Still not savvy enough in Europe; still not enough in our Champions League locker to break down top, well-organised teams.
Well I don’t really see these as excuses as such but I will, of course, chuck in the fact that we had no Sergio Aguero – I’m certainly not counting his sore leg, few-minute cameo. And that leads me straight onto Wilfried Bony.
I don’t do the ‘in-game Twitter thing’…I don’t Tweet at all in fact. But my wife sometimes does when watching the game at home and towards the end she informed me that the ‘Bony bashers’ had started tapping their keypads. I’ve also personally since had at least one message suggesting Wilfried’s shortcomings. I think all of that slightly unfair to be honest.
Yeah of course you’d hope your main striker replacement can hold his own and put in a good performance but to the Bony detractors I say this:
- He was on his own in the middle / up front against a very strong, VERY organised and VERY experienced Italian defence. But he had the support of an attacking midfield 3, I might hear some cry in response. Did he?
- I thought our attacking midfield was largely nullified as an attacking force last night…and considering Juventus played a largely 4-4-2 formation it’s a little concerning just how effectively they forced our more-forward midfielders to pull back, dig in and work like hell to obtain the ball far more than any Premier League team has forced us to do so far. If any highlights show it, just look how deep David Silva had to come at times to help get any attack going…
I urge any City fans who may be already losing patience with Bony to look at his work rate last night…and in other games to be frank. Not only that but when he was on the ball for short periods against the Italian side his quick footwork / interplay with his supporting colleagues was as impressive as always. Under pressure and on his own he might only get a 6/10 from most – and AT the most - but all things considered that’s not a bad score.
And for the rest?
Hart pulled off one excellent save and did little wrong otherwise. Could do little, if anything, with the goals. 7/10
Kolarov had a few good and bad moments and for the second time in a row gets a 6/10 from me. His good, 10-game run [including the last 6 of last season] of solid 7 or 7.5/10 performances appear to have ended…
I thought the rest of the defence we pretty solid and organised for the most part and so Mangala, Kompany & Sagna all get 7s from me.
Fernandinho was City’s MotM – Energetic, defensive, supportive in attack, had a couple of self-made changes on goal and stood up VERY well against Paul Pogba. He gets an 8.5/10.
Not a bad night from Yaya and nearly got a late goal. A good 7/10.
Raheem Sterling had a largely frustrating night but it wasn’t for want of effort. 6.5/10
David Silva’s work rate was second only to that of Fernandinho…just. Sadly he put in SUCH a shift that it made him far less effective than usual. Still a very good 7.5/10.
Like Kolarov, Nasri’s decent start to the season appears to have come to something of a halt. Had a night where he created little. 5.5/10
Bony we’ve discussed (6/10).
De Bruyne, who I thought would and SHOULD have started instead of Nasri, struggled to get into the pace of the game and his small, light frame made him look like a child against Juve’s giants in comparison. However, battered & buffeted he may have been at times; he was lively and more often than not found his colleagues with passes. 6.5/10
Otamendi looked to organise & commanded the back line from the first second and any touches looked assured. However, he and his defensive unit failed to stop a second goal go in; it seemed difficult for him to get into the swing of the game on his City debut. 6/10
Aguero on too late to mark…
If you watched it, just remember how Juventus’ players reacted to their victory after the game and in front of their own fans – they knew this was going to be a tough one and that they had gained a big scalp in their group. We are BECOMING more of a force in Europe and we will bounce back from this I’m sure.
Aside from the injury to Aguero and, hey, let’s not forget we had no Clichy or Zabaleta options either; I did then and still do now wonder why Kevin De Bruyne wasn’t ‘in there’ with Silva & Sterling. I’m sure had he have been on from the start that we would have got more out of the game.
We need to now wash this one out of our hair ASAP; turn West Ham United over on Saturday and then progress in the League Cup away at Sunderland just 3 days later in our ‘bread & butter’ games. Spurs away after that and THEN we can pick the pieces of this one up in Germany against another very well organised team in Borussia Monchengladbach on 30th September.
West Ham first, 3 more point please…