Tuesday, 8 February 2011

City 3 - 0 WBA

  • A very welcome return from the better aspects of our play. For probably the first time in 2011 we played the way Mancini wanted: controlling the play, incisive when necessary, thanks to the Silva / Tévez hotline, and defensively austere. The second half was disappointing, I suppose, but after conceding 13 goals in our previous six games it is difficult to blame the management for so fetishising a clean sheet.
  • With de Jong still out, James Milner partnered Gareth Barry at the base of midfield while David Silva and Yaya Touré were partnered in the band of three by Aleksandar Kolarov, moved upfield à la Gareth Bale. As well as cover for Pablo Zabaleta this equipped us with his piercing runs from the left, a much more useful and direct option than anything Jô provides. One of these runs got beyond Steven Reid, who tripped Kolarov, and Tévez converted the penalty.
  • It was soon 2-0: Tévez took the ball from deep, and gave it to David Silva, who has such a gift for spotting angles, Tévez received the return pass, cut back past a tackle and scored his second. As a swift, intelligent team goal it's the best we've scored for a while. It's fortunate just how strong the mutual understanding is between our two best attacking players, and how quickly it was formed. Tévez makes the runs Silva wants him to, and Silva is always capable of finding him. Before the break it was 3-0: a needless Jerome Thomas handball gifted our second penalty, and Tévez had his hat-trick.
  • The second half was very different: the players sat back, let West Brom have the ball, and held onto the advantage. It wasn't much by way of performance art but it succeeded in doing what we wanted. Given recent problems, it was fairly welcome.

1 comment:

nick said...

Been a while since the last update, Jack! Keep up the good work.
Comfortable first half, but why we didn't press on and try to eat into the goal difference of the teams above us in the second half is beyond me. Baggies defending was awful and we could've had more goals.
Boateng is just not mobile enough to play fullback in the more offensive-minded way our formation demands. He would surely be more usefully employed as a central defender alongside Kompany. In the future maybe?
Kolarov was excellent in the first half, but faded dramatically in the second. Lacking in pace to play as full back, so having Zabaleta to help him worked well - not sure it would work against better teams though.
Still don't see us going forward as a cohesive unit. We make and score goals out of nothing for the most part, rather than trying to systematically break down our opponents through consistent attack a la Utd/Arsenal. Worryingly reliant on Tevez's ability to conjure those goals out of nowhere too.