Monday, 12 December 2011

CAN'T WIN THEM ALL

So it's December 12th 2012 and another massive game and another big test as Manchester City go to Stamford Bridge to play Chelsea. Chelsea hadn't had a great start to the season but had been coming good in the last few games and it's always hard when you face One of the "Big four". Never confident going to play the big teams but then again its Man City so i don't think you can ever be to confident but we've done ok at Spurs and at Manchester United and i guess at Liverpool so i can't call it. United had beaten Wolves on Saturday and narrowed the gap to 2 points at the top so we need a win really to regain our 5 point gap but realistically I'd be more than happy with a draw. The team was what you'd expect. Hart in goal. Zabba came in at right back for Richards who is carrying a knock, Lescott and Kompany in the centre of defence with Clichy on the left. Yaya and Barry were the holders with Silva and Milner the attacking midfield. Aguero and Mario up front. But for Zabba, this was the team that beat United 6-1 at Old Trafford. But had we had it to good at White heart land and Old Trafford ? At Anfield they handled us better and kept us to a draw, could Chelsea go one better tonight in the horrible winter rain in London ? Or was the poznan going back to the capital ?



Match started, with the same ref we'd had at Old Trafford, Clattenberg, and what a start it was. Within 2 minutes a wonderful bit of skill by Aguero saw him lose his markers and play an excellent ball to Mario clear through to confidently put us 1-0 up. Great start. Chelsea looked a little bit shell shocked and for the first 10 minutes and Aguero had another good chance on 10 minutes when he took on the defence on his own to create an opening, but fired wide. 13 minutes gone and an amazing bit of passing and possession saw Silva played into the box and bought down, but Clattenberg said no penalty. It should have been. Chelsea began to settle and enjoyed more possession but their passing wasn't as affective when they had the ball as we were when we had it, in fact it was 24 minutes before they mustered a shot on goal from Drogba, dealt with by Hart at the expense of a corner. To be fair it was a quiet 33 minutes and then a great pass from Terry out to Sturridge who skinned Clichy to the bi line and fired a great cross for Meireles to equalise. 2 minutes later the goal scorer was booked for a reckless tackle on Zabba, but it was clear to see Chelsea were getting a grip on the game. City weren't finding the passes now and the half petered out and it ended 1-1, could have been so different if the blatant penalty had been given in the 13th minute.




Chelsea started the 2nd half bright and Clichy was quickly booked when he couldn't handle Sturridge. The resulting free kick was fired in the box and poor marking from City saw Sturridge free at the far post but he fired over. Early warning. Yaya was playing a dangerous game, Kicking out at Chelsea players but luckily for him and us, not seen by the Ref. City were giving away possession far to often and Mata was beginning to come into the game more where as Silva had disappeared.  Chelsea were defending deep and City just couldn't get through them. 57 minutes gone and what i feared happened, Clichy made a tackle with his wrong foot on the flying Ramires and a 2nd yellow saw him sent off. Now this was going to be a real challenge.  Obviously it was all Chelsea now and Aguero was sacrificed to get Kolo on and reinstate the back four. Our first threat on goal coming from a long range effort from Mario in the 67th minute, easily gathered by Cech. City were defending well, but every time we cleared our lines it was coming straight back as we had no outlet. 72nd minute and Chelsea's goal scorer made way for Frank Lampard to come on. 74th minute and David Silva, who had been vacant for most of the match made way for De Jong. going into the 80th minute it was still level and we were holding on well, mostly Chelsea but nothing to threatening, could we keep it that way for 10 minutes ? No, a shot from Sturridge and Lescott handles the ball in the box, Penalty. Lampard, who had not long been on scored it, 2-1 down, the unbeaten run coming to an end ? Dzeko comes on for Lescott, Mancini having to try and save something from the game, but Chelsea saw the game out, earning them selves free kicks to eat up the clock, short corners to keep possession and to beat Manchester City for the first time in the league this season.



David Silva didn't get into the game and that's what cost us, Yes a penalty that never was and a penalty given cost us, but teams are beginning to suss us out now and stop us from playing. But for his early Goal Mario Balotelli didn't really get into the game and neither did Aguero or Yaya ToureClichy in a position he couldn't argue with and what the hell Lescott was thinking handling in the box ? Was a blatant penalty and the ref could do nothing but give it. If someone would have offered me the position we are in, only beaten by Chelsea, Bayern and Napoli, at the beginning of the season, how many blue's wouldn't have taken that ? Not to down hearted, you can't win them all and thoughts now turn to Arsenal at home this coming Sunday. Got to take at least a point from that now. Still a happy blue, the football I've witnessed over the years, how could i not be ? Thanks for reading.


Saturday, 10 December 2011

ON A WIN AND A PRAYER

December 7th 2011 and it was judgement night. City Vs Bayern Munich in the Champions league at the Etihad. City had to win, but even if they did, our fate lay elsewhere. If Napoli beat Villarreal, it didn't matter what the result was in Manchester, we'd be out and heading into the Europa league. I've got to admit, I'd resigned myself to the fact that our Champions league adventure was over, but it's football, and you never know what can happen so we would have to keep our fingers well and truly crossed. Team news was pretty much what you'd expect but for the right back position. Hart was in Goal, in defence it was Clichy on the left, Lescott and Kompany in the middle and injury to Richards and Zabbaleta saw Savic come in to play Right back. Yaya and Barry were the holding midfielders with Nasri and Silva the attackers, with Dzeko and Aguero up front. 



I was quite relaxed going to the ground because in my mind we were already out. The worst thing that could happen in my mind would be for us to lose our game and Villarreal to do us the favour we needed and win. I was just going to enjoy the experience of watching my team play one of Europes best teams. I didn't think it could get any better than watching us play Juventus last year, but it has, after all that is what it's all about for me. I never for a second thought we'd win the Champions league, especially after the group we were drawn in, so i just wanted to enjoy it and experience it while it lasted. Seeing the ground draped in the Champions league Livery, seeing the bigger teams coming to play in our back yard and that music giving you goosebumps before every game. I would be disappointed if we went out, but the Europa league is still a trophy to win and it still sees big clubs I've never seen before coming to our ground. Europa league was good enough for us Citys fans last year and we were gutted when we got knocked out so IF we end up back there, maybe we could go for it again.

