A month that started terribly - with three consecutive defeats and terrible performances to match ended much better - as we beat HSV (on the night), West Brom and Everton.
Only one month left!
Arsenal (a) 0-2 (thoughts, ratings)
HSV (a) 1-3 (thoughts, ratings)
Fulham (h) 1-3 (BBC report)
HSV (h) 2-1 (thoughts, ratings)
West Brom (h) 4-2 (thoughts, ratings)
Everton (a) 2-1 (thoughts, ratings)
Player of the Month
I know most people would give this to Elano. The last three wins saw him finally reproduce his form of Autumn 2007; playing wide on the right he's graced us once more with his passing, his vision and his deadly set pieces. He's scored two penalties (both of which he won) and he set up Robinho for the opener in the Everton win. He certainly deserves praise for this recent up turn, but not this award. Not yet. Instead, I'm going to give it to our most consistent performer this month, the man who was narrowly edged out of the March Award by Nedum Onuoha. An honourable mention for Ela, certainly, but April's TLDORC Player of the Month is Shay Given. He's made big saves in every game. He kept the score respectable at the Emirates, when our ten outfield players did not deserve to leave with only 2-0 against them. He then put in a performance of genuine world class in the Nordbank Arena, allowing us to escape with only a two goal deficit and a glimmer of hope. After a disappointing defeat to Fulham, he did everything possible to keep us in the UEFA Cup, making some more crucial saves as City strove but ultimately stumbled out. One or two good saves in the West Brom game then led to the big match at Goodison where his Jedi-like reflexes kept out Maroune Fellaini at 1-0. The best £8.5million MCFC have ever spent.
Individual Performance of the Month
Elano v HSV (h)
Having denied Elano the more prestigious Player of the Month award, I feel like I have to let him have this one. Stationed on the right wing in the absence of Wright-Phillips, he danced and dazzled all night, the best he's played since 2007. The vision and the passing were inspired, in tandem with Ireland he started most of our best attacks. But best were the set pieces. A perfect penalty (his eighth for City), and two freekicks which hit the woodwork. A delight to watch.
Goal of the Month
Robinho v WBA.
Ireland gets the ball from de Jong in midfield, runs into space and then flights a beautiful pass over the defenders' heads, curling into the path of the on rushing Robinho who meets it perfectly to volley past Scott Carson. Honourable mentions for Ireland in the Nordbank and Ireland at Goodison - very similar goals set up by Robinho.