Thursday, 25 February 2010

Stoke reax

Ian Herbert, The Independent

On the plus side, Adebayor, whom Mancini seems resigned to being without for at least three games, foraged well for possession in the first half and saw a sublime 35-yard strike clawed away; substitute Shaun Wright-Phillips showed energy; and City's defence repelled Stoke's aerial threat fairly well for 80 minutes or so. But Stoke are not as invincible as their unbeaten run this year and their fourth-round defeat of Arsenal would suggest.

James Ducker, The Times

City started much the brighter and should have been in front inside 20 minutes, but with Bellamy spurning the opportunity, Stoke heeded the wake-up call and gradually began to gain a foothold.

Unbeaten in their previous ten matches since the turn of the year, Stoke are awkward opponents to face, particularly at the Britannia Stadium, and as the first half wore on, it was clear they would take some shifting.

Joe Lovejoy, The Guardian

For Mancini, on the other hand, the honeymoon may not be over but it is certainly drawing to a close. After replacing Hughes in December he got off to a flying start, with six wins in his first seven games, but the next eight have produced only two victories and already there are murmurs of discontent with his training methods emanating from the dressing room. The fans were less than chuffed when English football's nouveau riche managed one point from two league fixtures against the paupers of Hull and were well beaten by two of their rivals for a top-four finish, Tottenham [actually under Hughes - J] and Everton. They will be even more disgruntled now.

Graham Chase, Daily Telegraph

City enjoyed the best of the opening quarter of the match and should have taken the lead when Adebayor fooled Dean Whitehead on half way and broke through on his own only to square to Bellamy and the Welshman to waste the opportunity with a heavy first touch.

Ian Ladyman, Daily Mail

The country's richest club have now won just two games in eight. But they showed plenty of fight last night. They have become rather dull to watch under the rather pragmatic Mancini but they certainly defend better. It was against this background that they battled and scrapped.

Stoke, though, are feisty opposition. To concede an equaliser so soon after taking the lead could have crushed teams with lesser spirit but Tony Pulis sides tend to be of the sleeves-rolled-up variety and this saw the home team through last night.

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