Friday, 28 August 2009

Palace 0 - 2 City

  • More like our previous two league games than most would have expected, in terms of selection, performance and result. I was anticipating wholesale changes - Petrov, Zabaleta, Weiss and Onuoha all in the team - but a comfortable win against placid opposition. What we got was quite the opposite in every regard: our first choice team, a spirited Palace side and a narrow win with some rather nervy moments.
  • Just like the Blackburn and Wolves matches, we failed to control the game as much as we may have liked. With only Gareth Barry and Stephen Ireland there to prop up what was essentially 4-2-4, and Palace's energetic midfield constantly pressing us, we could never fully settle as we would have liked. Wright-Phillips did track back, but too often it was three or four Palace midfielders up against Barry and Ireland and we were overrun.
  • The plus side of 4-2-4, though, is that there were brief periods when our attacking play was compelling. We impressed in the first twenty minutes or so of both the first and second halves, creating more than enough chances to win the game. But Tévez, Wright-Phillips and Adebayor all missed good opportunities and we could never really get clear of Palace. We're going to tear someone apart next month.
  • The same group of players have now played four games in the last twelve days. I know they're all professional footballers and all that, but I do wonder if Hughes will make any changes at Fratton Park on Sunday. Robinho isn't exactly earning his place in the side at the moment, and it's possible that Hughes will want another body in midfield - presumably Nigel de Jong - if not this Sunday then certainly against Arsenal and United. Because I'm just not sure how sustainable this four forwards set up is.
  • But let's not take our eyes off the key point here: unlike last season, we managed to negotiate our way past a difficult away trip. Given our trophy hunger we can't trivialise simple progress. And two key players scored their first goals of the season. Hughes has talked about the winning mentality we need - the ability to grind out results in difficult circumstances. Of course, I'd rather we won by playing well. But we shoudn't turn our noses up at simply winning for the time being.


jackblue said...

.. and we scored from a corner :-)

simon said...

I think we should have bought Moses at half-time to give Micah a rest.