Friday, 17 December 2010

Juventus 1 - 1 City

  • There is not too much to say about this. An experimental side fought from behind to take the point that guaranteed our winning Group A, as Lech Poznan could only score once in Salzburg. It's obviously beneficial for us to be seeded, although I'm not too keen on playing Napoli or Sevilla over two legs. As I write we're ten minutes away from the draw, though.

  • As with the recent home win over Red Bull Salzburg, Mancini abandoned his possession approach we see in the Premier League, playing a much more direct 4-2-4. Again Patrick Vieira (all brain, no legs) partnered James Milner (ahem) in central midfield, with Adam Johnson and Shaun Wright-Phillips either side of Alex Nimely and Jô up front. We started well, direct, high-tempo and with Johnson repeatedly isolating the right-back. An early goal would have been nice, but it didn't come and a much more experienced and able Juventus side soon came into the game.

  • Niccolo Gianetti (me neither) put them ahead just before the break, with blame to be apportioned two thirds to Micah Richards and one third to Dedryck Boyata. I was impressed with how we continued to play after the break, though, and we deserved our equaliser. Jô, abysmal until that point, received a pass from Johnson, spun and slid the ball past Alex Manninger. Things don't often come off for Jô, but when they do he has the ability of making you wonder if Kia Joorabchian might not be that bad after all.

  • Juventus did not look desperate for a winner and with Lech failing to score the extra goals they needed in Austria the game drifted off into the cold night. A decent showing from some of the players - though how frustrated Johnson must be in playing with some of those clowns - and now we're through. The serious stuff starts in February.


pjdemers said...

The one thing Jo does quite well is make off the ball runs to create space for others (exhibit A: Johnson's goal vs West Ham). Other than Silva, there are few others who make the necessary diagnal runs when the opposition are parking the bus around the penalty area. He seems to be moving forward under Mancini, which is making me call into question my criticism of Mancini's man management skills. Still if RM can make Jo a productive player there's no reason he can't do the same with Adebayor, who is more than capable of taking over for Tevez.

Tim said...

And how frustrated I am reading your increasingly supercilious reviews. If a player has a bad game or is consistently under par, fair enough, criticize, but I don't understand why you're calling our own players 'clowns'.