Friday, 18 March 2011

City 1 - 0 Dynamo

  • And our chance of winning a trophy this year has halved, at least. The prospect of a Manchester United-free knock-out competition was bounteously exciting. We were, I think, the strongest remaining side in the competition yesterday and, had we overturned Dynamo Kyiv, the favourites for the crown. But it wasn't to be. Rather, it was just a smaller scale Hamburg: for smaller stakes, in front of fewer people, with less emboldening crackle in the air. But it was still a good performance, brave in the circumstances, and enough to win most ties.
  • For all the expectation that Roberto Mancini might trade off our chances in this match against Sunday's game at Stamford Bridge, the strongest side was picked. Carlos Tévez was flanked by David Silva and Mario Balotelli, and we started the game with more enthusiasm and focus than I thought we might. Both full-backs got forward and despite Dynamo's organisation we created chances, more than we have often done in home games this season. David Silva and Mario Balotelli both nearly scored, and there was a strong sense that the task might a fair bit more superable than we first thought.
  • But, Mario Balotelli's homage to Nigel de Jong puts us out of it. Winning 3-0 at home, or 2-0 over 120 minutes is just too difficult against a team as technical as Dynamo. Much like the Arsenal defeat in the autumn, the 10 remaining players were brave and intelligent and, in their own way, successful. But their task was too vast. Aleksandar Kolarov scored a characteristic goal, and the chances continued. Edin Džeko nearly made it 2-0 but the longer the tie went on, the less of the ball we saw and the more running the players had to do to win it back. Even with James Milner and Adam Johnson back on the pitch it was beyond them.
  • Like the Arsenal 3-0 defeat, or that 2-1 win over Hamburg in 2009, this was at least a display of good, resolute football in difficult circumstances - even if it did not produce the desired result. Were it not for Balotelli's malicious stupidity in the first half I think we probably would have been in this morning's draw. But we paid £24m for the only ticket to the Mario Balotelli lottery, in full knowledge of its rules, and we have certainly enjoyed its bounty at times this year. He'll be fresh for his first ever derby on 16 April, and who knows what he has planned for us then.

4 comments:

Peter and Heather said...

Is that it Roy - have you died - so sorry cos I enjoyed your insights into my club

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joseph burrell said...

I think that Manchester City was a much better team as a whole than Dynamo and that is why they won the match in a fair way

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