The Ped Report - Stoke City 1-1 City
Today's Ped Report is somewhat abridged in terms of the Stoke v City match because the Pedmachine was ensconced amongst the snow in the Rhine Valley, enjoying the German hospitality in Koblenz.
Taking the week as a whole though quite a lot happened. We have discussed the levelling of Fulham and looked forward to doing similar to Stoke.
Tuesday saw a well fought Reserves Derby, where each team scored from the spot and City were probably unlucky not to come away with the full spoils....and John Guidetti proved to me at least, once again, that he deserves a place on the first team bench.
Then as the world expected, City went to a snow-laden Britannia Stadium to consolidate their position in the top four and keep well ahead of the chasing pack.
I have not seen much of the game but it seems apparently that we dominated possession, once again, especially in the second half and, once again, we struggled to find the net until my most un-favourite player, Richards scored an excellent goal after 81 minutes. (yes I really did praise him). The turn was the kind of movement any self-respecting striker would look to perform and the strike at goal text book - across the keeper and inside the far post.
But dear oh dear. With the match won once again it was nod-off time at the back and once again we let a team that should have been put to the sword, off the hook.
Kolo's supposed clearing header set it up. With Richards 'tucked-in', he was bewlidered by a back heel which unlocked the door and Etherington scored an unlikely goal for the home side in the last minute, pretty well unchallenged and with no-one checking his run. Although it came down Richards side I cannot blame him this time as he had covered in the centre for Toure and had the right to expect better from him, but whoever was ahead of Richards in midfield should have followed Etherington or at least got goal side to put in a block.
Apart from Stretford's result everything else didn't cause us too much upset and we are still in touch with the leading pack but I view this as two points lost although the result was an improvement on the same match last season. We cannot keep presenting poor opposition with gifts, points and opportunities.
Stretford's finest showed us how to do it by sticking seven past a Blackburn defence that we just couldn't unlock. Spurs dug out an unlikley win when they should have been dead and buried by Liverpool. We need to pursue this quality.
The FA Cup Draw presented us with something interesting - a visit to see Sven!! Mancini will have to go with a good team there because Sven will see this as an opportunity to outwit City and apart from our FA Cup triumph in the sixties, Leicester has provided City with some awkward moments. I recall one Cup match when their supporters coach was caught in snow on the motorway. It delivered them to the segregated part of the old standing Kippax with five minutes to go and the score 0-0. Yes you guessed it Leicester scored and out we went.
And was it not against them when goalkeeper Walker's attempt to throw the ball to a colleague hit the Goat on the back of the head and went in? Was it not against Leicester when it was 'do not lose or get relegated' and David James saved a penalty in stoppage time to keep the score at 1-1?
The Walker's Stadium is my favourite amongst the 'new breed' of football grounds, after our own, of course, and their fans are very passionate, so I don't expect Sven will be bearing New Year gifts. We could do with getting this tie put to bed, so no replays, please, City, no outings for the EDS, just get the job done.
This week we have the EDS v Liverpool at Hyde tomorrow (KO 1900hrs and weather permitting), then Salzburg hopefully becomes the team that cements our place in the knock-out stages of the Europa League. Saturday brings what is now a tough match against Bolton and will Petrov want to add to his goal tally in that one? After all of that if you are feeling fit around 2000 Santas will be waltzing around Sportcity on Sunday raising money for Charity, clad in sky blue and white Santa Suits. It all happens at Eastlands, folks.