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)


Wednesday, 19 October 2011

GOOD ENOUGH ?



October 17th 2011 and this game was Crucial. Due to a draw with Napoli in game one and losing away to Bayern in Game two, City found them selves 3rd in their Champions league group with 1 point. Second were Napoli with 4 points and top with 6 points were Bayern, so tonight We faced bottom of the table and pointless Villarreal. Outside the ground the mood seemed positive and anyone who was asked was predicting a City win, but this being the Champions League, i wasn't so sure that this was going to be the walk over a lot of fans were predicting.




The team sheet saw Dzeko starting up front with Nasri, Johnson and the mercurial Silva backing him up. The 2 holding midfielders were Yaya and De Jong and in came Mancini's preferred fullbacks for Europe, Kolarov and Zabbaleta. The centre backs were the usual Lescott and Captain Kompany with Hart in net. The atmosphere as kick off loomed was great, that music once again making the hairs on the back of my neck stand on edge, and as the teams came out, the fans held up the paper provided on each seat to create the blue moon banner. It was all set up to be one of those nights. The new singing section created by moving the away fans out of the south stand to make the stadium 360 degrees of blue was in great voice. Everyone was ready, apart from maybe the 11 players on the pitch.




Three minutes into the game and a loose pass from Silva meant that the ever dependable De Jong lost possession of the ball 30 yards from our own net, their danger man Rossi picked the ball up on the edge of our area, cut inside Kompany and got of a shot. Hart saved, but could only palm the ball into the path of the in coming Cani and before we knew what was happening we were 1-0 down and facing a mountain to climb. The fans didn't seem to lose hope though and kept them selves entertained by screwing up the paper from their seats and throwing them at each other. After the early set back it was all City as we desperately tried to get back into the game, But Villarreal had set up well and held up to our waves of attacks, mostly coming down the left in the form of Kolarov, getting forward when ever he could, but the breakthrough wouldn't come. It was Kolarov himself who made the best chances. One shot from the left whizzing just wide and then a free kick from the right, nicely saved by the Villarreal keeper.





 5 minutes before half time and Mancini made his first substitution. Adam Johnson off for Barry, and Jono looked as confused as the rest of us at this decicion, but the manager later explained that he wanted to get another midfielder on to combat the away teams formation and also get Yaya further up the pitch. I questioned this decision, thinking that this was a change that could have waited until half time, but as I'd questioned the starting 11 vs Villa the weekend just gone and was proved wrong, i was quickly proved wrong again.  42 minutes and Silva gave the ball to Nasri, the little french man played a great pass to the ever running Kolarov, and his cross was put in the net to equalize, Not by the in coming Dzeko, but by Marchena, the defender trying to stop Dzeko from scoring. We didn't care who scored it or that it was an own goal, we just cared we were level and back in the game. Minutes later Silva played Dzeko in again but his shot was saved and the halftime whistle came, probably at the wrong time for us as we were building some momentum. In all honesty we hadn't been great and it wouldn't be fair to single out anyone who was playing badly, because everyone hadn't been brilliant.




Second half started and as i watched it pan out in front of me there was only one thing going through my mind, "This isn't good enough". We weren't creating much, and when we did Dzeko wasted it. We were getting caught offside far to much and although we had all the possession, they kept trying to break on us, at one point bringing a good save from Joe. On 63 minutes Aguero made his return, his first appearance since limping off against Blackburn. He added some much needed pace and urgency, but he seemed to be off the pace a little and lost possession or over ran the ball far to many times. 81 minutes and Milner entered the game. Milner picked up where he'd left off against Villa, looking hungry and determined and it was him that started the move that became one of those "I was there when" moments.

