Wednesday, 19 January 2011

City 4 - 2 Leicester

  • What's the point of buying world class players if not to win games by themselves? This was, overall, a mediocre performance. The defence continued its surprising recent descent into lazy permeability. The midfield, without Nigel de Jong, was absent for much of the game, and just like last Sunday Leicester were allowed to play some very attractive football. But, with David Silva and Carlos Tévez, the cousin imps, in the side, goal scoring chances come like the rain; we scored four but five, six or seven was possible.
  • It was good just to see those two playing. I hope that from this stage of the season we will see serious teams in the cup competitions (by which I mean Jô-less teams), and we lined up with a Silva-Tévez-Johnson front three, with Vieira-Yaya-Milner in midfield. Despite not starting the game well, we went 1-0 up when Tévez barrelled through two challenges and thundered the ball into the top corner, his fourth goal in the last three games. Leicester equalised, and at 1-1 things were looking nervy.
  • But, quality footballers play quality football as a matter of course, and Silva and Tévez soon made it 3-1. First, Carlitos picked out his compañero Zabaleta with a javelin pass as good as anything we have seen this season. Zabaleta pulled it back to Silva, who shuffled into space and shot - Vieira tapped in the rebound. One minute later Silva outdid his captain: turning in the centre-circle and sliding the ball between most of the Leicester midfield and defence, to Adam Johnson, running off the shoulder of the back four. The angle of the pass and the run were identical to those for Johnson's goal at the Boleyn Ground; but the distances were doubled. Johnson finished without going round the 'keeper.
  • Early in the second half it could have been 4-1; Tévez was felled in the box (if 'clear goalscoring opportunity' means anything then Jack Hobbs should have gone, but he didn't), and took the penalty. As against Blackpool, though, he missed: firing straight at the 'keeper's legs. His record is 6 from 8; not disgraceful, but fortunate in that two of them rolled in off Brad Friedel / Jussi Jaaskelainen. He is a wonderful striker but not a natural penalty-taker, I think. This ceded some momentum to Leicester, and with Patrick Vieira tiring in midfield it was too easy for them to run at us. Nigel de Jong is missed just as much as Tévez and Silva when he is absent.
  • Unsurprisingly, given our recent Mark Hughes tribute acts, Leicester pulled one back: Vincent Kompany and Joleon Lescott were caught just out of place and Lloyd Dyer finished past Joe Hart. It would be unfair to blame Lescott entirely for defensive lapses in recent weeks, and I'm not going to, but only because Kolo Touré has not been playing well either. At 3-2 it was worrying, but finally we had some deliverance in the form of Aleksandar Kolarov: after months of clean shooting just wide, he scored from distance. 4-2, safe, and through.


gbwherever said...

Mediocre? We scored four goals and looked fabulous at times.

Stop moaning. We conceded one goal from open play last night and that was after they got a lucky deflection off the ref and it was a yard offside anyway.

Yes, we can still improve but the team are winning game after game in style and deserve some praise.

Duane Rollins said...

"Unsurprisingly, given our recent Mark Hughes tribute acts, Leicester pulled one back"

^ see, this is why I have this place bookmarked. I do think you err on the side of it's-all-gonna-blow-up-any-second-isn't-it, but you're missed when you aren't updating as much.

With Notts County beckoning I suspect we're one round short of Jo-less football though.

Mark the Spark said...

We need to fix the set piece problem. Our tendency to allow free headers does not bode well for the rest of the season.