Wednesday, 17 September 2014

It can be a cruel, cruel game…

Bayern fans and officials may say a narrow win was a fair result and so might the neutrals. They might say that…and they might be right.

Blue-tinted glasses?

I don't agree - I think a draw would have been the 'fair one'. Yeah they had the better of the chances and MORE chances [than we had]. A illustration of that is the 9/10 performance our England number 1 keeper, Joe Hart, put in. What a performance!

And…eventually anyway…the home side gradually pushed us back from 52 / 48% possession for most of the first half to a slightly improved 58 / 42%. But for a Bayern home side – admittedly a slightly under-strengthen one – that’s hardly a familiar stat to satisfy a Pep Guardiola home side, is it?

Part of that you have to give us credit for in my opinion - in between the scares and immense performance from ‘our Joe’, our possession play was really quite good. At one stage in the first half I swear we had 35 to 40 passes at the Allianz Arena.

But possession is nothing, of course, without some ‘cut ‘n’ thrust’ and although we certainly DID have our chances, they weren’t exactly clear cut…especially when compared to the German side’s efforts.

Edin Dzeko had a couple but was largely ineffective throughout the game and once David Silva EVENTUALLY got going and into the game (that slow start from him was strange - even when we were ‘holding our own’ he appeared absent) the Spaniard had his chances too.

The U-boat Robben
And we had a decent shout for a penalty – certainly more so than the cheating (again!) Robben

Slight criticism from me for the starting personnel (and not just because I only got 8 from the starting 11 correct). I just felt that this was a game for the more fluid Sergio, who looked to pose a bit more of a danger to their defence when he came on for the often-languid-looking Edin who had an...average game all round. Gael played well (again) but doubling-up / overlapping runs from Aleks might have proven a better strategy against a slightly-depleted home side who we may have been able to catch on the break a bit more.

Navas, again and in fairness, saw lots of the ball and provided his usual threat – he’s having a very good season so far (including pre-season). But I just felt that we could have, instead, 'beefed up' the midfield from the start with the pairing of Milner & Fernandinho for this one. Bringing Navas on with ‘tired legs’ around him could have then done the trick.

It’s all about opinions…and Pellegrini has far more trophies to his name than I do.

It smarts a bit and that’s why, rather than feeling too down, our strong-minded, pride-hurt team will come back stronger for it I’m certain.

Next up? A Chelsea side (on Sunday - 4:00pm KO BST) who will also be irritated at being held to a draw at home last night…

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