Sunday, 19 April 2009

City 4 - 2 WBA

  • This is what European football does to you. After the energy and spirit sapping events of Thursday night, City produced a tired and limp performance today. There was little dynamism in attack, no confidence in the defence and we repeatedly conceded possession. West Brom looked fresher, sharper and hungrier than us. What a good job that they can't defend.
  • Although we raced into a 2-0 lead there was a sense that we weren't quite good for it. The first goal was a wonderful move, but against the run of play, and the second was lucky not to be disallowed. And having gone 2-0 up we conceded too much ground to WBA, inviting them onto us. It felt like it might turn into City 2 -3 Fulham from last year - a relegation-doomed going 2-0 down at Eastlands but fighting back to win. And when West Brom deservedly pulled it back to 2-2 I feared that was what we were going to get.
  • Fortunately, as good as West Brom's midfield were, their defence was horrible. And so when Jonas Olsson scythed down Elano in the box we were back infront, having been level for only two minutes. The last thirty five minutes was very nervy - despite having had our fingers burnt, we continued to make the same mistakes of the first half: misplaced passes, aimless long balls, silly fouls given away. It was far from pleasant viewing, and a bettter side than West Brom would have got back into the game.
  • But we held on, and scored our fourth on the counter in stoppage time. It is a credit to the team, I suppose, that we could score four despite putting in a performance so dysfunctional. Winning while playing badly is, apparently, 'the mark of champions'. And given how poor we've tended to be in the league game immediately following a Thursday night UEFA Cup game it's nice to finally pick up some points regardless.
  • And this more or less confirms our Premier League status for next year. We've now got five games to make up a five point gap on West Ham if we want Europa League football for next year. It's a huge ask. More realistic would be to pick off one of Fulham and Spurs, both three points ahead (but with inferior goal difference) for an eighth or ninth finish. Next stop Goodison Park. Can we take a point?

3 comments:

Jack said...

"the second was lucky not to be disallowed"
Although that seems to be the pundits verdict on the second goal I have to disagree. If the ref disallows it for Caicedo's push, he has to give a pen for Meita trying to decapitate Caicedo as the corner came in. So h played advantage.

Meanderer said...

I for one am really fed up of the boo boys after Sunday's game. I can't believe the abuse given to Hughes for bringing on Fernandes. Yes, Elano was playing brilliantly, but the man was the walking dead, he had signalled that he needed to come off. And then, Gelson - who I'm not sure will ever make it to being a top class premier league pro myself - gets booed as he comes on. I just don't get it. He works his socks off. Why would you boo a player for that?

And as for the sub decision - no, it's not a like for like change, in terms of either attacking temperament or quality, but who would we bring on instead. We have been lucky to have 13 or 14 fit premier league standard players all season. I appreciate some of the blame there sits with Hughes, certainly in the case of Bellamy (one full season in his career so far?!), but with the likes of Petrov & the Boj, we have had some genuine bad luck.

We cannot rotate, because the fringe players aren't good enough - hell Richards and Bridge aren't good enough in my view! We couldn't bring one of the untried kids on on Sun, West Brom were causing some real problems to our tired boys.

I for one, would like to see what Hughes can do for a season where he has 16 or 17 fit top notch pros, but regardless of others' views on that, booing at Eastlands gains us nothing and must stop.

Rant over.

pjdemers said...

@Meanderer

100% behind you my man. Boo boys take notice! Either get behind city the entire 90 minutes or stay the fuck home!