Sunday, 20 November 2016

Not a classic Pep-City performance but…

…most certainly a classic Yaya one.


Well…not so much a surprise but more of a shock starting inclusion of a certain Yaya Toure. Okay, I was fully aware that Yaya – rather than his moronic agent – had done “his bit” by patching things up with his employer / bosses recently…and that, then, had put the big Ivorian back ‘in the frame’. But from oblivion to-being trust straight back into action caught me out at least.

Huh…and to then play a full 95 minutes and effectively win the game by scoring both of our goals in a 2-1 win, is ‘impact personified’!

He looks fit & lean and was back to his Rolls Royce best too; strong in possession and accurately stroking the ball around the midfield with apparent ease for most of the game. His goals too had a grace about them; even though the Palace defence should have done much better for both and-that the first strike took a deflection on its way in.

Good game from Raheem Sterling, I thought too, and a good return-performance also from Bacary Sagna; another surprise “starter” for me.

Fernandinho's consistently-good form continued yesterday - he's becoming the new 'Steady Eddie'.

I've mention 'the good' and, so, I must also mention the 'not-so'…

Claudio Bravo’s “effort” to stop Connor Wickham’s goal was woeful and, in general, he still leaves me feeling edgy. In fairness, he did stop a headed effort in the second half before then-being lucky that the rebounded effort was shot across goal rather than 'at it'.

Similarly, Nicholas Otamendi leaves me concerned every so often and yesterday was another slightly ropey-looking one from the Argentinian - perhaps slightly unsettled by the fairly-early loss of Vinny [to another, unlucky injury after being clattered by Claudio].

Sergio had another 'off day' too.

The rest all had average / just above average games in a rusty-looking, team performance; as is often the case following a damn international break.

My own performance?

Well only getting 6 correct from a predicted starting 11 isn’t great at all really. Why so off-target? Well as important as it is to ensure progression into the knock-out stages of the Champions League as soon as possible; I just didn’t expect Pep Guardiola to do a Manuel Pellegrini and rest so many / have such focus on a game 4 days later. Perhaps, thinking about it, he was also resting a few weary legs following international duties…

So…it caught me out! In fairness to myself, though, I think that line-up would have caught most out.

-       David Silva on the bench
-       Bacary Sagna plunged STRAIGHT back into a starting place after being out for so long with injuries
-       Yaya I’ve spoken about
-       John Stones, Gael Clichy & Ilkay Gundogan didn’t even TRAVEL to London!

Some fresh legs ready to face ‘gladbach then!

Weekend fare.

Perfect result, for me, in a ‘points shared’, early KO match at Cold Trafford – we’ve both nipped ahead of Arsenal by 2 points and stretched our lead over Manyoo to a rather comfortable-looking 8.

Seemingly free-scoring Liverpool ‘failed to’ at often tough-to-beat Southampton; gaining just a point on the South coast and meaning that we go ‘joint top’ for now on points, at least, with the Merseyside club.

Are we classing Everton as a threat? Well they are on the same points at a team from the Borough of Trafford. The Toffees did an 89th-minute ‘smash & grab’ against visitors, Swansea City; as they dropped 2-home-points and so, as with Manyoo, we stretch our lead over them to 8 also.

Sadly for us, Spurs grabbed both an 89 and then 91st-minute goal to come storming back from 1-2 down at home to steal all-3 points away from West Ham United, who now sit just one point and place above the relegation zone; with just 2 league wins in the last 10.

It only leaves ‘all eyes on Chelsea’ as far as we are concerned, as they travel to Middlesbrough today for a 4:00pm KO. Fingers crossed that The Smoggies can grab something to LEAVE us joint-top [on points] before we travel to Burnley in our next league game.

Thanks, as always, for taking the time to read.

No comments:

Post a Comment