Three minutes of injury time had been announced and three minutes had almost elapsed when Milner picked up the ball on the right. He skipped inside a sliding challenge before playing a pass that got Zabbaleta in behind the back four. He turned into the box and played a first time cross, across the front of goal. It took a little flick from Silva, but it was Aguero, arriving at the back post to poke home the winner with seconds remaining. We'd done it, our first Champions League win, and 3 vital points. The place erupted ! Me and Little D jumping up and down in each others arms. It felt amazing, and was a brilliant result, but it did maybe disguise a poor performance overall, but tonight was all about getting a result, and we had. Villarreal only had time to kick off again before the whistle ended the game and sent us blues home happy.




There was a lot to be disappointed about. The most disappointing thing for me was the away support. I'd been to a lot of European games and a lot of the time the away support was colourful and loud, but the Villarreal fans were practically none existent. The overall performance was disappointing, but the 5 seconds before the final whistle swept all that under the carpet. Maybe this was the catalyst to kick start our European campaign now. Villarreal away would be next and the fact Bayer had drawn at Napoli 1-1 meant we were right back in it.

Bayern      7 points
Napoli      5 points
CITY       4 points
Villarreal   0 points

Also, a draw here would have probably meant our champions league dreams were all but dead and we would have all been feeling low. But Aguero's last ditch winner meant we were alive and kicking in our group and all on a high going into our next game, Manchester United away on Sunday. Us top, 2 points clear of them in second. This is probably the biggest derby in recent history or at least since the semi final of the FA cup last year. Bring it on. I can't wait. Thanks for reading.

Monday, 17 October 2011

GREAT WEEKEND

Saturday 15th October and we were playing Villa at home. It was a surprisingly nice bright day and i arrived at the ground to hear team news that worried me slightly. David Silva, Samir Nasri and Edin Dzeko all on the bench and Sergio Aguero not even in the squad. Starting 11 was Hart in net and the usual back four of Richards, Kompany, Lescott and Clichy, the holding midfielders were Barry (against his former club) and De Jong making his first start since his injury. The front four were Johnson and Milner (against his former club) and Yaya and Balotelli leading the line. Maybe we do have a strong deep squad now but to leave Silva and Nasrio both out made me wonder. The Villa starting 11 boasted 3 ex blues. Richard Dunne and Stephen Ireland, and returning to the Etihad for the first time since he left, Shay Given. Each ex Blue received a good ovation from the city faithful, which is more than can be said for the ex Villa players in the city side.




The match started and straight away it was good to see De Jong back and sliding into Tackles hard, like he does, and again it came obvious that we were gonna have to play through the parked Villa camp and also the match quickly became Balotelli vs The Villa fans. Mario, trying to keep a ball in play, slipped right in front of the travelling Villa ranks, much to their entertainment, and they cheered loudly. Mario put his finger to his lips and he shushed them. Not long after that, Mario tested the returning Given with a shot that bounced awkwardly and Given had to usher it around the post. The villa fans again jeered out Italian superstar in waiting and he responded with a look that suggested "I'm going to get you sooner or later". He wasn't wrong.




29 minutes, A corner swung in, took a nick of Darren Bents head at the near post as he tried to defend it. It landed on the ample chest of Richards who chested it down thinking he could follow up with the finish, he was wrong, the ball had landed in Front of Mario with his back to goal, that didn't matter, because as the ball sat up, Mario opened the scoring with an audacious over head kick. Given was rooted to the spot as the ball nestled into the back of the net, but Mario was back on his feet to go celebrate his goal in front of the Villa fans who were mocking him no more. His city team mate came to celebrate with him, and also usher him away from the away fans. 4 goals in as many games now for Mario and the city strikers seemed to be sharing the wealth this season.




