It’s been a long and frustrating wait for City fans to play another games since the impressive victory at Stamford Bridge! So today’s performance was all too predictable anti-climax for the blues! The performance reflected in some regard, the Chelsea game. The 1st half was slow in tempo and manner, as we struggled to get to grips with the opposition, allowing them to score an easy goal! The Second half showing was far brighter and more exciting for the visiting fans, only the lack of quality finishing let down to side.
It was a terrible start to the game, Kenwyne Jones static in the box was able to connect a pretty much-uncontested header, which Given had no chance of saving. City were all over the place, Richards caught out of position several times, Kompany failing in several aerial battles with Jones summed a pretty unmotivated and lacklustre start for the Blues. An early change removing Wayne Bridge for Santa Cruz gave the team more shape, but the supply in the midfield was non-existent. Not a performance worthy of 4th spot let alone a new contract! Bellamy and Tevez looked out of sorts and without a clinical attack, we are pretty toothless.
The break couldn’t come soon enough, it gave time for Mancini to grip the side and send them in the right direction. We came out second half all guns blazing creating several chances. Yet we couldn’t beat an impressive Craig Gordon. For me the biggest disappointment was the quality of finishing and poor decision making. RSC looked like a striker who hasn’t played for a long time. Bellamy was, hard working as ever, but severely lacking quality in his final ball; he tends to blow hot and cold. As does Tevez, whom wastes allot chances and often scores the more difficult opportunities. This is a quality City do lack, and have done for years. We have some great attacking players, with flair and fantastic ability, but we dont have an instinct striker. Watching Spurs on Friday, they weren’t in full form, but when a half chance falls to Pavlyuchenko or Defoe, they tend to score! With City, i don’t know if we have that type of player. Adebayor has that ability, but haven’t found how to get the best out of him regularly!
Mancini made two changes that really worked. Vieira swapping for poor Micah Richards and Adam Johnson for a disappointing SWP. Vieira came into middle of the park and looked a little rusty, but quickly settled in, and was able to orchestrate the ball around creating several chances and holding the ball well. He looked fitter too. Perhaps the extended break was a blessing for him, as he didn’t look great when he was first rushed into action. Adam Johnson came on and gave that creativity we severely lacked and desired. Some good work down the right flank had ‘cletus Ferdinand’ in tatters, something SWP couldn’t really manage in the game. He of course then scored a brilliant goal to draw city level. Johnson a 'Mackem' himself, showed the under performing 'stars' how it's down! It was a great relief to get the draw in the end, but the second half performance warranted so much more.
It’s disappointing result today, as it was a chance to exercise our dominance in challenging for the 4th spot, instead we took our foot off the gas and have made life more difficult for us in future games. We can’t afford many more performances like this; the attitude has to change quickly. After the Chelsea win, with all the talk in the press from the players, the performance came somewhat as a surprise. We didn't look like a side motivated to challenge for 4th spot. It's difficult for the manager too, one match he think he's found the best side, only for the team to look completely lost in the next!
We must do better!
Fulham next ...