Sunday, 27 February 2011

City 3 - 0 Aris

  • Didn't watch much of this game, so this is a fairly vague placeholder. As this season progresses, my emotional energy is increasingly poured into the two cups, at the expense of the Premier League. I've always been more excited by the prospect of winning something rather than finishing fourth in something else. Last year, I was more upset by the League Cup exit than by the failure to finish fourth. Now, with us still in the last sixteen of the Europa League and of the FA Cup, I'm enjoying an array of excitements that are entirely novel as a City fan.
  • The game was notable for Roberto Mancini's continued European expansionism. For all his domestic austerity, Mancini has been cavalier so far in the Europa League. I think it's probably to do with wanting to try new options, to give games to our forwards, but he has played variants of 4-2-4 much of the time, even in Turin when we needed a draw to win the group. On Thursday it looked like a 4-2-1-3, with David Silva behind the Carlos Tévez, Mario Balotelli and Edin Džeko supergroup. It worked, as Džeko scored twice (he's a cup specialist, you see), and could have had a third. Of course, the best player was David Silva but that barely needs to be said.
  • And so: Dinamo Kiev. I don't know much about them. I wanted Beşiktaş because I wanted to see Guti and Quaresma at Eastlands. But Kiev have got Andriy Shevchenko and he used to be fairly good. Whether the team are up to much I've got no idea. I've never seen them play, but they are 12 points off the lead in the Ukrainian Premier League. Shakhtar Donetsk are top, though, and they're a very good side so I guess it's understandable. Anyway: we're getting closer.

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