Don’t often do these…and sorry for the delay.
Masterclass (almost all round)
After enjoying a few ‘tinnies’ throughout the game and a couple of pints at my local afterwards – and having THOROUGHLY enjoyed the City performance and result - I switched my attentions to all things astronomical and, switching my beverage also from beer to 4 cups of coffee over a 3-hour period; I sat in my garden staring at the sky looking for meteor ‘shooting stars’ until 2:10am. I saw four…
So having gone to bed at almost 2:30am and then having woke up with my wife’s alarm clock at 6:30am indicating that she had to get up for work; I felt punch drunk / jet-lagged to say the very least and just couldn’t gather my thoughts together enough to-even cobble together the most basic of blog-postings. Again, apologies if you were expecting one.
As I say though – and regular readers will know – I don’t always / often do a post-game piece…but sometimes a game / performance warrants something at least.
“Masterclass” & “Speechless” were two words I used in a text to fellow Blues after the game – the passing was slick and we TOTALLY dominated the home side. Great organisation and work-rate from City where, going forward, we often hunted in packs of 3 & 4. Amazing, quick passing and well-rehearsed, polished moves.
Even if we only reproduce 90% of that performance for most of the rest of the season we won’t go far wrong, I thought to myself as I trotted-on round to the pub…
Hart - 7
Not much to do but what he had to he did well. For the most part his kicking was much better too.
Kolarov - 8
Attacking-wise he was very impressive on Monday night. Just one dodgy moment on 35 minutes where he receive a slightly (okay...) clumsy pass from one of his colleagues but, being as he is so one-footed-awkward; he-then struggled to ‘dig it out’ and get rid of it. If ONLY he could be as impressive defensively as he can be going forward then I, at least, wouldn’t be so permanently nervous for us in this area of the field.
Mangala - 7.5
His concentration was better and despite a fairly tough time against strong opposition in Ricky Lambert; kept his cool well.
Kompany - 8
Solid partnership with Mangala in defence and added a spectacular-looking goal too…which pundits later said came off his shoulder [rather than his head].
Sagna - 7.5
Never understand why so many Blues don’t appear to like this fella. Another strong performance in defence and, like Kolarov, did well going forward too. In my opinion we have very good cover for Zabaleta…although the French international won’t want to see himself as “cover” of course.
Fernandinho - 5.5
The weak link. Time and time and time again last season I bemoaned the way he often bundles into players in such a clumsy fashion. Did it on 3 occasions in less than an hour on Monday night and better teams would have punished us for it. Can’t believe he stayed on the pitch for the ‘whole 90’. For me…come back Fernando and / or ‘get well soon’ Fabian!
Toure - 8.5
The Ivorian seemed slightly irritated the following day when it was claimed by so many that ‘he was back’. Yaya took to social media, in fact, to proclaim that he’d never been away. Come on fella – I can’t recall one game last season where you played so very well! He WAS back to his commanding best; strutting around at a pace that would have most tearing their hair out in frustration…tearing their hair out, that is, if he didn’t have the control & skill to help dictate the midfield and to dispatch, with apparent easy, amazing shots into the back of oppo’s net! At the risk of incurring his wrath also – welcome back Yaya!
Silva - 10
I don’t give 10s lightly and it has to be a pretty special performance to give a 10 where the player didn’t score a hat-trick AND have a special night otherwise. I thought it was a very special display from the Spaniard. He was at every corner and side for the pitch; his energy seemed boundless, his skill to be drooled at. Once again he made the whole team 'tick'. Truly wonderful display. Do you know the Manchester Evening News gave David an 8…and Fernandinho a 7? Taking nothing whatsoever away from our brilliant Sergio; how did our Spanish magician in the middle not get last season’s ‘player of the season’ when I recall so many similar performances from him during the last campaign?!
Navas - 7.5
Looked better in pre-season and continued this on Monday. Just seems to have added slightly more to his game than just running to the corner and whipping-in (mostly) poor crosses. Keep it up fella!
Sterling - 7.5
Should have scored…but that’s where the negatives end. Was everything I expected in joining a fluid attack. Popped up everywhere to help terrorise Albion. Goals will come…but I’m still happy for him to be mostly ‘an assist man’.
Bony - 7
Someone actually slagged off Wilfried after the game! I couldn’t believe it…and I can only assume that this person believes that when a striker doesn’t score then he must have had a bad game. For me that’s not looking at player’s performance close enough - if Edin Dzeko had HALF of Bony’s team awareness and interplay / passing skills then I might have been happy for him to stay on another season. I saw Wilfried’s intelligent play [for the brief time post-African Nations / injuries would allow] last season…and he got an assist at The Hawthorns on Monday night!
Aguero - 6.5
Looked sharp and most certainly eager to get on the score sheet. And one stage, in his 31-minute appearance, he took on and beat 3 players before having his shot blocked. He’s warming up…
Nasri - 6
Kept things ticking along nicely for the 20 minutes he was on.
Demichelis - 6
On for 13 minutes and used as a defensive midfielder in place of Yaya; who appeared to ‘tweak’ his groin area. Like Sergio he was keen to see the ball - according to Radio Manchester’s Fred Eyre, Martin actually whistled using his fingers to alert a colleague that he wanted the ball passed to him!
Tony Pulis said after the game that he was at fault for not ‘packing the midfield’ and going, instead, with just one striker. I can see that…in fact there was a debate towards the end of the game on the radio as to how much of the performance was down to the brilliance of City and just how much was due to the inadequacies of the West Brom midfield in particular.
So be alerted City and be patient City fans; most teams – Chelsea included this Sunday - will come to the Etihad with a much more solid-looking 4-5-1 / 4-6-0…and may even do so on their 'own patches' in many instances. In other words, it will TAKE all of that craft & energy that we witnessed on Monday evening just to break teams down [rather than necessarily dominate] and so long may that kind of performance continue…starting this Sunday!