Thursday, 19 August 2010

Timişoara 0 - 1 City

  • The first step on the march to Lansdowne Road. Or something like that. This was a strange game: Timişoara were strangely cautious - willing to sit back on the edge of their box and hit us on the break, when they might have been better posing us the sort of problems Spurs did on Saturday. As such, we had the momentum throughout, and while it took us a second half substitution to create real chances, we made enough to end the tie this evening. 1-0 away is a good result but it should have been 3-0 or more.
  • I'd like to think someone from Timişoara was at White Hart Lane on Saturday. Had they been, they would have known what slow starters we are, how much time we need on the ball, and how they could harry us out of the game early on. But instead they sat back, with two narrow lines of four on the edge of their box, allowing us as much possession as we wanted. Given our widthless 4-3-2-1 formation, we had no way around them to create chances. With our two new full-backs we might have attacked better but neither Joleon Lescott nor Pablo Zabaleta are desperately good in the final third, leaving us fairly toothless.
  • There are times when three defensive midfielders is a good idea - like Saturday. But there are times when it's a bad idea - and this was one of them. With Timişoara so deep it was so wasteful having Gareth Barry, Nigel de Jong and Yaya Touré on the pitch together. Fortunately Mancini recognised this ten minutes into the second half, and withdrew Barry for Mario Balotelli. We moved to 4-2-3-1, with Balotelli, Carlos Tévez and David Silva lining up behind Manu Adebayor.
  • The switch quickly justified itself. Yaya hit the post from a Balotelli corner, before Adebayor spun off László Sepsi and crossed low to Balotelli to tapped in from six yards. A very easy way to score his first goal for City - and our first of the season. That run, breaking from the left into the box, is why he's in the team. The frustrating thing from this point was our profligacy. Yaya, Balotelli and Adebayor all got into equivalent positions in the penalty area and through a combination of poor decisions and poor execution managed to blow them all. We needed to be ruthless and we weren't.
  • The chances are we won't pay for it in the second leg. 1-0 is a good lead to be taking to Eastlands. Of course, everything is possible but the odds are very much with us. By that point we'll have played another (home) game, and should have a bit more cohesion and understanding than we did today. But next up is Liverpool, at Eastlands on Monday.

1 comment:

jackblue said...

I thought we got better and better and at the end looked like a pretty cohesive unit.