Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Manchester City 3:0 Wigan: Match review.

The only light at the end of a long, cold and miserable day was the promise of trip to COMS, where City were set to strike back after a disappointing loss last week. Sadly the performance didn’t quite match my deluded vision of what was meant to happen. City’s showing more than matched the dismal drizzling rain that lasted most of the night.

Mancini set out for a 442, dropping Barry, opting for De Jong and Vieira partnership. He also gave a swift return to Adebayor after his 4 game ban. Ireland failed to make the final squad, presumably through fitness, whilst, Richards, Bellamy dropped to the bench. The squad on paper really showed a lot of promise. Inevitably it didn’t deliver!

The first half lacked tempo and sharpness in all regard. Wigan pressed our defence with little success, although created some good chances for shots from outside of the box. City were much the same, chances were few and far between, mainly due to a lack of good service. Tevez created the best chance, cutting in from the left with a great individual effort. With SWP and Johnson on the wings, it should really be more productive. Johnson looked the more promising of the two, as per usual. SWP once again put a largely disappointing performance that will surly decrease his chances of going to South Africa with England! (He can go on holiday, obviously!) The half ended with some half hearted boos, I’m not a fan of this, but it was perhaps deserved, to serve a reminder that it simply wasn’t good enough.

Expectations were immediately raised at half time with the sign of Bellamy doing rigorous warm ups and being briefed by Mancini. He replaced SWP and allowed Johnson to switch to right wing where he has been the most dangerous. This move proved important giving City more purpose and aggression. The turning point in the game was the dismissal of Caldwell for a rash two footed challenge on Tevez. He was on the receiving end of a few suspect challenges during the game. I haven’t seen the replays of this, but from what I had seen live, it may have been a little harsh for a straight red. Referee Atwell had a pretty awful game along with his assistants.

Wigan went down to ten men and started to look the most promising side. The city defence looked lest than assured against Moreno and Rodallega who may feel unlucky not to of pulled ahead. But once again Carlos Tevez came to City’s rescue. A nice pass ironically from a pretty awful Vieira found both Tevez and Adebayor reaching the ball before the hapless Serbian goalie on loan from Sporting. Tevez was soon in the action again at 75 mins. A turn of pace from Garrido into the box, a flick from Kompany led to an easy finish from Tevez to make it two.

The final goal and the third for Tevez came in the 84th min. A great run down the right, followed by a slick finish that the keeper had no chance of saving. City finally finished the game on a high, with a good tempo and energy and dominated the 10 man Wigan side.

A very good result in the end. I sensed a great deal of nervousness and pressure on the City players today. Fans were quick to get on players backs, which I find can be counter, productive, But you can’t really blame them. The performance wasn’t at all good enough. The midfield didn’t function well. De Jong was quite ineffective, although most of the focus will be on Vieira who didn’t put in a performance like his did at Fulham, but instead looked far off the pace, his only saving grace was his passing. He managed to create some very good chances, but we need to see a great deal more from him if he is going to keep Barry out of the side. Adebayor looked rusty, and was the brunt of some criticism, but he certainly didn’t lack effort, it looked like he tried too hard.

3-0 at home, clean sheet, and we were on TV. In the end it’s a good night, we are still very much in the fight for 4th spot and move ahead of Liverpool in the table. We didn’t look like a team fighting for 4th, but is it not a good sign winning when you don’t play well… a cliché too far?

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