Tuesday, 5 February 2013

No Telling

A couple of observations from Sunday's match.

It was a good game - for the neutral - and incident packed. The early stages (unfairly panned I thought by the 5 Live mob) were marked out by some dreadful officiating. I clearly saw Milner calling the assistant referee a wanker and telling him to fuck off, and I have to say I thought he was 100% right. This atmosphere was instrumental in setting the scene for Sturridge's goal, though in fairness we had scored against the run of play (if the run of play can include - which I think it can - incompetent officials) prior to that. This doesn't mean that we can be vindicated for switching off when Dzeko was 'injured', and I felt that it was criminal (as well as somehow inevitable) to allow the concentration to lapse so badly there.

Early signs, other than my own gut feeling beforehand that we might draw - or even lose - this one, of the problems we faced were the high lofted balls over the back four or three. Thanks to the way the game is played (or at least refereed) these days, there was a nervousness about the defence getting tight to Sturridge and Suarez and being penalised with a penalty or a card. More evidence of this nervousness about the ball over the top or round the back was seen with that heart-stopping mix-up between Zab and Joe. Almost one of those moments we as City fans know all too well, but mercifully the ball just trickled wide of the post. On top of that, Sturridge I thought had one of the best games I've ever seen him play. He's been quick and lethal at scoring in patches before, but the move to Liverpool is obviously a very positive one for him. Every time he got on the ball he looked a threat - more so even than Suarez - and without him Liverpool would have been a much reduced force.

It seems difficult to single out anyone in the City team as not playing well. Dzeko I often feel could really do more, but - his softness after that foul notwithstanding - he did score after all. Hart (I don't think, though there are some doubts) can be blamed for either goal. Lescott maybe a little shaky at times, but not massively so. Silva - as ever - truly sublime early on, but clearly tired by the second half. Bobby's substitutions were questioned and questionable, in my humble opinion. Maybe there was something wrong with Tevez, but I felt he was the natural choice for subbing when we were chasing the win. Maicon was a mystery to me, but then he has been since we signed him. Fitting somehow that there were two truly top class goals from Stevie G and Kun to even the match out, and of course we're still in the race, Bobby. Of course we are.

Now it's on to the Saints this Saturday tea time. This should be (perhaps has to be) a good win for us. Still, at times we were beautiful to watch, and even if we don't do the Rags 6-1 and win the title again this season, I'd still rather be a City fan.

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