Manchester City - Vital MC Man Of The Match Awards: Middlesbrough
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Vital MC Man Of The Match Awards: Middlesbrough

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Our Republic of Ireland number one Shay Given was absolutely outstanding in his Manchester City debut against Boro, putting in a match winning performance...

Mark Hughes' pursuit of Given's wealth of experience was absolutely justified inside the players first 90 minutes behind the sky blue line.

His distribution was exemplary and his constant communication with our young defenders delivered a calming effect.

We can go into the tough challenges our last 14 league fixtures represent reassured at the back and knowing our excellent young 'keepers Joe Hart and Kasper Schmeichel can learn a lot from Given's approach to the game.

MOTM City v Middlesbrough
FA Premier League

37. Shay Given 70%
39. Craig Bellamy 7%
7. Stephen Ireland 5%
5. Pablo Zabaleta 4%
34. Nigel De Jong 4%
4. Nedum Onuoha 3%
10. De Souza Robinho 3%
33. Vincent Kompany 1%
25. Wayne Bridge 1%
8. Shaun Wright-Phillips 1%
20. Felipe Caicedo 1%
2. Micah Richards 0%

The Story So Far....
(FA Premier League unless stated)

Ireland, 8 (Portsmouth H, Brighton, League Cup R2 A, Omonia Nicosia, UEFA Cup R1 H, FC Twente, UEFA Cup Group Stage H, Hull A, Arsenal H, Schalke, UEFA Cup Group Stage A, Hull H)

Wright-Phillips, 8 (Sunderland A, Chelsea H Liverpool H, Newcastle A, Spurs H, united H, Everton H, West Brom A)

Zabaleta, 5 (Wigan A, Bolton A, Fulham A, Wigan H, Newcastle H)

Kompany, 3 (West Ham United, H, Middlesbrough A, PSG, UEFA Cup Group Stage H)

Richards, 2 (FC Midtjylland, UEFA Cup Q2 H, Aston Villa, A)

Given, 1 (Middlesbrough H)

Elano, 1 (Stoke A)

Sturridge, 1 (Blackburn A)

Caicedo, 1 (Racing Santander, UEFA Cup Group Stage, A)

Robinho, 1 (Stoke City H)

Jo, 1 (Omonia Nicosia, UEFA Cup R1 A)

Hart, 1 (FC Midtjylland, UEFA Cup Q2 A)

Nottingham Forest FAC R3 - No Votes.


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The journalist

Writer: Johnny Baguette Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday February 8 2009

Time: 11:39AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Hart will have a tough job replacing given. He was amazing yesterday and he made saves for city that i havent seen since the legendary tony cotton. Bellamy did well aswell.... hes like paul dickov, but twice as good!
enzo city
Report Abuse
08/02/2009 13:13:00

I take my hat off to Bellamy and Hughes for bringing him in. I was fiercly critical of his signing, but when I saw him having it with a Boro defender when one of our players was clattered I saw something that our side has been missing for years. Bite.
Johnny Baguette
Report Abuse
08/02/2009 13:26:00

Don't know if match-winning is the correct way to describe Given's performance, but he certainly saved our bacon yesterday. Credit to mark Huges for recognising the need to bring in another keeper, feel a bit sad for Hart, but he needs to learn the game. A team is only as good as it's last line of defence; on this evidence we're looking pretty good!
Report Abuse
08/02/2009 13:33:00

They really were 4 terrific stops.
Johnny Baguette
Report Abuse
08/02/2009 13:44:00

all good points made on here and I dont want to go to "negative-town" but our keeper got man of the match in our home game. Can we really be please with the performance if the keepr had to save the defence's bacon on no fewer than 4 occasions???
Report Abuse
08/02/2009 15:23:00

Deejayvu -- of course you're right. Boro created many more clear chances than we did and deserved something out of the game. If we had been playing a better team than Boro we could well have lost. Given won the game for us by keeping a clean sheet against the odds. I think we missed Richard Dunne. He leaves one helluva big space... But we will need to create more and better chances in games if we are to claw our way up the table.
Report Abuse
08/02/2009 15:37:00

How did you win that game!? Alves should've easily had a hattrick! Feel sorry for Hart but Given is truly a class above.
Report Abuse
09/02/2009 04:53:00

Joe is a young guy going places but like all young guys he needs a little mentoring and Shay is the guy to give it...
Report Abuse
09/02/2009 09:32:00


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