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The match is self was good stuff, City looked like they had learnt a valuable lesson in Europe and kept the ball  better enjoying a large amount of possession, admittedly against a weaker Bayern Side, as they were already through, they rested their biggest stars. The atmosphere was weird. It was a good atmosphere but a little subdued as obviously everyone had one ear on what was happening at Villarreal. Aguero had a good chance to open the scoring, a great cross from Nasri, but his headed flew over the bar. We had a goal disallowed, when a free kick from Siva ended up in the net, but Lescott had been judged to have fouled the keeper when he climbed with him so it was ruled out. City were playing well though and eventually got the goal they deserved on 37 minutes. Barry played the ball into Dzeko, whose little flick was taken brilliantly by Silva on his chest and from the edge of the box he fired in an unstoppable shot to put us 1-0 up. Word on the Radio said that Villarreal were holding Napoli to 0-0 and that was good enough for us.




The second half was pretty much the same thing, city keeping the ball and the crowd rumbling with anticipation that it was still 0-0 in Villarreal and also there was an under current of Basel 1 Manchester United 0 to. On 56 minutes the mood got better when Yaya made it 2-0. City walking through the Bayern defence, Silva to Dzeko and Dzeko through to the in rushing Yaya to poke the ball home. Still 0-0 in Villarreal and City fans were starting to allow them selves to believe. I had my radio one listening for news from Spain all the way through the match and people around me were asking me every couple of minutes "what score is Napoli?" & "What score is United?". I kept giving them the news they wanted to hear until the 65th minute and Napoli scored. That was it, Villarreal had never looked like getting a point all the way through the group stage and now they were 1-0 down. We were doing what we had to do though and i know it made a lot of blues proud. We played the game out winning 2-0 but in the end a 2-0 win for Napoli saw us exit the Champions league. Not a great night as far as Manchester were concerned as Manchester United crashed out to losing 2-1 in Basel.




The main things to take from this game was the fact that it looked like we'd learnt how to play in Europe's elite competition now, to late maybe, but we looked a lot more patient against Bayern than we had against Napoli in our opening game, the draw at home that in the long run probably cost us the most and the other thing i took from this game was that Savic looks a better right back than he does a centre back. I'm not saying he's a bad central midfielder, he isn't, but i thought he had the best game i've seen him play at right back, good to know. Nasri again was great and even though Dzeko had a quiet game, he did provide the touch to set up both goals so not all bad. So our European football moves to Thursday nights again, back in the Europa league, ah well, lets just go out and win that instead hey ? I'm still a very happy blue, Thanks for reading.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

CANARIES CRUSHED



December 3rd and after a week that has seen us into the Semi finals of the league cup to play Liverpool and United get knocked out at home 2-1 by Crystal palace we face Norwich at home. Norwich had been handling themselves quite well in the premier league but i have to admit i went to this game feeling quite confident. I saw a lot of Tweets and Facebook status's saying it was going to be easy and I've got to admit i didn't think it was going to be as easy as some fans obviously thought it was going to be, but I was confident we could win this one at home. Joe Hart was returned to goal, Richards and Clichy were the full backs and Kolo Toure kept his place from midweek to join Kompany in the centre of defence seeing Lescott drop to the bench, Maybe with Bayern Munich in mind. Barry and Yaya were the centre of midfield with Nasri and Siva the Attacking midfielders. Aguero and Dzeko started up front. Before the game, the sold out crowd paid a fitting tribute to Premier League legend Gary Speed, who had taken his life this week, a sad loss.



The first half was like watching Attack vs Defence as Norwich quite obviously parked the bus, and 25 minutes into the game the 73% possession statistic that flashed up on the screen demonstrated that perfectly. We did nearly get caught when Kompany and Kolo got left for dead by the Morrison, but luckily a heavy touch allowed Hart to come out and save us, but apart from that, in the first half, Norwich may as well not even bothered turning up. All the pressure on the Norwich goal didn't seem to be paying off at first with Aguero firing over the bar a couple of times when he looked like scoring and Dzeko going close. Nasri was looking lively though and I'd even go as far to say he played better than Silva today, he seems to be growing into the squad more and more. 32 Minutes gone and the breakthrough came. Good work from Silva on the right played in Richards and he passed it into the box for Aguero, His first touch left him with his back to goal and by the time he'd turned goal wards he was surrounded by 5 Norwich players, he delayed for a moment before somehow toe poking the ball through the crowd and into the net to make it 1-0. The rest of the first half played out the same, City Attacking and Norwich firmly parked behind the bus.



The second half started and Norwich would have to come out and they started brighter but created only one half chance that went harmlessly over the bar. 51 minutes gone and a foul on Dzeko gave us a free kick 35 yards out. Nasri took it and I'm guessing the plan was top float one into the box, which he did. The Norwich keeper must have assumed that one of his defenders was going to get a header on it and hesitated, that hesitation cost him as the ball bounced in the six yard box and into the net to make it 2-0 and leaving the keeper looking a little bit stupid.

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68 minutes and it was 3-0, a short corner one two between Silva and Nasri and then the little Spaniard played the ball into Yaya's feet in the box, he took a touch before calmly, as easy as you like, curling the ball into the corner of the net. It looked so easy. Samir Nasri and Sergio Aguero made way for Adam Johnson and Mario Balotelli and it almost looked as though City had settled for 3-0 as they seemed to relax and this let Norwich in to claim a consolation goal on 81 minutes, a good ball floated to the far post for Morrison to head home with a good finish. Another pesky goal conceded, and probably deserved for Morrison for who played up front all game on his own and did work hard.

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88 minutes gone and the moment that everyone left talking about. Good work down the left this time between Silva and Clichy, The french full back played the ball across to Yaya who played it into the box for Johnson who had made a good run to the near post, he turned well and played in Balotelli who saw his close range shot saved by the keepers feet, the ball looped up into the air, and as the helpless keeper watched, the ball dropped to Balotelli, standing practically on the goal line, for him to finish. Not with his head or his chest, but with a cheeky, Cooley taken, shoulder, arrogantly shoving the ball into the net to make it 4-1. The coolest finish of the day if not the season. Yes it was cheeky, yes it was cool and yes maybe a tad arrogant. But that's what you get with Mario, entertainment. The great team work and passing that involved Silva, Clichy, Yaya and Johnson will probably be overlooked because of the Mario Factor, but all round, a superb goal.



91st  minute and the full stop was put on the game by Adam Johnson. Silva and Kompany teaming up on the left to bully the Norwich player into conceding possession and Kompany crossed the ball to Johnson on the right of the penalty area. He took a few touches before casually curling the ball into the bottom left corner of the goal to make it 5-1, again making it look far to easy. Afterwards the media would talk about City NOT celebrating their goals as Mario and AJ had been very low key celebrations, but when you score number four and five against a team that had been swept aside, is there any need for over the top celebrations to rub their noses in it ? I don't think there is, so fair enough. Aguero and Nasri had celebrated their goals enough, and Nasri deserved something from this game as this was probably his best display in a city shirt so far and he seemed to be growing more and more into the player we'd bought with every game.



