Thankfully without a repeat of last season’s sending off; that game had almost everything! Blistering start, 6 goals in total, a comeback, a penalty, rattling ‘woodwork’ and an exciting finish with yet ANOTHER Frank Lampard goal!
Six days and three VERY different performances!
Let’s get the obvious out of the way because, no doubt, the sniping critics will have their say soon enough (they probably have done already). After a prolonged transfer saga and then after being eased into Manchester City life ever so slowly to, our manager tells us, get used to the way we play (makes sense); Eliaquim has then had a frantic an explosive three games in just six days!
And what a contrasting three games there were! An exceptional debut against Chelsea saw him, along with his ever-impressive partner Vinny, shut Jose’s men out for the most part in a 9/10 performance. Soon to follow was a considerably easier fixture against Sheffield Wednesday, where a solid 7/10 Mangala almost added a goal to his fledgling City career.
Then there was yesterday – a 5/10 nightmarish performance that saw an own goal and a penalty give-away / yellow card; all of which left him ‘out of sorts’ for most of the rest of the game. I’m glad he wasn’t taken off though; worse thing that could have happened for his confidence. Well done Manuel for that.
So 9/10, 7/10 & 5/10 - I make that an average 7/10. Not bad for a new guy playing his first ever football in our country.
A game to forget for the powerhouse defender? Not a bit of it - he’ll learn from that one and will be even stronger and better for it I’m sure.
As for the rest…
Defensively I thought even Pablo looked a little ropey yesterday and his passing wasn’t great either. However, he more than made up for it with some supportive play and even from a slightly below par game he managed 2 assists! 7/10
Vinny had to be on his metal to make up for Eliaquim’s off day…and he was. 8.5/10 (MotM)
Gael had a bit of a torrid time, particularly in the first half. Decent second half though. 6/10
I thought Fernandinho’s gradual season-improvement halted somewhat yesterday. He didn’t impose himself anywhere near as much as we’d like from our defensive midfielder and the game seem to pass him by for the most part. 5.5/10
Did Fernandinho’s performance hinder Yaya a little? I think it did to some degree. Not a terrible performance form the Ivorian all things considered…and he did almost score a screamer. 7/10
James seemed to sum up the performance of the team as a whole yesterday – he looked slightly out of sorts for large periods and his passing just wasn’t coming off for the majority of the time. Effort was there as always though. 6/10
What would we do without David? Struggle, that’s what. He just keeps us ticking over even when the teams looks a little flaky. 8/10
Sergio keeps ticking along too. Exploded into the game and then always looked a threat…without threatening too much by his standards. 7.5/10
Good grief I’m getting bored of saying the same thing about E. Nigma (E. Dzeko if you had to ask). Edin should get a 8 and, perhaps, even 8.5/10 for a very good goal and an exceptional one. So, both for and from me, his 6.5/10 says all about his contribution otherwise. Muscled off the ball far too easily, couldn’t ‘trap’ (again!), far too slow in general…and where WAS that work rate we saw against
And on that, it's interesting for me to see Edin's celebrations at times. More often than not they don't appear to be joyous occasions for the striker but rather they often seem packed full of 'frustrated release' for the player himself. It's almost as though he's annoyed with himself for his mixed-bag performances...
Jesus seemed to give us some impetus back and helped in the build up to Edin’s second. Continuing his good form with a 7/10.
Frank just keeps doing what he does best. He just ‘gets in those areas’ doesn’t he? 7/10
I was looking to Martin to settle us down and help see the game off in midfield. He didn’t. 5/10
Other points of note
- I have to admit to having a little scratch of my head when Manuel reshuffled his pack the way he did when taking Fernandinho off. Yaya moved to sit deep at the base of the ‘midfield diamond’ seemed like a strange one, particularly when we had James on the pitch. However…cometh ‘The Engineer’; the man who should take huge praise for yesterday’s turnaround and eventual 4-2 win. Well done that (charming) man!
- The left side of defence still rankles with me somewhat. I don’t dislike Gael but he does seem to have more average days than I would like at this level of football…and I think he’s a better defender that Aleks. If ONLY we could have found a Bacary for that side in the summer. Huhhhh…
- Tom Huddlestone should have had two yellows ‘in my humble’ – he didn’t even get one!
Roma in the Champions League next (Tuesday 7:45pm KO BST).