It was 1-0 at half time then but a minute into the second half the lead was doubled. A long ball from midfield over the Villa back four, and a missed over head attempted clearance from Warnock saw Johnson in with only Given to beat and with a first time attempt he casually rolled the ball into the bottom corner and Shay could only stand and watch, Johnson had now scored 2 in 2. My worries about the starting line up now subsided. On 51 minutes, a Johnson corner was met on the near post by captain Kompany who casually headed home City's third and now we were strolling. But for a few half chances, Villa hadn't really threatened but they managed a consolation from warnock.

video


The best goal of the game was yet to come. 70 Minutes and city had a 3 goal lead again. Milner picked the ball up on the left wing just inside the Villa half and he played a sublime pass, over to Johnson on the right wing, which he picked up near the corner flag. Johnson did what he did best and attacked the box and the villa left back, forcing him back into the penalty area, before laying the ball off to Barry, just outside the box. He rolled the ball across the front of the area for the advancing Milner who Cooley curled a right footed shot past the helpless Given to make it 4-0. Milner showed his class, first with the goal and second by not celebrating against his former employees, he left that to his team mates, and the sold out crowd.



Now this 4-1 victory brought a lot of pleasing things. Not only had we managed to rest a few of our best players for the upcoming crucial game in the Champions league vs Villareal, but we had showed just how strong and deep our squad now is. Again we'd scored 4 goals, like we did before the International break against Blackburn, and again we'd had 4 different goal scorers. But the most pleasing thing about today was the fact that down the M62, Manchester United had only managed a 1-1 draw against Liverpool, so this left us sitting 2 points clear, at the top of the league as we go into the Derby next weekend. When was the last time City had gone into the Manchester Derby not only above our Rivals, but top of the league ? This result, followed by an absolutely brilliant night out in Manchester with some good Friends, old and new, made this a very, VERY pleasing weekend. Thanks for reading.


Thursday, 13 October 2011

BLUE VIEWS

So there is no domestic football this weekend because of international break so i thought I'd write a blog about my History with Manchester City and my memories through the years. I started supporting Manchester City because of my brother. I was 9 years old when he went off to Wembley to watch us play Spurs in the FA cup final in 1981. Up until then I'd rather play football than watch it so hadn't really decided to follow a team back then. I did like certain players though. Peter Withe, who at that time was playing for Aston Villa was one that a liked, along with Gary shaw, they scored a lot of goals. Glenn Hoddle was another player that caught the eye also. But it was seeing my brother come back from Wembley disappointed, not once but twice made me realise that i wanted to be passionate about a club like that, so why not follow the same team as him and have something in common with him, so that's how it started.

It was 1996 - 97 though before i went to my very first City game at Maine road and we played Blackburn Rovers who had won the title the year before so we were playing the champions. The first goal I saw scored was scored by Alan Shearer to put us 1-0 down, the second goal i saw scored and the first scored by a city player was the equalizer scored by Steve Lomas. A goal he celebrated right in front of me in the north stand. This got my picture in the city magazine and the program becasue there i was in the background as he celebrated, this also started my love with the north stand, but the thing i took away from that game the most was My admiration for the amazing little player I'd just seen, none other than Gio Kinkladze.

Brought to the club by Alan Ball, Kinkladze rapidly became my Favourite City player. The way he ran at speed with the ball, the passing, the dribbling, the guy was magical to watch and some of the goals he scored were amazing, none better than the one On the 16th March 1996 at Maine road vs Southampton. Kinkladze beat five players before chipping the ball over Southampton goalkeeper Dave Beasant and i was there to see it. My favourite player to ever wear a city shirt providing me with my Favourite ever memory also. Kinkladze's brilliance in our side was not enough to save us from relegation and unfortunately he moved on. But my love for City never ended and i continued to go to matches as and when i could afford to, even when relegated again into the third tear of English football i never stopped supporting my Team.

Obviously there have been ups and downs supporting City, More downs if I'm honest and a lot of Bad memories to boot, but these are the memories that make us who we are, these are the things that make us love the club all that much more, and those who have stood by us through the dark days are now beginning ti enjoy the pay off now the money has come rolling in and the long long wait for a trophy finally ended. Who would have thought 10 years ago we'd be in the champions league, rubbing shoulders with the likes of Bayern Munich.