So our first league game in December and STILL unbeaten in the league. Never for a second thought that would happen and still find it quite hard to believe if I'm honest. Our next League game would offer us another test though as we go away to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea. Before that though, matters turned once again to Champions League, with Bayern Munich, the team top of our group, coming to the Etihad. Lets all pray to what ever god you believe in that we can beat Bayern and Villarreal can beat Naopli. Doubt it, but i guess you just never know. For now though, another great weekend had by all, still five points clear and going strong. Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

QUARTER FINAL TIME



November 29th 2011 and only 2 days after we played Liverpool at Anfield we travel to the Emirates to play Arsenal in the Quarter final of the League cup. Mancini had already commented in the press that he wasn't surprised that the England National team were never successful because of the way fixtures came thick and fast and left the players tired and he'd hinted at wholesale changes to the team, he hadn't lied. Pantilimon started in goal, as he'd done in every other round of the League cup so far. The back four was Onuoha, Kolo Toure, Savic & Zabaleta. The defencive midfielders were De Jong & Hargreaves with Johnson, Kolarov, Nasri & Dzeko the attacking department. Arsenal also fielded a much changed team. We'd beaten Arsenal at this stage 2 years ago under Mark Hughes, but that was at The Etihad (well, Eastlands then) but at Arsenal we didn't have a great record. As I'd hinted at in my last blog, we'd done ok so far this season at grounds we don't usually do well at and against teams we don't usually beat so lets hope tonight could be another record broken and maybe we could earn ourselves another one of those semi finals we seem to be getting used to.




The early moments were cagey and even and the first effort on goal came in the 9th minute from Adam Johnson when he skinned the Arsenal youngster playing at left back to fire an effort just over the bar. Just a minute later Arsenal hit on the counter and good work from Chamberlain down the right ended with him firing a cross for Park to shoot. bringing a great save from Pantilimon. It was a fairly even and the next chance was a long range effort from Chamberlain that  was flying into the top corner, only stopped by yet another quality save from Pantilimon. The match started to heat up a little, Nasri playing Johnson in but the ball just a little long for him. Then on 31 minutes Mancini pulled Kolarov off and put Aguero on. Tactical ? Not sure, Kolarov wasn't having a bad game on the left wing. Time would tell on that decision. City enjoyed the lions share of the possession but didn't really threaten the Arsenal goal, and Arsenal never realy threatened ours as the rest of the first half played out. Dzeko had looked lively and up for it and Savic and Kolo had looked fairly solid at the back. 2 great saves from Pantilimon, I'd been unsure about him before kick off, but he'd started to win me over with this first half display. 0-0 at Half time.



It was cleared up by sky that Kolarov had tweaked a muscle in the warm up but felt comfortable enough to start but obviously hadn't worked out, hence the substitution. The second half started where the first had left off with both teams trading possession, Chamberlain giving Zabba a hard time early on but Pantilimon dealing with anything goal bound. Nasri was getting booed every time he touched the ball, Hargreaves and Johnson weren't seeing enough of the ball and Aguero's touch seemed to have deserted him but 65 minutes gone and nobody was really threatening. In all honesty the second half was turning out to be quite a dull affair with most efforts on either goal coming from long range and not being very accurate. Mancini didn't look happy with what he was seeing. 78 minutes gone and City made their second change, Razak replacing Hargreaves. 82 minutes and a City attack breaks down and Arsenal break with purpose, the City defence eventually dealing with it  putting it out for a corner. Arsenal's corner is dealt with easily and Dzeko breaks, he plays in Johnson who in turn played in Aguero to score. 1-0 to city with 7 minutes to go. A brilliant counter attack. Could we see it out and finally win a game at the Emirates ?  Yes, the final whistle signalling our progress into the semi final.



Another ground where we'd broke our duck, another record broken i guess and yet another semi final. Carling cup semi final in 2009/10, an FA cup semi final in 2010/11 and now another Carling cup semi final in 2011/12, what's the betting that we get United again (If they get through their REALLY difficult tie tomorrow). Liverpool had beaten Chelsea to go through 2-0 tonight and also Cardiff had beaten Blackburn to progress, which just Left United to play Cystal palace. Our Reserves looked the part tonight, besting Arsenals reserves and the future looks bright. Pantilimon had proved my doubts in him wrong, even if he does look a little gangly and clumsy at times. More fixtures to navigate but that's what you have to deal with when you want to win things i guess, and the passion shown on the bench from Mancini tonight proves he really does want to win this cup. Norwich next for us in the League at home this weekend. Once again I'm a happy blue, thanks for reading.


Sunday, 27 November 2011

EVERYTHING IN PERSPECTIVE



After the disappointment of Napoli its back to the bread and butter of the Premier League and today we go to Anfield to play Liverpool. Yesterday, United had dropped points at home to Newcastle with a 1-1 draw which left us 4 points clear at the top of the table so a win today could see us go 7 points clear at the top. Being a blue you get used to disappointment, wasn't an option, because disappointment were all we'd had for a long time but things had been good  recently, but i couldn't help thinking before the game that today may be the day I was disappointed again. United dropping points had given us a chance to open up a gap, not just over them, but also over the resurgent Spurs who were on a great run that could see them move into second with their game in hand, so is this a chance that we would mess up or was it History clouding my judgement ? Today was also Mancini's birthday, so 3 points would mean a very nice present for him. We'd got our arse handed to us at Anfield last season, I feared the same happening again today. I know we never win at White heart lane and we had. I know we never beat Everton and we had, and I'm not even going to get into our Old Trafford record, but for some reason, today, i just feared the worse.



Four hours before kick off my fears were put into perspective when the news broke that the Welsh Manager and Premier League legend, Gary Speed had died, aged 42. What relevance does football have in the grand scheme of things when two boys have lost their father in such horrific circumstances.  I have no connection to Gary Speed, he never played for my Club or my Country but the news really rattled me, shocked me so much. Left me feeling hollow. I watched as it unfolded on Sky Sports News and all over my Twitter and Facebook feeds. So were we to lose today. Yes we dropped points, yes we fail to capitalize on United mistakes, But maybe Shankly was wrong, it isn't life or death and it is No where near as important as we sometime pretend it to be. Watching the tribute before the Swansea vs Aston Villa game, hearing Howard Wilkinson talk about Speed and watching Shay Given in tear before the game, puts the whole thing in perspective and me shiver.



