Friday, 22 October 2010

City 3 - 1 Lech Poznań

  • After the minor disruption against Juventus, our Europa League campaign is back on track. What's more, with Juve only managing a draw in Salzburg, we now have a serious chance of winning the group. A win in Poland two weeks from now should be enough. I must say I was disappointed with the level of the opposition. I wasn't expecting Barcelona but they are Polish champions and so at the very least you anticipate a base level of organisation and energy. But it was a professional and, at times, exciting performance from City.
  • The big question before the game was whether we could win without Carlos Tévez. He was rested, and replaced by Emmanuel Adebayor. Gareth Barry, James Milner and Yaya Touré were also rested so behind Manu was a three man band of Adam Johnson, David Silva and Shaun Wright-Phillips, with Nigel de Jong and Patrick Vieira anchoring behind them. I had been keen to see Silva and Johnson starting together - Mancini does not seem too keen on having both of them on the pitch at the same time - and while Johnson provided a few quick thrills, Silva produced his best performance yet in blue: a masterclass of movement, touch, vision and passing.
  • His two crosses for our second and third goals, the first from the byline, the second from deeper, were so good that they almost detract attention from Adebayor. Because this really ought to have been his night. All three goals: one off a spin, a perfect header and a half-volley were excellently taken, and a reminder that his skill set is unmatched by many other strikers in English football. I know I'm a critic of his, and this has not changed my mind to the extent of wanting him to start on Sunday, but it was, well, heartening to see him scoring goals again.
  • It wasn't perfect. Without Vincent Kompany or Kolo Touré we were fairly messy in defence, conceding sloppily early in the second half. We ought to have conceded a second when it was still 2-1, and it took our third goal for us to settle again. That said, Mancini chose to rest Kompany and I don't think he'd do that for games against stronger opposition.
  • Now it's only two days of rest before Arsenal come to Eastlands on Sunday. We'll have Tévez back, and Kompany and Milner and probably Barry too. Mancini has spoken of maybe including Adebayor alongside Tévez. In my mind, there are teams that you can afford to play 4-4-2 against at home and teams that you can't. And Arsenal are certainly of the latter category. But that can wait. For now we're four points away from the last 32.

1 comment:

Henry Crun said...

You forgot to mention the entertainment provided by the Posnan fans. All the synchronised clapping, bouncing up and down and seat changing made me think Polish telly must comprise of nothing but old MGM musicals.