Sunday, 31 January 2010

Pompey reax

James Ducker, The Times

“We didn’t play well,” said Roberto Mancini, the City manager, with considerable understatement. But, given that Liverpool and Aston Villa won on Saturday, the Italian could have been forgiven for not getting too worked up about the performance and instead savouring the three points and the goalscoring return of Emmanuel Adebayor.

The outcome might have been very different had John Utaka, in the fifth minute, and Anthony vanden Borre, in the 37th, not spurned excellent chances to take the lead. But even with City out of sorts, there seemed little chance of Portsmouth mounting a fightback after conceding twice in the closing stages of the first half.

Louise Taylor, The Guardian

Indeed after a low-tempo 45 minutes City were somewhat flattered by a ­two-goal half-time lead. With their usual attacking catalyst, Craig Bellamy, benched and Barry taking time to reacquaint ­himself with the wide left-midfield role, ­Mancini's team stuttered.

Michael Walker, Daily Mail

City are one point behind Tottenham in the all-important fourth place with two games in hand. Adebayor is back in the fold. Superficially things are looking up.

But this victory was achieved without anything approaching eloquence.

As Roberto Mancini said: ‘It’s a victory, it’s a clean sheet, but we didn’t play well. But today is important because sometimes it’s like this.’