But the game went a head, and the City team changed again to the team from midweek. Hart of course started in goal, his back four being  Richards, Kompany, Lescott & Clichy, the midfield would be sured up by Yaya &Barry with Milner, Silva, Nasri & Aguero the attacking threat. News was that Craig Bellamy had withdrawn from the Liverpool squad after the news of his International Managers death.  A lot had been made recently about top flight teams with unbeaten runs. Newcastle obviously losing theirs to us last weekend and this weekend Barcelona and Glasgow Rangers lost to. Still had a feeling that today would be the day we lost ours. There was another goose bump inducing minutes silence before our game.



The game started with both teams trying to set a high tempo, City having more possession in the first 10 minutes pressing Liverpool back, or were they planning on hitting us on the break ?  The formation looked more 4-4-2 with Milner and Nasri wide and Silva higher up with Sergio. 12 minutes in and Kompany picks up a yellow for a challenge on Suarez, who seems to spend a lot of the time on the floor, not good to get booked and have to mark him for the rest of the game. 15 minutes gone and we hadn't created anything to threaten the Liverpool goal for our possession, but neither had they to threaten ours. The first half chance came when a short back pass saw Reina come racing from his goal to clear just before Agureo could get to it. 20 minutes Adam's dives onto the floor looking for a free kick, the ref wasn't fooled and Aguero broke into the Liverpool box only to tie himself in knots and fall over. We were playing the better football and putting pressure on the Liverpool back four, but still not creating chances on goal. Liverpool started to come into the game a little but on the half hour Captain Kompany rose at the near post from a David Silva corner to guide the ball home and put us 1-0 up from probably our first effort on target. From the restart Barry picked up a yellow that ruled him out of the Arsenal Carling cup tie (our next game) and then straight away, a nothing shot from Charlie Adam was deflected into his own goal by Lescott to even it up. Back to square one, i still think it's going to be one of those days. 1-1, Ninety seconds between the goals with 33 minutes gone. Suarez was sticking to his usual tactic of falling over every time someone breathed on him but luckily the ref didn't seem to be buying it. The equalizer lifted them and on 37 minutes Joe Hart produced a brilliant save with his feet from a thunderous Charlie Adam effort. 38 minutes and a curling effort from Glenn Johnson sailed just wide. The own goal had us rattled. The game seemed to settle again and we composed ourselves with the next chance coming from City as Aguero brought a save from Reina right on the half time whistle. The half ending 1-1, all set up for an interesting second half.



After a bright few minutes at the beginning of the second half it was Liverpool who had the first chance on 48 minutes when confusion in the defence looked like it might cost us, but it cost us nothing more than a corner in the end. It looked like Mancini had pushed Yaya further forward to. The first 10 minutes of the second half were a pretty even affair, again with no team managing to muster any clear cut chances on goal. Aguero wasn't offering much to the game but i think it was more down to service and support rather than his form. It was crying out for Balotelli to come and either replace him or for him to play off. 64 minutes gone and that's exactly what happened, Baloteli on for  Nasri. A clever corner from Liverpool on 66 minutes and Downing Brings a great save from Joe Hart. It was turning into a good contest between 2 good teams but it was all happening in the congested Midfield. Both teams were just looking for that bit of magic or that killer pass to open up the opposition defence, and on 73 minutes suarez nearly found it, beating Richards to play the ball across goal, Lescott cleared it but it bounced of Kuyt and so nearly crept in. a minute later Milner was played in by a lose header back by Adam, but again Reina raced off his line to stop us. As we approached the 80th minute Liverpool were growing more and more confident and creating chances and that feeling i'd had about this being the day for disappointment was rising again. Balotelli hadn't really offered much, apart from his swanky blonde hair doo, and we looked rocky as wave after wave of Liverpool attack bombarded our goal. 82 minutes and Dzeko replaced Aguero, probably for holding the ball up better than we had been. But then it all went pear shaped as Balotelli earned himself a second yellow card to get himself sent off. He went into a challenge wit Skertel and because he led with his arm, the ref brandished the yellow. Balotelli never looked in the direction of the player he was looking at the ball at all time so to me a little harsh, but as soon as the challenge was made you knew what was going to happen. 88th minute and were hanging on, Suarez bringing another save from Hart. 89th minute and good work from Dzeko to out run the defence and pay in Silva, but he delayed and delayed until his weak shot was cleared off the line. Silva made way for Kolo on 90 minutes and this was going to be the longest 3 minutes of injury time ever. We were obviously now playing for our point. Minute to go and another outstanding save from Hart denied Carroll. The whistle saved us and our unbeaten record but this had been a proper battle, our five point lead was restored.





At the beginning of the day I'd feared the worst, so i was more than happy with a point at Anfield. Silva hadn't been able to influence the game as he usually does, Agureo and Nasri hadn't really contributed and City's Man of the Match, without doubt was Joe Hart. Without him this could have been embarrassing but i guess that's why he is England's number 1. It was a highly entertaining draw for a neutral, but as a City fan it was heart wrenching. At the end of the season i hope that we can look back at a well earned important point in a game that in the past we probably would have thrown away. Without doubt teams will come to Anfield this season and lose so i personally was more than happy with a point. Next up now on Tuesday Is Arsenal in the Carling Cup at the Emirate stadium, obviously without Barry and Balotelli. The season was begining to get very interesting. Overall from today though, my heart goes out to the family of Gary Speed, and had we crumbled under Liverpool's pressure and lost, it would have been insignificant compared to that. Thanks for reading. R.I.P Gary Speed.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

LEARNING CURVE

November 22nd 2011 and City were to play their most important match since.....well....since the last match ? Seems they are all pretty important for one reason or another these days. Guess that's what happens when you are playing at the high level we are playing at now and are actually contenders for trophies to. Takes some getting used to after some of the crap I've seen over the years i can tell you. Anyway, tonight's match was away to Napoli in the champions league. A win tonight would see us qualify for the knockout stages.

Group as it stood before kick off

 1 Bayern Munich    10pts
2 Manchester city     7pts
3 Napoli                   5pts
4 Villarreal                0pts

Hart started in Goal, the Champions league back four of Zabba, Kompany, Lescott & Kolarov returned. Silva, Yaya, De Jong & Milner was the midfield four and Dzeko and Mario were the front two, not as attacking as usual but i think Mancini is learning how to play away in Europe now. Having said that, the first 10 minutes, Napoli played like the away team, letting us have all the possession and hitting us on the counter, Most dangerous occasion when Lavezzi went close after a nice attacking move.  A long range effort from Inler bought a smart save from Hart in the 16th minute and from the resulting corner Napoli were a head. Corner swung in by Lavezzi and Cavani got a touch to sneak in at the near post. It was going to be an uphill battle now.



