Manchester City - Vengeance or Mancini? That Is The Question
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Vengeance or Mancini? That Is The Question

Manchester City never fail to surprise you one week losing to Stoke Rugby Football Club yet others frustratingly able to win against United, Arsenal and Chelsea at home.

So it should have come as no surprise that we pulled off one of the biggest shocks in Premier League history by defeating Chelsea four two at Stamford Bridge.

For no one before the game was thinking this is the time to play Chelsea, especially given the torrid start to 2010 that we've had.

Damage limitation was surely the best to hope for and then onto the business end of our season and the chase for that all important fourth place.

After all, Chelsea are quite simply unbeatable at the Bridge registering thirty seven from a possible thirty nine points before yesterdays game.

Yet it was our own 'Bridge' in Wayne that provided the catalyst we probably wouldn't have had to win this game.

If anyone ever tells you the media never do us a favour continually hounding our club at every turn then let this be a lesson to them. For on this occasion, the media circus that surrounded the Bridge-Terry saga more than served to pump up the victim and his team mates.

Prior to the match the usual suspects were at it leaking supposed stories of name calling by certain Chelsea players accusing Bridge of being a 'bottler' and 'coward' for not answering his mobile to the Chelsea captain.

Before Christmas Gareth Barry went to pieces on his return to Villa Park wilting under thousands of boos and cries of 'Judas'.

Bridge on the other hand is obviously made of sterner mental toughness as he brushed off a potentially calamitous occasion with all of the world watching and put in a performance to make Fabio Capello weep at the prospect of losing two top class left backs in the same month.

John Terry on the other hand had a nightmare afternoon being shunned by Bridge during the handshakes, called a 'hand pumper' by Bellamy and teased, battered and outwitted by Tevez all afternoon.

After the match Bellamy and Tevez, Bridge's staunchest of supporters, further teased the Ex-England captain live on Sky Sports by claiming that JT is a love rat and the whole of the Premier League know it.

The game showed doubters of manager Mancini that his tactics obviously work against the top sides, but probably nothing about his ability to motivate his players against lesser opposition.

A victory couldn't have been further from reality after the first half an hour of play with Chelsea completely dominating an ultra defensive City set up to counter attack and nick a one nil win.

As many a Blue has already stated though you can't sit back against a top quality side and not get punished. And punished City were after the superb Frank Lampard had put the hosts ahead linking up with the Chelsea forward line to shoot low past a helpless Given.

All suddenly looked bleak for Mancini's men as the game plan had gone right out of the window ...or so it looked.

Not that the players were wanting for endeavour with each one giving a hundred percent, but you need more than that to even score at Chelsea and the heroes we needed stepped up to the plate.

Bellamy, Bridge, Given, Lescott and Barry had all been criticised by fans for their performances in recent weeks, yet it was these five along with the magnificent Carlito Tevez who took the game personally it seemed.

Only Spartan like determination repelled the Chelsea attacks and blew Chelsea out of the water with some top quality counter attacking play.

First of all, Bridge sent a long ball to Tevez, after Mikel had helped it along, who had Terry and Carvalho doing the foxtrot together as he weaved past them and slotted the ball past hilarious Hilario.

Next Bellemy received the ball from Barry on the left before leaving Mikel for dead and firing the ball past Hilario in the bottom right hand corner (are you spotting the weak Chelsea links yet!).

City fans couldn't believe what was happening and before you could feel any apprehension about an equaliser Chelsea were down to ten men.

Barry, City's new Hamman, cleverly tricked Chelsea sub Belletti and the ref into giving a penalty and Carlito Tevez smashed the ball into the net to make it three one.

To make matters even worse for Chelsea and better for City the defender was red carded and Daniel Sturridge was having no luck in finding a opening and getting clearly frustrated.

Then after the German cheat Ballack had escaped a yellow for an intentional handball in the City box he saw red for a cowardly tackle on Tevez two footed and from behind after the ball had left the Argentinian's feet.

If Ballack doesn't receive at least a four match ban for his actions then the powers that be at FA headquarters should be lined up and shot like the bent so an so's they are.

Of course Bellamy's second after an unselfish pass from Shun Wright Phillips was enough to send even the most negative of Blues into raptures before being reminded that this is Manchester City we are talking about .

For the nine men of Chelsea hit back with a Lampard penalty after Barry had caught the excellent Anelka in much the same fashion that he'd won his penalty for the Blues.

Chelsea put in a sterling effort but the nine men could n't find the miracle needed and a fantastic game ended with three gob-smacking points and fourth place in the Prem for God's own club.

Suddenly, the game against the tops sides don't look as daunting as they had done before and once again the Blues faithful have began to believe the bumbling words of Mancini when he says that City can only throw away fourth position.

One things for sure if Tevez and Bellamy can keep fit City will surely be favourites to take that final Champion's League place.

One thing that isn't however is how much yesterday's win was down to the burning passion to put one over the Chav King of Chelsea and how much was actually down to the manager's tactics.

Tevez's celebration and both Bellamy and De Jong's comments after the match suggest that the players rallied around the grief-stricken England International and refused to be beaten.

If that's the case, its a shame that Bridge's ex-missus isn't Jordan as we'd have more vendettas than Charles Bronson and Mel Gibson together could muster and more points than Chelsea!