Anyway, you all probably have your own memories good and bad, and your favourite players through the years. We all have our "BLUE VIEWS"

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Saturday, 1 October 2011

MOVING FORWARD TOGETHER



The build up to the Blackburn game was dominated by the fallout from Carlos Tevez, allegedly refusing to come off the bench in Germany on Tuesday. Supposedly when asked to come on the little Argentinian Diva had refused. Now i stated a few weeks ago in a previous blog, referring to the Cook mess, that this Blog was started to share my views on the games and not get embroiled in the politics that surround football these days, so that being said, all i will say on the subject is, the day Mr Tevez leaves (or is sacked) can't come quick enough. The man has made it perfectly clear more than once he has no desire to be a part of our fantastic club and yet the fans have stood by him, but you have lost my support Mr Tevez and i will not be sorry to see you gone.



The team shown 6 changes to the one fielded in Europe, Dzeko was rested (or punished) after his poor showing in Munich and his little strop when he was substituted and Balotelli got his first premier league start. Johnson returned from his ankle injury to replace Nasri who was also rested. Lescott returned to the center of the defence and the full backs were all new to with Zabaletta and Kolarov coming back in. The other change saw Milner starting in midfield. The first half was a pretty uneventful showing played at a fairly slow pace on an extraordinarily hot day for the first of October and chances for either team were few and far between. Blackburn set up like most teams that face us now, to absorb us and try and counter. The best chances city did manage to create fell to Balotelli, but he managed to fire over or wide, and Joe Hart was rarely tested and didn't even make a meaningful save. The most notable moment of the first half came on 26 minutes when Sergio Aguero limped out of the game with what looked like a groin strain, he was replaced by Samir Nasri. So after an eventful week then the whistle brought an end to an un-eventful, and in all honestly, un-entertaining first half.




Second half started and it was noticeable that Mancini had addressed the speed that the game was being played at so City began to step it up and on 56 minutes, the deadlock was broken. A cross from Kolarov was partly cleared to the edge of the box, falling to Johnson's feet, he took a touch, composed him self and then curled a brilliant shot into the top corner, brilliant to have AJ back in the team, even better to see him score an absolute blinder to put city 1-0 up. 3 minutes later and the lead was doubled. Good work down the left from Nasri who fired in the cross that most strikers would have gone for with their heads, but Mario isn't most strikers, and he turned the ball in with his foot. 3 goals in 3 games now for Mario and reward for his brilliant attitude and patience in waiting on the bench in previous games to get his chance (unlike someone else I could, but won't mention).  On 73 minutes it was 3-0 and a first goal in City colours for Samir Nasri, that is if it isn't taken away from him. Brilliant patient build up again saw Silva set up Nasri for the shot which took a deflection before nestling in the back of the net. Blackburn fans singing Keane out now and the banners that were apparently prepared for a demonstration after the final whistle were now getting an airing. Remember the days when City fans used to protest at Matches ? Sitting in the middle of the pitch after the final whistle and refusing to leave Maine road all those years ago ? How far we've come ? 79 Minutes gone and Savic comes on to replace Johnson and on 87 minutes it's Savic who scores his first city goal to make it 4-0. Silva's corner met by Savic with a powerful header, so 4 goals and 4 different names on the score sheet. Dzeko did get a late run out replacing the brilliant Balotelli, but the game ended 4-0 and the Blackburn fans protest began.



So after 4 days of the gutter press talking abut "a club in turmoil" and the fact we are "imploding" we still sit unbeaten in the premier league, separated only by 1 goal in goal difference from the league toppers and champions United, some turmoil we are in ? It is pleasing that we have gone to Ewood park today and made a statement, and shown the world that we are all on the same page and going in the right direction under Mancini. One player is not bigger than this club and gone are the days when we rely on Carlos Tevez for goals, maybe there in lies his problem ? Two weeks off now until we play Villa because on an international break, time maybe for Aguero to shake what ever injury he picked up today and time to resolve internal problems, all i will say is.....Carlos ? Carlos who ?