Napoli sat back again and soaked us up, and for all the possession we had we were kept to long distance shots at the Napoli goal. It seemed like the pace wasn't in the team like usual and with Baoltelli and Dzeko up front in my opinion it was crying out for Aguero. But on 32 minutes, a ball into the box from Dzeko was poorly cleared and a David Silva shot was only parried into the path of Balotelli to tap us level. 41 minutes and a great ball from Balotelli to Silva saw him play in Kolarov for a good shot from a tight angle which the goal keeper dealt with better this time. The half came to an end with us level and overall we hadn't played to bad. Balotelli had been a bit wasteful with Possession at times, trying to dribble when he could have passed but overall not to bad, although i still felt the team was lacking pace.



Second half started with the same 11 players even though Mario Balotelli hadn't looked to good on the half time whistle but Napoli started the better side knocking it about well and scoring early on again with Cavani. Platt had been talking about losing possession in the middle of the field and that's exactly what we had started off by doing, again, a mountain to climb. Napoli had their tails up now and were putting us under a lot of pressure and we just couldn't seem to get out and we offered nothing for the first 15 minutes. On 60 minutes a clever free kick saw a ball floated into the Napoli box but Balotelli and Yaya were unable to apply a finish, our first chance of the second half. It all still looked a little slow and sluggish to me and we needed an injection of pace, the flowing football that had put us top of the premier league was missing.   68 minutes and a slip from Kompany saw a Hamsik shot smartly saved by Hart to keep us in the game. It wasn't looking good. We were not putting any pressure on our opponents and creating nothing at all. 69th minute and De Jong made way for Nasri.



75th minute and City rode their luck again, a great break from Napoli and Hamsik was in with Hart to beat but hits the post. That would have been the end of us had that gone in so with 15 minutes to go our champions league dream was still alive, faltering, but alive. 77 minutes, a brilliant ball over the top from Yaya and Balotelli brings a smart save from Napoli's keeper. Hope ? Straight from that chance Napoli was in behind us and Maggio was one on one with Hart but Hart saved us again. 80th minute and the change that I'd wanted to see earlier finally happened, Dzeko off, Aguero on. 81st minute and we should have been level, a great run into the box from Nasri, found by Silva and the cross was met by Mario's head, but he put it over the bar. Creating a little more now, but time running out. Balotelli came close again from a corner in the 84th minute, unconvincing save from the keeper but a save all the same. 85th minute and the last throw of the dice, AJ on for Zabba. 3 minutes to go and City finally start to pile on the pressure, throwing ball after ball into the Napoli box, but Napoli were standing strong.



It was all to little to late as Napoli see the game out and win 2-1. Aguero did more in the 10 minutes he was on the pitch than Dzecko did in 80 and the free flowing attacking football from the premier league just wasn't there. It all means that if Napoli beat the whipping boys of the group in the last game we are out of the Champions league. We face a tough test against Bayern at home so it looks like its all over. Am i disappointed ? Yes i am, but I never for a second thought that we would win the Champions league in our first time of asking so it isn't a great shock. On the night, we didn't do enough to win the game and didn't deserve to so i guess you have to say the better team won. Did Mancini get this wrong ? In my opinion he did. Why is Richards not used tonight after the display he put on to earn him man of the match at the weekend vs Newcastle ? He wasn't even on the bench, i find that strange. Why does Aguero only get 10 minutes ? He should have been on a lot earlier than that, if not from the start. But Mancini has done a lot more right for City than he has got wrong so I'm not going to turn on the manager. It just doesn't like it's meant to be this year.

Group with 1 game to go

1 Bayern Munich (Q)      13pt
2 Napoli                               8pts
3 Manchester City           7pts
4 Villarreal                         0pts
Manchester city vs Bayern Munich
Villarreal vs Napoli

Really don't see Napoli losing to Villarreal so it looks like Europa league football in the new year for us, But then again, You never know, a guy can dream right ? Thanks for reading

Sunday, 20 November 2011

ANOTHER TEST ?

So be honest, did anyone really think that we would be going into a premier league game, on the 19th of November 2011, still Unbeaten in the league ? What's more, did anyone think that Newcastle would be going into a game on November 19th still unbeaten ? I didn't, but that's what was happening today, Man City vs Newcastle, the only two Premier lague teams that were still unbeaten. After a 2 week international it was good to be back at the Etihad. City's starting line up was Hart in Goal, Richards, Kompany, Lescott and Clichy in the back four. De Jong and Yaya were the holding Midfielders with Milner, Nasri, Aguero & Balotelli the attacking four. David Silva was rested on the bench after a long trip to Costa rica with Spain and of course Losing to England at Wembley.



Before the game i managed to get a photo taken with the Gorgeous Natalie Pike so it was already shaping up to be a good day. The first half was a cagey midfield scrap with City edging it and creating More then Newcastle did, in fact Newcastle only managed to muster 2 real shots on our goal, one that Hart saved with ease and the other bringing a brilliant save from Englands number 1. City enjoyed the lions share of possession and Balotelli brought a great save from a headed chance and you sensed that the break through was coming. I had been keeping my self entertained with my own little song, directed at the Newcastle Goal keeper Tim Krul "You're just a shit 80's film !" Made me giggle to myself. Little D either didn't get it or wasn't impressed but i enjoyed it. Get it ? Krul ? Shit 80'2 film ? No ? Look it up    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0085811/



Anyway, back to the action, and the break through finally came in the 41st minute when Yaya broke into the box and his shot was blocked by Ryan Taylors hand and ref Chris Foy didn't hesitate to point for the penalty. The Ultra cool Balotelli stepped up to take it and Cooly slotted it home despite the efforts of Krul to put him off, His arms folded glaring at Krul celebration is why we love Mario so much.  3 minutes later and Ryan Taylor must have wanted the ground to swallow him up, after giving away the penalty, it was his mistake that allowed Richards to steal the ball from him and fire home to make it 2-0 just before half time.

video


In the second half we had to soak up a lot of Newcastle pressure as they came looking for a goal to get them back into the game and we seemed to sit back and let them play. We still created a few chances, best of which when Nasri and Aguero combined to flick the ball over the keeper only to have Taylor redeem himself a little by clearing it off the line. On 60 minutes, we got lucky, Kompany mad the mistake and Ben Arfa skipped ito the box to beat Hart, only to see his effort come back off the post. Balotelli made way for Silva to join the game and with his first touch he played Richards into the box, only to be Bundled over by Ben Arfa to conceded the second penalty of the game. Aguero stepped up to take this one and Cooley make it 3-0 with a text book penalty. Newcastle did manage to bag a consolation goal in the 89th minute from Goslin, but the match was already gone and so was Newcastles unbeaten record while ours remained in tact.

video


Pleasing things today, apart from my "You're just a shit 80's film" song was Nasri's performance was a lot better today, probably the best I've seen from him so far. Milner again was brilliant as he grows more and more into the player we bought from Villa. Clichy played really well and it was great to see De Jong back in the engine room running things. Also of course the fact that we are still unbeaten in the league after passing what was billed as another test. Next on the agenda is a massive game away to Napoli in the champions league that if we win see's us qualify for the knockout stages. That's a big IF though because this isn't going to be an easy ask. For now, still 5 points clear, still the best team in the land (an all the world), and for anyone who actually does read my blogs, Thanks for your time.


