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The Ped Report - City 1-1 Juventus

The Ped Report - City 1-1 Juventus

Not quite the favoured result at Eastlands last night as one of the competition favourites visited on Match Day 2 of the Europa League.

Mancini produced an odd starting line-up for this match and I found it difficult to share Hugh Ferris' view that it was 'quite attack minded'. My heart sank as I saw the names Vieira and Adebayor, with Tevez pushed out to the left. Three clear holding midfielders,only Johnson out wide and no Nigel De Jong.

No element of surprise, nobody to spring out.

And so it proved with City's early efforts channelled out to Johnson and Jorge Martinez regularly dropping into line to help De Ceglie double bank him and negate the effect of him cutting in and using his left foot.

Whatever crosses made the box didn't get to Adebayor who looked to be working the wrong channels and couldn't possibly get to Tevez who was isolated out on the left.

This encouraged Juventus to try to spring from midfield, playing much as we did against Chelsea and their first shot from distance laid down a marker for Joe Hart, who made an impressive save.

Juve continued to press in the early exchanges and we needed the 3-man shield to counter but our attempts were hampered by poor passing from Yaya Toure and Barry as we invited Juve forward.

Their second attempt from distance, after 11 minutes was a stunning shot form Iaquinta which clipped a defender which in turn pushed it just about out of Hart's reach and into the bottom corner. After saving the first Joe might have got to this one but he was also a little unsighted from the deflection.

Juve continued to build largely down their left but found City new-boy Boateng in reasonable form despite his contre-temps with a trolley-dolly's trolley and providing stern resistance.

Zabaleta raiding down the left found himself the victim of similar robust defending and finally on his way out of the match at half-time due to injury. Every successful team needs a 'play anywhere and play a blinder' footballer. Pablo Zabaleta is City's and his non-availability will be missed over the next couple of weeks.

At last just after the half-hour, as City were starting to get into gear, did a probing pass from Toure Yaya split the Juve defence, catching the hitherto untroubled Chiellini in two minds and enter Johnson sprinting in from the wing to gather the ball, sidestep the keeper and sweep the ball into the net. Just as he had done for his country recently.

At 1-1 City started to step on the gas but a lot of play was easy for Juve to read and with Adebayor not making a serious contribution, much of it came straight back.

Vieira and Barry made their tackles to get things moving again but our front play lacked guile, lacked ingenuity, lacked David Silva.

Tevez showed in true Argentinian style, as does Zabaleta week-in, week-out, that he is prepared to toil for his team, but quite frankly was wasted wide out on the left, particularly as Johnson was now starting to get crosses into the business area, where Adebayor, not even prepared to toil for Adebayor did not at any time look threatening to Chiellini as we headed to the break at 1-1.

The injury to Zaba meant that Saturday's hero Dedryck Boyata entered the fray at right back and Boateng switching sides to the left.

City persevered with the formation, created one or two openings all of which said ' Balotelli - stick me in the net' and all of which stayed out.

Despite his yellow card for diving under heavy pressure from Kompany, Krasic continued to inspect the grass as the match became a midfield battle with City having the edge without being able to convert it into victory. So it was perhaps astonishing that Mancini left it until the 73rd minute to introduce David Silva into a match that was crying out for him.

Immediately his ability to distance himself from close attention started to work. He found himself open for the ball and was able to start to move it into areas that hurt.

Bonucci and Chiellini had to step up their game to keep the ball away from one-time Arsenal custodian Manninger.

Closer to the end the fatigued Boateng made way for Milner with Barry moving to left back. Although this shows how versatile Mancini's squad can be, it also shows how a poor and unnecessary tackle can cause you problems.

Enter Alessandro Del Piero, the Old Lady's old stager with a deadly eye for goal. His curling shot beat Hart and hit the underside of the bar before returning into play. At first I thought it was a goal, but with no reaction from the by-line Official and TV replays demonstrating that it bounced right on the line, City were fortunate to stay at 1-1.

They say Juve are not the team of old. Their recent history has played a major part in that forcing the migration of top-earning internationals who did not fancy Serie B, but whatever - this is a truly world renowned football club. Their fans are as proud of them as ours are of City. They have won everything in sight over the years, had some great teams and were the opposition for Liverpool at Heysel. For the first time a team of this magnitude has presented itself in European competition at Eastlands and City were good enough, City were capable of winning and City showed showed quite clearly how much things have moved on since the likes of Groclin Dyskobolya forced a 1-1 draw to eliminate us during Keegan's reign and even how much things have changed since the night we gave everything in front of a full house against Hamburg 2 years ago.

Despite whatever comments are made in whatever press outlet by players of other teams, Manchester City is a football club moving to the front. This was another step along that road.

There are tricky and challenging matches to come against Lech Poznan, but this was one of Europe's top Clubs coming to Eastlands and another signal of progress.

