He scored four of our six goals this month - I'm definitely counting the one at Anfield, regardless of whether Gary Mabbutt takes it away from him or not - making it five out of seven for City thus far. For the first time since Nicolas Anelka we have a centre-forward who is quick, fit, and comfortable with his own game and the Premier League. That pace off the last shoulder and nous in front of goal is something we'd been seriously lacking, and in one much-maligned swoop Mark Hughes has fixed it. And, while he may not get on with Robinho, their link up play in the last three games has been increasingly impressive. I can smell a cricket score victory at some point in March. Honourable mentions to Ireland, Kompany and Given by the way.
Individual Performance of the Month
Shay Given v Middlesbrough
His City debut and he won us the match. Four fantastic saves from Afonso Alves preserved the three points in a game which would have been agonising to lose. The step up from Joe Hart was evident very quickly.