Saturday, 5 November 2011

CHARACTER



Remember remember the 5th of November because tonight City may have shown something different to show the world that we may just have what it takes to see this through and possibly be champions elect. Tonight we went to loftus road to face QPR and old boys Shaun Wright Phillips and Joey Barton. Talk from some fans of a walk over were far from my mind because i know we have to drop points somewhere, and in QPR i could see a potential banana skin. The team to play at loftus road were Joe in goal (as ever). Richards started at right back and as captain in the absence of Kompany (which was nice to see). Savic Filled in for the absent Vinny along side Lescott with Kolarov completed the back four. Yaya and Barry were the holding midfield, with Silva, Milner, Aguero and Dzeko as the front four.




As expected the home team really stepped up and came after us as it is becoming more and more apparent that we are the big scalp this season up to now, and QPR had lots of early chances as City seemed to struggle. The shape we were playing in just didn't look or feel right and the passing and movement that has served us so well up to now just wasn't there and it wasn't really a surprise that QPR took a deserved lead. On 28 minutes, a great cross form a free kick (that never should have been a free kick) saw Bothroyd head QPR ahead. The city defenders didn't seem to know who they were supposed to be marking and that uncertainty saw the home team 1-0 up. Could have been worse but for some quality goal keeping from England's number 1. City weren't really creating and nothing seemed to be falling for us until the 43rd minute. A ball down the wing saw Dzeko race free. He cut inside into the box and had players crying out for a lay off, but Dzeko had other ideas, and as the QPR defender dived in, Dzeko breezed past him to fire a great goal into the bottom left corner to make it 1-1. Edins 10th goal of the season brought us in at half time level.




Mancini must have rollocked them because after an early left footed scare from Barton and a change of shape to a 4-4-2, city seemed to settle better into the game, and in the 52nd minute City were ahead through the magician Silva.  Milner broke on the counter attack, Gave the ball wide to Dzeko and his ball into the box was taken by Silva, 1 touch and bang, low into the near post to put us 2-1 up. Would QPR crumble now after being in front and now being behind ? Would they hell. I'm not sure if City sat back or if QPR stepped up but they came at us again, applying more and more pressure until that pressure finally told. Helguson heading home from close range to make it 2-2.




Now i fully believe that the city of old, Typical city if you like, would have crumbled and ended up losing this game, but City are a different animal these days and again, weather QPR sat back or we stepped up i'm unsure, but we fought back and grabbed the lead again. An absolutely brilliant left footed cross from Kolarov saw Yaya rise in the box to power home a powerful header to make it 3-2 and win us the game. We hadn't played well here tonight but we had managed to grind out a result and show the character to come from behind also for the first time in the league this season. For years I've watched United play badly and win and for years I've listened to United fans tell me that's the mark of champions but tonight I'm hearing from United fans that we were lucky. Lucky ? Or molding into a team of champions ? Still way to early to tell with so long to go in the season, but we go into the international break still top and still 5 points clear. Happy. Thanks for reading.



Wednesday, 2 November 2011

MOVING ON UP

November 2nd and it's back to must win Champions League action again, away to Villarreal. 2 Weeks ago, literally the last kick of the game had seen Sergio Aguero score a winner at home vs Villarreal to earn us our first Champions league win, so I'm sure that the opposition would be more than up for this one in front of their own fans. Mancini's team news again held some surprises. Hart started in net but Zabba and Savic joined Kompany and Clichy in the back 4. De Jong came into the midfield with Yaya, and Milner, Nasri and Silva backed up Mario Balotelli, returning from suspension to start his first Champions League game for Manchester City. Pantilimon, Lescott, Kolarov, AJ, Barry, Dzeko, & Aguero made up the very strong bench. The fact that Villarreal were missing a lot of their more experienced players through injury meant that this could be easier than expected.




The first half started and Villarreal, a team with no points and playing at home parked the bus and sat in waiting for us to break them down. City obviously saw a lot of the ball and were patient with the opposition rarely bothering the City defence. It took 30 minutes for the break through to come, Silva running at the defence plays the ball into Yaya just inside the box and as Silva ran through for the return ball, the defender guessed that would happen and stepped across to pick up Silva, but the return ball never came. The guess work from the defender opened up a big hole for Yaya to stroll into and curl a brilliant ball into the bottom corner, His first goal since he won us the FA cup.




The rest of the half played out as it started, City being patient in front of the Villarreal bus and it wasn't until the last minute of the half when Mario megged the defender to burst into the box. 2 defenders came across to cover and Mario went down. Penalty given, not sure why, and in all honestly it was a little soft, but penalty all the same. Mario stepped up, and in his usual care free, ultra cool way, he slotted it home to put us 2-0 up. Half time score from the other group game was Bayern 3 Napoli 1, a good score line for us if it stayed that way.




Second half started and to be honest it was a bit of a stroll, City just doing what they had to do, keeping the ball and limiting the Villarreal threat to the point that it was actually quite boring. David Silva went off on 65 minutes, holding his back in some pain (lets hope he is ok for Saturday) and he was replaced by Adam Johnson, 6 minutes later we were 3-0 up. A good team move, finished when Mario played the ball into the area for Yaya and he provided a nice bit of foot work before finishing Cooley for his second goal. Aguero came on for Yaya and Kolarov came on for Mario as we professionally saw the match out to pick up a vital win and a vital 3 points that moves us up into second place in our group with Bayern beating Napoli 3-2. This means that if we go to Napoli in 3 weeks time and win, we are through to the knock out stages.



Are we good enough to go through in Napoli ? I don't see why not. We seem to be growing into the competition now, and we have been playing better away from home than we have at home. The Napoli fans won't allow their team to sit in and counter like they did at the Etihad and if a team comes at us, United will tell you what we are capable of doing to them, so yes, i think we can qualify. Can we win the whole thing ? That's a different matter. With the likes of Barca and Real and even Bayern still in, it won't be easy, but with the quality we posses now, and on our best day, i think we can stand shoulder to shoulder with anyone. It won;t be easy, but when have City ever done anything easy ? Thanks for reading


Saturday, 29 October 2011

ALL'S WELL BUT ATTWELL !