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

Writer:Tranmere Loyal
Date:Friday October 1 2010
Time: 9:18AM


after tant initial onslaught from Juve, I think we pegged them back and in the end we were unlucky not to win the game, a bit faster passing and a match fit Adebayor and we may well have sewn it up.
Buzz Lightyear
01/10/2010 09:41:00
Juventus are not chelsea, in fact they are alot worse. Theyve been poor in recent years and are now. So three midfielders are not nesscesary, though i saw the logic against a physical, in form chelsea side. Whenever Viera plays, he slows the play and creativity. Viera shouldnt play unless we are down to our bare bones. Adebayor is a poor professional and should never wear the shirt again. I hope mancini plays ONLY two defensive midfielders against teams who defend at eastlands (90% 0f teams), like juve and blackburn. At this rate I wouldnt be suprised if newcastle got a point or worse on sunday. Why not play silva behind tevez, milner and jonhson on the wings. De jong and yaya holding? We would score more games and have a better quality of possesion and chances made, in the final third. Although a draw isnt a bad result and city are moving in the right direction. It was still was a boring game, like against wigan, spurs, west brom and blackburn. Be more braver mancini!
Sheikh Mansour
01/10/2010 13:24:00
Astute summing up as ever Ped!
Johnny Baguette
01/10/2010 16:16:00
I dont think the criticism of Adebayor is entirely fair considering he has just come back from injury. Torres and Rooney have been in worse form this season.
01/10/2010 16:40:00
SM, firstly we don't play with 3DMs so you obviously dont know what you're talking about. Secondly Vieira replaced De Jong who cannot play every game. Also get off Ade's back he's just coming back from an injury. If you know so much about tactics you should really consider getting a job as manager in the PL. We are still a work in progress and won't be thrashing every team that comes our way because we've spent all this money. Juve is a good team and just because we beat Chelsea doesn't mean we'll beat everyone else. Nothing against you but armchair managers get on my wick.
01/10/2010 21:42:00
Adebayor has never shown a ounce of hunger and desire as much as rooney and toress, in his time at city. Whether fit or unfit, he simply doesnt care, infact he says this constantly. Yet some fans still support him. Strange. Its funny how yaya toure (originally a centre back in his youth) was played as holding midfielder at donestk,olympicos, monaco and barcelona. This is same yaya who is reknown as the one of the best defensive midfielders in europe? When city are defending he clearly joins de jong and barry as a 3 - FACT. When he has the ball he TRYS to play of tevez - FACT. Im NOT the only fan who thinks yaya isnt suited to the "attacking midfielder" role. When silva is a attacking midfield who is a dribbler, entertainer and playmaker. All the qualitys a top play maker should have. Milner or tevez are better alternatives to yaya as a AMF. I doubt if any top manager in the world would select yaya as a attacking midfielder? If he were that good, then guardiola would play yaya in iniesta's position. Some people (me-innit) prefer to have a very good defensive, lumbering midfielder doing a maradona impression every week. What next? Tevez in goal? Secondly juve are a average team not in the same league as chelsea. Serie A footall is in terrible state, apart from inter. Since the calciopoli scandal, juve have been in turmoil since 2006. They havent been close to winnig serie-a, several managers have come and went, and they are always in transition. Del Neri was close to the sack last weekend, but luckily they beat bari. Guess il get back to my arm chair and watch and express my opinions freely. Thankfully my eye sight isnt deteariating like some fans though.
Sheikh Mansour
01/10/2010 23:13:00
SM, Ade has come out and said he doesn't care, really? Where and when exactly did he say this and in what context? Teves is easily the hardest working forward in the league and Ade has a languid style so when they play side by side, its easy for people like you to jump on the ''he's lazy'' bandwagon. And yes he will continue to get my support as long as he wears the City shirt, simple as that. Yaya played as a box to box midfielder at Monaco before moving to Barca where he played the holding role cos they have enough flair and creativity going forward. You are clearly talking about a different Yaya who is not Kolo's brother. He's already got a goal and several assists this season, sthg De Jong has not managed in his time here since he is the only pure Def Mid of those three. Barry plays as a def mid for England not City. Of course Yaya and Barry can HELP OUT defensively but that doesn't make them def mids. Barry has also started getting goals this season. Yes Mancini selected Yaya to play an attacking role against Liverpool so your doubts can be laid to rest. In case you haven't noticed Yaya is a good dribbler as well, don't let the size fool you. Barry can fill in at left back does that mean he should be labelled as a left back? Guardiola did not play Yaya in that role cos Iniesta is better there, that doesn't mean Yaya is a def mid, how many players in the world are better than Iniesta in his role? Football doesn't work like that mate, because we beat Chelsea doesn't mean we should beat Juve easy. Teves in goal? Not impossible, Robbie Savage played there at one point and he's not a keeper is he? We can beat Barca one match and lose to Portsmouth the next, nothing is guaranteed. Sure, you can get back to your armchair and pick teams after a match with the benefit of hindsight, its quite easy. With all the money spent some fans expect us to win everything today which is urealistic so they start moaning at every draw or loss.
02/10/2010 13:17:00
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