Monday, 23 August 2010

City 3 - 0 Liverpool

  • Who says three defensive midfielders is boring? This was Mancini's first home game of the season but it felt like his biggest test; and we produced our finest performance since the win over Chelsea last December. This was what we had been waiting for; strangers playing like a team, with cohesion and understanding, playing in unison. We outplayed a fairly listless Liverpool side, patient when we needed to be and and direct when that was required.
  • I have to say the team surprised me. Emmanuel Adebayor and David Silva were both benched for James Milner and Adam Johnson, while Micah Richards replaced Pablo Zabaleta. This move back to 4-1-4-1 meant that we had both the extra body in the midfield and natural width, the two things we have long been searching for.
  • For the most part we controlled possession. The midfield triangle of Nigel de Jong, Gareth Barry and Yaya Touré outmanned and outmuscled Steven Gerrard and Lucas Leiva in midfield; we had the ball when we wanted it. Going forward we moved the ball quickly to James Milner and Adam Johnson, both playing outside-in from their natural flank. But the first goal came from Milner drifting to the right, hitting the by-line and cutting the ball back to Gareth Barry breaking into the box. This was the movement, across the flanks and from midfield, that made us so impressive.
  • Liverpool had some moments of their own on the break but neither of their forwards looked close to full potency. Joe Hart had to make a diving save from Steven Gerrard from distance, and a Peter Schmeichel star jump save (I thought this before Andy Gray said it, honest) from Fernando Torres from close. For the most part we were comfortable. Our second came from a set-play, as Micah Richards headed in a corner thanks to Carlos Tévez distracting Pepe Reina.
  • The third came when Adam Johnson, tormentor of Liverpool all night, bought a penalty as only he can and Tévez slammed home. From there it was clear: so much so that Jô came on. I am not going to read anything much into this, it's much to early, suffice to say that this squad has great performances within it, that they can do so without David Silva, that energy and imagination are not mutually exclusive and that we can play good football with three defensive midfielders.


Anonymous said...

Get in!

budakon said...

Now that surprised me.
Not that I didn't think it was possible that it would come so soon and from what on paper looked like a defensive setup.

Amongst many positives, two big things stood out for me tonight:
1. 6 Englishmen started the game
2. There were no passengers for the first time since???....that's why we traded Superman for Milner. Everyone worked their socks off and played for each other. We pressed and harried without the ball (was I really watching City?) and played crisp incisive positive play with it.

We defended from the front and attacked from the back with confidence and cohension and looked soooo SOLID.

Huddo said...

You're not on the "Three defensive midfielders" bandwagon too are you?

Barry and Yaya are really not defensive midfielders, they're just midfielders. Sure, relative to the three ahead of them, they sit a little deeper (and De Jong, sure is defensive) but whilst they have played defensive roles in teams, it doesn't make them 'defensive midfielders'.

They are hardly Makélelé types are they?

Jarrad Liam said...

I cant believe you didn't mention Kompany once.

Lescott was gash, he needs to go. Cant see room for him when Kola and Boa are back.


Jeff said...

Yeah, Lescott does not look the part of a fullback. Hurry back, Aleksandar! Anyone see him with his lady sporting a cast?

Blue Moon said...

Huddo is right -- but I think our host was speaking tongue in cheek about 3 defensive mids.

I was shocked to see Yaya essentially playing "in the hole" behind Tevez. Had a good laugh when Henry Winter of The Telegraph tweeted that Yaya not mobile enough for the role. Looked pretty good to me. Obviously the players and staff are still working out the kinks, but nice. Can't wait for the right match to come along where we play with a front 3 of Tevez, Ade, and Balo with NdJ, Milner, and Silva behind them...

Micah had a blinder -- couldn't believe how well he played. Vinnie as well. If we can take care of Timi on Thursday and Sunderland, we can get it together, get fat against Wigan and Blackburn, and then really test ourselves against Chelsea in 5weeks.

I imagine the press is having a hard time with this result - 6 englishmen played for the club THAT IS RUINING ENGLISH FOOTBALL!!!! and defeated "everyone's favorite english manager" in the process. HA! I loved this result like Kevin Keegan would have loved it, loved it if... well, you know ;-O

Anonymous said...

A great day to be a City fan, I am just lapping up all the positive media articles. What a welcome change!

longwayfromhome said...

Magnificent restrained performance from City. Determination at the centre of everything they did. Milner and Johnson were all energy whilst Barry, De Jong, Micah, and Kompany excelled in stopping the Liverpool threats at all costs. Compare Lescott to Agger before drawing conclusions on how well he's playing out of position!
Will now spend my morning watching for how the hacks try and put a negative City spin on how one of their favourite son's was put to the sword so comprehensively.

trinder said...

If you were to rank our six summer signings in the order in which we needed them, I reckon it was the top four that weren't on the pitch at any stage last night.

To produce a performance like that without Silva, Boateng, Kolarov and Balotelli gives me so much hope for this season.

And I'm with Huddo (whether or not JPB is being sardonic): Barry and Toure are classic central midfielders; De Jong is a defensive midfielder; players like Silva and Milner are the creative midfielders.

Patrick said...

Amazing how much of a difference Yaya makes in the squad. Instead of hurried long balls sent blindly over the top, everyone seems to be composed and keeping the ball on the floor!! keep it up boys!!!!!