October 29th 2011 and 4 days after knocking them out of the league cup 5-2 away it's Wolves at home. Before the game the draw had been made and we now faced a quarter final away to Arsenal, but first we had to concentrate on keeping our lead at the top of the league. 3 players kept their place in the team that won on Wednesday, Dzeko, Kolorav & Nasri the rest was changed. Hart returned to keep goal, Lescott, Kompany and Richards completed the back four. Barry and Yaya came back into Midfield and Siva and Aguero also came back in.



The first half was all City and Wolves did the normal thing of trying to get a draw out of the game. City made lots of chances but there was one overwhelming thing that stood out above everything else, something i will come back to shortly. Despite City having the better of the first half and the Wolves keeper making 2 fantastic saves, the scores at half time were level.




Second half was a different matter all together. In the 52nd minute the goal, that had been coming, finally materialized, and it was created by Aguero's endeavour. The Wolves keeper, Wayne Hennessey, took his time clearing the ball and he was closed down by Aguero and the ball was smashed against him. The little Argentinian recovered to roll the ball into the path of Dzeko who rolled it home. The second goal came from Kolarov after a David Silva shot was only parried to his feet by Hennessey, 2-0. Then for a typical City scare. Hart saved a Wolves shot and in the chase for the loose ball Kompany brought down Doyle to give Wolves a penalty and earn himself a red card for the professional foul. Hunt converted the penalty and City faced a tricky last 15 minutes with 10 men. Mancini threw another Defender on taking Aguero off and even though Wolves had the man advantage, they failed to create anything, in fact Adam Johnson managed to curl home a city 3rd in injury time to seal the deal.




Now i haven't concentrated on the match so much in this blog as there is another issue I'd like to draw attention to, because I'm pretty sure if you wasn't at the match you will not get to see it on Match of the day, because they never highlight such things. What i want to talk about is the most Bias referee i have ever seen in all the time i have been going to watch City. Believe me I've seen some bad ones, Everton at home last season for one, But today's, Stuart Attwell, was a disgrace. Gareth Barry was booked early on for the first tackle of the game, and when i say tackle, i mean tackle, nothing bad but he deemed it worthy of a yellow, then, every time the wind blew and a wolves player fell over, a free kick was awarded and yet when David silva had lumps kicked out of him time and time again, and Edin Dzeko was cynically brought down after the ball had gone, he awarded nothing. He even told Silva, who was clearly brought down to get up. I couldn't believe what i was seeing. A player climbs all over the back of Balotelli (who came on also second half) and a free kick is given for Mario backing in. The crowd bellowed their disapproval on many occasions and he was roundly booed at half time and at the final whistle, but never have i come away from the ground feeling so angry after watching my team win. Is it the success we are now enjoying or is he really the complete wanker he made him self look with that performance today. I apologise for my language but I'm afraid he earned it today.

Anyway, i guess we did what we had to do, won the game and kept the 5 point gap that we started the weekend with. I guess all is well that ends well but that refereeing display was disgraceful and i hope who ever it is that rules on these referees See's it and does something about it, but i won't hold my breath. Next game is away to Villarreal in the champions league, another must win, and finally Mario can be unleashed on Europe. Lets hope we get a decent ref.  Sorry for being so brief on match details but i wanted to get this online while i was still seething. Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

BACK TO BUSINESS

Wednesday 26th October 2011 and Man City (and their fans) had been basking in the glory of the 6-1 thumping of the neighbours for 3 days now. Winding up the work mates with the wide smiles. The whole of the football world sitting up and taking notice of what we'd done to the Champions in their own back yard, but it was back to business tonight, Cup business. The Carling cup away to Wolves. A premier league team not to be taken lightly but again Mancini would use the depth in his squad. Pantilimon would start in net for the first time since the last round vs Birmingham, his defence would be Zabaleta, Kolo Toure, Savic & Kolorav. De Jong would start in midfield with Razzak and the attacking line was Nasri, Johnson, Dzeko and Scapuzzi. A complete change to the 11 that had started the "demolition derby" on Sunday but still boasting NINE international players. Surely every body outside the City family were praying for us to fall on our faces tonight.




Game got going and Wolves brought the game to us, as you would expect for the home team playing what they probably considered a weakened line up and for 20 minutes they were dominant. City unable to settle as Wolves piled on the pressure and started to rattle the City back line. Edwards had a good early chance putting a close range header over the bar and we survived an early shout for a penalty as the ball obviously came off Kolarovs hand in the box. Wolves were growing with confidence as we seemed to be struggling and it was only a matter of time, Cross into the box and a bit of luck saw the ball fall for Milijas to smash wolves into a 1-0 lead and a lead they deserved. But after the goal City began to grow into the game and finally started to settle and stroke the ball around like we' come to expect.




9 Minutes before the break and the fireworks started (without Balotelli) and it was Adam Johnson that was the fire starter this time. A good build up saw the ball at Dzeko's feet in the wolves box, but he didn't shoot, he rolled it into the pasth of the in coming AJ and he smashed a fantastic shot into the back of the net to bring the match level. 1-1 with 38 minutes gone. 2 minutes later and a fantastic run through the Wolves defence was repaid with an equally fantastic through ball from AJ and Nasri Cooley finished to put us 2-1 up. 41 minutes and a brilliant cross to the far post from (you guessed it) Johnson again and Scapuzzi's first time shot saved, but only to land at Dzeko's feet and he scores his first to put us 3-1 up. A magical 4 minutes had turned the game on it's head and we had a comfy lead at half time.




Second half started with Wolves trying to get back into the game, and to be fair, Wolves never really gave in even though they were behind, but only 6 minutes into the second half and City scored again. Nasri shot saved well by Wolves keeper De Vries but again, unlucky for the keeper, it landed at the feet of a city striker, this time Scapuzzi to fire home and MAYBE score his first goal for City, I say maybe because the ball was actually blocked by the Wolves defender but only for it to bounce of the back of the diving keeper and roll into the net so it will probably be chalked up to a De Vries own goal. The 5th goal was a thing of pure beauty, a goal that if it was scored by Barcelona would have pundits purring all over the world. Pass after pass after pass and a lovely through ball to Scapuzzi to cross for the Dzeko tap in his second, 4 goals in 2 games now for the big man. Wolves did manage to pull another goal back to make it 5-2 and City maybe should have had a penalty when AJ was blocked off in the box, but i guess it balanced out considering Wolves maybe should have had one first half.



