Monday, 31 August 2009

Portsmouth reax

Oliver Kay, The Times

While their football was never fluent, City looked extremely comfortable until the final stages, dominating with the kind of assured, disciplined performance reminiscent of Chelsea or Liverpool on their travels. Given that City took only 11 points from 19 away games last season, that is quite a compliment.

It is too early to say where Mark Hughes is up to in his efforts to turn City into world-beaters, but this hard-earned victory, courtesy of Adebayor’s header on the half-hour, offered clear evidence that they are moving in the right direction. Just how quickly they are moving should become a little clearer after the next two games, at home to Arsenal and away to Manchester United, but, having taken maximum points from their first three games, with Adebayor scoring in each, they have the look of a solid, competitive team.

David Hytner, The Guardian

It ought not to have come to that for City's millionaires but they can, at least, reflect upon another clean sheet – they have yet to concede this season – and the comfort that when the disparate parts of their new team come together, they will give somebody a hiding.

City felt their way slowly into the game but their threat from set-pieces had been advertised before the goal that proved to be the winner. From Gareth Barry's free-kick, Portsmouth's stand-in goalkeeper, Asmir Begovic, failed to collect under pressure from Joleon Lescott and, when the ball dropped to Micah Richards, he seemed set to score. Begovic, though, reached out instinctively to make a fine recovery save.

Sam Wallace, The Independent

Mark Hughes is spoilt for choice when he selects his attacking options – for an awkward win on the south coast yesterday it was the £25m man from Togo who he picked ahead of Robinho. Robinho might have the tricks but Adebayor has the power and the presence to make Manchester City effective away from home. He delivered again yesterday.

Adebayor's third goal in three league games was a classic centre-forward's header; left alone at a corner he powered through the crowd to meet the ball. It is not as if Adebayor lacks the grace of a truly great striker – you could see that in the way he weaved through two defenders to shoot from the left in the second half. But when it comes to these tricky away games that City have to mop up if they are to be serious contenders, Adebayor is invaluable leading the line.

Jason Burt, Daily Telegraph

How they will love that at City, but they will also enjoy, during a summer in which money has sloshed around, that the expensive components of Mark Hughes’ squad are quickly coming together.

This was an impressive, hard-working performance with City solid in defence - bolstered by Joleon Lescott’s Premier League debut - and fluid in attack.

They went ahead just after the half hour with Adebayor rising powerfully, after easily losing his marker, the new Portsmouth captain Aaron Begovic, to head Gareth Barry’s corner beyond stand-in goalkeeper Asmir Begovic.

Matt Barlow, Daily Mail

Emmanuel Adebayor's header on the half-hour maintained a 100 per cent record for both teams. City have won their first three Premier games without conceding a goal, while Pompey have yet to acquire a point and, although only one goal separated these two hastily assembled teams, it was clear which one possessed the greatest quality.

Gareth Barry and Stephen Ireland purred in front of City's back four, Shay Given remains immense and Adebayor played with an appetite lacking at Arsenal last season.


Wigan Blue said...

Hard to believe some of these commentators are watching the same game sometimes, but there you go. Seemed pretty comfortable when you take the wrongly disallowed goal and two penalties into account (What did that ref have against SWP? He was clattered all match).

Bring on the Arsenal - we'll see if the decision to sell Elano was such a good one then.

jackblue said...

Just like to ask Wigan Blue who Elano could replace? Elano is gone get over it, and in my opinion he went a season too late.

Wigan Blue said...

At the moment we don't have a playmaker at all. Barry is doing his best, but his tendency is to fall back. Stevie Ireland is being played so deep as to be ineffectual. SWP is isolated on the wing, and there's nobody linking up forward movement. As you say, Elano's gone, so thank God we've started to score from set pieces.