Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Villa reax

Henry Winter, Daily Telegraph

Barry should have been alive to the danger, should have risen earlier to meet the ball but his legs lacked the spring. He was badly caught out by Dunne’s jump, the Irishman heading powerfully past the exposed Given.

How the Villa fans loved the sight of Barry squirming in embarrassment. How the City supporters appreciated Dunne refusing to celebrate against his old club, a lesson to Emmanuel Adebayor. The Blue Moonies even joined the claret-and-blue-clad hosts in singing Dunne’s name. Respect.

Kevin McCarra, The Guardian

Considering the lapses experienced by the established top four in the Premier League the question may not be how good Hughes's players are in absolute terms but how good they actually need to be for that cartel to be broken. City are still appraising themselves and Micah Richards, for example, lost his place at right-back to Pablo Zabaleta last month.

That switch, of course, is not a universal remedy. Joleon Lescott and Kolo Touré, bought in at a combined price of £38m, are still not authoritative. That, too, puts strain on Shay Given, a fine shot-stopper who lacks the height to snatch crosses out of the heavens.

Neil Moxey, Daily Mail

But these days there is no sidelining Bellamy, who proves himself to be every bit as big a box-office must-see as his higher-value colleagues.

He proved with a double in the 4-3 defeat against Manchester United at Old Trafford two weeks ago that he can trouble the best defences and last night he struck his fourth goal of the season.

His crisp right-foot finish midway through the second half showed that manager Mark Hughes's expensive project at Eastlands is the real deal. Stephen Ireland slipped a ball past Dunne, Emmanuel Adebayor showed the presence of mind to slip the ball inside for Bellamy to fire into the roof of the net.

Peter Lansley, The Times

Dunne steamed in to head the goal that had City rocking on their heels and, with dignity uppermost in his mind, he refused to celebrate. But it was Mark Hughes’ side who finished on top, fully deserving their first draw of the season after Craig Bellamy equalised midway through a second half they dominated.

When Dunne was named man of the match in stoppage time of a pulsating clash that signalled the teams’ ambitions to compete with the top four of the Barclays Premier League, both sets of supporters applauded.

Sam Wallace, The Independent

Only when the hour mark passed did City force their way back into the game. The replacement of the limping Nigel de Jong with Ireland was critical. Ireland picked the ball up from Shaun Wright-Phillips and played Adebayor into the right channel of the area. Adebayor's cut back was met first time by Bellamy for the equaliser.

This was not the spectacular result that will have sent City into the international break one win away from drawing level with Chelsea at the top of the Premier League. But it did say something about their durability and their ability to come back against a very good side – not qualities that have been a feature in their immediate past. There are signs that the masterplan might yet be coming together for Hughes.


martinmurphy111 said...

Henry winter, sensationalist drivel from the master of .......

Mark said...

Not sure I agree about Henry Winter - he published a series of articles (and on his twitter feed) that were highly complimentary of Hughes and the way the team were gelling. He was however like a bear with a sore head when Ade wasn't banned again for his celebration, so not surprised there was another dig in there....

All in all, he's one of the better ones I'd have his opinion over the obnoxious Martin Samuels anyday.