So the final whistle sounded and we were in the quarter finals of the league cup. 11 goals scored in 2 games and the "back up" squad and a few youngsters getting a great run out. Some big teams still in this cup. Arsenal, Liverpool, Blackburn and Chelsea all still in, along with Cardiff and Crystal Palace, the 8th team Manchester United. They had "Bounced back" from the weekends humiliation by beating Aldershot to progress. David Platt had said in the press conference before this game that Mancini wanted to win everything we were in, not going to be easy, especially if the draw was unkind to us, but who knows how serious the opposition would take this, after all no one really does take the league cup serious....Until they draw City in the next round that is. Anyway, this game was done and dusted and we can prepare for the premier league game to come this weekend, Against Wolves again, this time at home. Still a happy blue with a big, BIG smile on my face. Thanks for reading.


Sunday, 23 October 2011

WHY ALWAYS ME ?

23rd of October 2011 and the day had arrived. The day that the blues either hated and feared or loved and enjoyed. I myself have never been fond of this day because for the most part they have always been bad days. The last few years they have been getting closer, and the best one in recent memory played out at Wembley stadium, but today's was a big one. Yes it's only October and yes nothing is ever won in October, but after the start made by both clubs, this one was pretty big. United had played 8 won 6 and drawn 2, scored 25 goals and conceded 6 and were sitting in second place with 20 points. City had also played 8, won 7 and drawn just the 1. We'd scored 27 goals and only conceded 6 and we were top of the league with 22 points. Today was without doubt one of the biggest league derbys. The 11 players to face the champions in their own backyard would be Joe Hart in Goal. A back four of Richards, Kompany, Lescott & Clichy. 2 holding midfielders, Barry and Yaya, with a front four of Milner, Silva, Aguero and the in form Balotelli. Great to see Milner getting the nod because against Villa he was excellent and as a sub against Villarreal he'd shown some great passion and desire. A good call in my opinion from Mancini, but i guess time would tell.



The match started and United came at us. As expected for the first 20 minutes we had to soak up a lot of United possession after all they were at home, and the pressure was on them as we could settle for a draw. They did have the better of the opening exchanges, but failed to produce a telling chance or even test Hart in goal, in fact the first big chance wasn't created until the 22nd minute, and it came from City. Silva did well to pick out Milner down the left and he crossed it to Balotelli who placed a pin point shot to pick out the bottom corner of the United goal and leave the full stretch De Gea with no chance. City were one up in the derby and while i was going mad, Mario Cooley lifted his shirt over his head to produce a message underneath saying "Why always me ?". A moment of quality from Mario (yes, probably against the run of play) with a quality celebration, for which he got booked. United tried to come again but it was settling into a more even game now. All united efforts were meeting good blocks and they didn't bring a save from Hart until the 37th minute when Rooney hit a shot from the edge of the box that lacked power and hart dealt with it easily. The half came to an end without anymore telling incidents so we led 1-0 at half time. 




The second half go underway and it was City who started brighter and we took a grip on the game, a grip that tightened when Evans was given a red card for a professional foul. Evans had tried to hold off Mario had he went through on goal, but he didn't have the strength to hold him so instead dragged him down and received his deserved marching orders. This was to change the game in City's favour.





  On 51 minutes City could have easily had a penalty awarded when Richards tangled with Anderson, But ref Clattenburg didn't think so. On 60 minutes City turned the screw. Mario and Milner again linking up with a lovely little pass thrown in By Silva to put Milner in a brilliant position to cross for Mario to make it 2-0. Again, me, Pete and Little D go mental.



City fans out singing the home fans now and Fergie rolls the dice throwing on Hernandez and Jones. Didn't matter though, the game was gone, and slipping further from them as on 69 minutes Micah Richards (who was Immense on the day) crossed for an Aguero tap in. 3-0 now and we are all in dream land. This morning my head was telling me draw, my heart was telling me we could nick it, but there was always the over riding feeling that United would somehow cheat us out of anything, how wrong i was. City leading the champions 3-0 at the "theater of dreams" ! Was this a dream ???




Mario made way for Dzeko and Aguero made way for Nasri, but credit to United, with only 10 men they did still try to come forward and try and get something from the game, and in the 81st minute they did. A brilliant piece of passing play and Fletcher curled a fantastic goal into the top corner with Hart powerless to do anything. A good consolation goal for them. Little D made a comment about them coming back now, and in times gone by i would have probably agreed, but not today. I was confident that this was our day, 3-1 up against 10 men with 10 minutes left ?  We wouldn't let this slip, surely we'd hold on to this. I never expected what was to come, not for a second. 89TH Minute saw Milner (who had been fantastic again today) made way Kolarov and then, from a corner, Barry got his head to a ball that Lescott stretched to keep in, and while the United defence all appealed for an offside that wasn't there, Lescott's center was Kneed into the net by Dzeko. 4-0 and the three goal lead restored. Good to see Dzeko scoring again, can only be good for his confidence.




3 minutes of injury time announced and United must have been praying for the final whistle as Dzeko played the ball in behind the stretched United defence for the AMAZING David Silva to run onto and slot the ball between Da Gea's legs to make it 5-1. FIVE - ONE ? At Old Trafford. This was unbelievable. Me, Pete and Little D doing a Poznan in my living room with the widest possible smiles on our faces. It doesn't get any better than this. Does it ?




Yes it does ! Silva returns the favour and plays a fantastic pass through the beleaguered United back line for the on rushing Dzeko, and in front of the rapidly emptying Old Trafford, fires home for his second and puts City 6-1 up. Words escape me for how great this made me feel. I remember a 5-1 win in the eighties, but how I've hated this game for years ! All those feelings being brushed a side by a dominant display which will have sent a message right through the premier league if not Europe.





Now, do i get carried away by this result ? No. Does this win us anything ? Other than 3 important points, No it doesn't, as i said, nothing is ever won in October and there is a long way to go yet. But this does give us a 5 point lead at the top of the premier league table (thanks to QPR 1 Chelsea 0) and it shows that we have nothing at all to fear from the big clubs in this division. We've demolished a good Spurs side in their own back yard and now we have done it to the Champions, a team that hadn't lost so far this season, a team that hadn't been beat at home in god knows how long and Man United and Feries biggest defeat EVER ! Does it feel good ? It feels better than good, it's AMAZING ! I never thought for a second when i woke up this morning that we could put six goals past United at home and as i write this, i don't think it's even sunk in yet. I'll leave it there, don't want to gloat to much and seem arrogant now do I ? All i will say is i am a VERY happy blue today. Manchester IS blue. Thanks for reading :0)