I suppose we'll all know the answer to that come the end of the season, but I certainly hope that it is the latter of the two as we'll have that claimed that vital Champion's League spot.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The journalist

Writer: GloucBlade Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday February 28 2010

Time: 5:46PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Please can we end it , it's carried on for long and i m tired of it
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28/02/2010 17:54:00

what worries me is if city players come out and say things like " that result was for bridgey" because to me they should play for the sake of the club everytime they put a city shirt on.
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28/02/2010 18:00:00

Your criticism of Gareth Barry is ridiculous. I saw the game at Villa Park, being a Villa fan, and whilst it would be fair to say that he didn't play his best football, he certainly didn't bottle it. He was perhaps a little affected by the occasion, but then he's only human. As for his performances this season, they should be put into the correct context. For a year now (and possibly longer), he's been playing with a sports hernia. Whilst this injury obviously doesn't prevent him from playing, clearly it will compromise his performances. I would suggest that, given this, he's done an excellent job for a team that really ought to finish in the top four this season. He's been one of City's best players this season, and you can take it from me that, just as soon as his injury problem is sorted out (presumably after the World Cup), he will be an excellent player for you for a good few years to come.
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28/02/2010 18:11:00

Mancio is on the steepest of PL learning curves and inside one week managed to transform a City side out battled at Stoke into a team capable of controlling Chelsea in their own back yard. Surely that win couldn't have been generated solely from the actions of the King of the Chavs? Could it?! From an England point of view I'm relieved that Terry and his bellend of a haircut won't be lining up as our skipper. But that's countered by his hopeless inability to cope with pace. Himself and Camel Gob look like seriously weak links against some of teh worlds fastest forwards. Both have been burnt off by Bellamy and Tevez repeatedly this season. The sight of a struggling Terry trying to catch SWP in the run up to City's fourth bordered on the pathetic.
Johnny Baguette
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28/02/2010 18:11:00

Albarnista - As a Villa fan you obviously haven't seen City play very much. Barry has had about 8 decent matches and has been nowhere near one of our best players. Hopefully he will get better, that was his best performance yet so far and if he needs an operation on a hernia injury then he should go and get it done.
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28/02/2010 18:19:00

You beat me to it Kev to be honest if Barry is doing a Kompany and playing through an injury then he's not the brightest as it could jeopardise his World Cup. Surely nothing is more important to any player than playing in that.
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28/02/2010 18:55:00

That is the worrying thing BM especially if the ones that have openly done it are arguably our three most motivated players in De Jong, Bellemy and Tevez! Obviously they can all take it up another gear or two in some cases.
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28/02/2010 18:57:00

Neither. We can only play one way and that is counter attack... 7 defenders and 3 fast attackers. That's the system we play now. There was no special tactic by Mancini against Chelsea because we were the same against Stoke. Try and catch them on the break. That only works against sides that come at you. In the first half they were patient and probing... as soon as they started to commit more men forward we started to get joy. The likes of Stoke / Hull etc... won't come at us as much so we find it harder to break them down. Mancini seems incapable of not going negative though. Don't get me wrong.. I'm proud of the boys and it was a great result. Some of the Mancini bumming going on the last couple of days is ludicrous though. Remember Hughes beat Chelsea too.. and Arsenal.. same month he got sacked.
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28/02/2010 19:05:00

Mancini bumming, Goat? What's all that about then, lol? I'm delighted with yesterday's result but I wouldn't go that far!!
Johnny Baguette
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28/02/2010 20:25:00

A bit of both. end off.
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01/03/2010 00:01:00

Hughes got sacked because he drew home and away games against the all the poorest teams in the PL. And he beat chelsea and arsenal. Just one win atleast against birmingham or burnley etc would see city in a comfortable position in top4. City packed out the midfield and played on the break. All teams do that away from home against the big teams. The difference is our shape was excellent, distance between forwards, midfiled and defence were perfect, our indivisual and collective pressing and closing of space forced chelsea.We had a good day, some days we be crap. Mancini is a novice to PL and it is unrealistic to expect consist wins. City win against teams who play football, but we struggle against stokes, hull, wigan etc. Give mancini time, hes the owners man. Hughes wasnt.
Super City Slicker
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01/03/2010 10:54:00

Just one win against the likes of Hull or Stoke and we would be too... or is it only points dropped by Hughes not Mancini that may cost us? The next 5 games will tell me what I need to know about Mancini... games against Wigans.. Burnleys.. Birmingham at home etc. Lets see if packing out the midfield and hitting teams on the break works against these teams... or if Mancini has another string to his bow. Don't get me wrong I'm 100% behind Mancini just like I was Hughes... it just seems that one good win and suddenly everything is rosey again.
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01/03/2010 11:48:00

Barry had a great start and was instrumental in our league position early on. He played great against United etc, very similar to his performance against chelsea. He then got the injury and Hughes admitted he was playing him at 85-90% because at 90% he was still better than his other options. When we lost Johnson, and Micah needed to be dropped for Zab, Hughes had no choice but to leave him there. Manicini found the same thing, not enough top draw centre mids. If Toure was up to much Kompany could play CM, but thank our lucky stars Kompany has played his way into the CB shirt. Barry is playing injured because he is being told to. His world cup has nothing to do with it. Only Robinho appears to get what he wants to preserve his world cup chances, and even thats so we get better value for him in the summer! My big concern is that Mancini appears to intend to play Viera every game. If he does that we are done for. I'm with Goat, the next five games will tell all. Fortunately Ade and Viera cant play for the first few...
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01/03/2010 18:43:00


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