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The Ped Report - Aston Villa 1-0 City

I have to say my heart sank right from the start when 'the Equaliser' MBE turned up with his whistle. The over-rated Yorshire Cop does my head in and I felt for certain that the match would be a de Jong witch hunt because Webb missed getting him in the World Cup Final.

Villa started brightly without really troubling City's goal. Webb's first test came when Clark went into Tevez ankle and escaped the paperwork.

Barry must have been confused because a couple of his early passes from promising positions found his old team-mates rather than his current colleagues. After 15 mins City started to retain the ball better and Villa's promising 4-2-3-1 retreated to a five man midfield. Tevez should have scooped in a Kolarov corner after 17 mins and then one minute later the inevitable happened with Bent getting his customary debut goal leaving City with an uphill battle. Hart should have done better.

Villa were playing more like they did against Chelsea than when they played City and started to live dangerously but City were lacking penetration, keeping the ball but without any visible movement off the ball.

Having already 'done' Tevez, Clark whacked Dzeko and deservedly caught another yellow card. The Equaliser was getting warmed up! He warned Boateng for a late tackle.

By the half hour City had double the possesion afforded to Villa but hadn't had a shot at goal and were trailing 0-1.

Dunne was keeping shackles on Dzeko and Cuellar was keen to get to the ball ahead of Tevez in a clear case of 'me and my shadow'. The match really needed Adam Johnson to provide City with width and perhaps an alternative route to getting the ball to Dzeko.

Barry was doing nothing against his former team but pass to them. A disappointing evening was looming for him.

The 'Equaliser' should have been busy following Tevez foul on Agbonlahor, but let it go. Dzeko survived an assasination attempt and played in a good ball which was cleared by Collins.

A great cross by Boateng should really have ended up in the net but once again Barry was generous to his former boys in claret and blue.

Next up Albrighton showed de Jong what he did in the World Cup Final and he too survived the wrath of Webb.

The first half ended with City well clear in the possession stakes but behind on the scoreboard after a disappointing 45 minutes in which the best player was Kolarov.

So Bent was eulogised at the expense of Dzeko after 45 minutes. Is it really nearly 20 years since City came from behind to win a match?

The second half began with City looking livelier and an early chance fell to Tevez, who couldn't get it on target. Dzeko was also getting in on the act, but the tempo was still at patient level.

Tevez was starting to get going winning a corner, which Dzeko headed over the bar.

It came as no surprise that Barry was replaced just before the hour with Johnson. Barry was frankly awful and for me is looking at the 'surplus to requirements' door. He does not really carry the game to the opposition, slows the tempo and today didn't find his men often enough in a fashion that could damage Villa.

City started to command with Yaya looking like a quarter back in midfield. A screamer by Boateng rebounded off Friedel but we didn't have anybody around to cash in. With Tevez deep and Dzeko wide it was difficult to see where a goal would come from, notwithstanding that Villa hadn't kept a clean sheet since October and have the worst second half record in the Premier League. There was hope for City.

The Equalising yellow card came when Kolarov chopped down a Villa player after 68 mins. Would the equalising goal come? Cuellar's recovery chop on Tevez went unpunished

More clever play by Dzeko found Yaya but his header wasn't good enough as Villa's back line prevailed once again. Villa were now setting about City with Bent and Agbonlahor guilty of fouls. We needed Johnson out wide, instead he was joining the melee in the middle which was already too crowded. He should have been getting at Clark who was one step away from warming the showers. Clark was starting to look like a Blackburn or Everton player as he started wasting time with throw-ins. Collins was throwing himself at everything in the box and twice denied City opportunities with courageous play.

Johnson finally out wide started to cause Villa problems but his passes into the box were hit and miss. The hits inevitably found Collins the misses anyone but a City player.

Tevez was effectively double-teamed most of the evening by Villa, clearly aware of the dangers he causes, but nobody was making use of the space elsewhere. Silva had clearly left the keys to box thirteen in his his track suit today. Kompany was unlucky to see an attempt hit the foot of the post and Dzeko saw another header go wide. It wan't going to be City's day. Two chances fell to Kolarov who was unlucky to see one hit two Villa defenders and ricochet across the goal for a corner.

Villa had retreated to 6-4-0 but Young did miss with a breakaway chance after 86 mins. With Villa now devoid of ambition and City devoid of creativity the result was becoming inevitable and so it was.

With the possession statistics so heavily in favour of City, we have got to learn to turn this into goals. We are simply not wise enough early on in matches. Bent, the expensive import, only did one thing in the whole match and that is what stood between the teams at 7.25 pm. Oh and Dunne and Collins!

Mancini, having now got himself an excellent team and probably the best group of players we have ever seen at City needs to see his team play with tempo and stamp their mark on matches. Once we got Johnson out wide this started to happen but there was only 15 mins to go. I would start Johnson in favour of Barry. It seems amazing that Barry and Milner have not really delivered for City, but in the end they played in a Villa team that 'only finished sixth in the league. Maybe they are not winners.

Hart was a bit shaky today with the goal and may see the figure of Shay Given looming for next week's cup tie at Notts County. The back four were solid enough and Mancini should use next week's match for them to play again. We have not had a settled back four for weeks. Midfield should really play with de Jong holding, Yaya breaking forward through the middle and Johnson and Silva wide out. Tevez and Dzeko should be providing the fire power.

With Spuds dropping points today was a good day to put more distance between them and us but their point now looks a good one for Redknapp's boys. I would prefer it if Chelsea slip up tomorrow.

Yaya Toure looks good when he is in that quarterback role and we need to move the ball more quickly to wide positions and move it in quickly to Tevez and Dzeko. If that does not happen, we will not beat the big teams.

Villa for their part got ahead and stayed ahead and well done to them after their whacking chez nous a few weeks ago. They rode their luck at the back but their defenders were rock solid and Friedel looked better than he did at Eastlands.

They have now beaten City and drawn with Chelsea in recent weeks, so they are no mugs.

Having stood up to the plate last week and going top, this week we stayed on the plate and dropped to third. Verdict - not good enough today.




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The journalist

Writer: Tranmere Loyal Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday January 22 2011

Time: 7:47PM

Your Comments

Villa didn't beat Chelsea, they drew. This Villa team are muck and we should be slightly embarassed and worried by that performance. Tevez really annoyed me, he's getting very selfish on the ball. Dzeko's first touch was poor a lot of the time. Boateng is a mongo. and Barry was really weak. I'm so *****ed off by that result. I said the next three games would define our season and sure enough, we kick it all off with a loss. Gutted
rojo2010
Article duly update rojo!
pedmachine
fair point Ped, but it was ione of those days, and i think what comes around goes around as we should have been battered at Arsenal but came away with a point, and Villa did not do a right lot did they? we were forced to go wide and and the crosses were food and drink to Dunne and Cuellar and the rest of Villa's defence...... But if we got the 1st goal it would have forced Villa out more and I theink Silva would have been more affective, but why when we get throw ins is Kolorov throwing to the opposition and putting the 'attack' into defence cos he did it on numourous occasions......
cityman51
Ref was fine today, it is simply our inability to break down teams who park and defend their lead (or in Birmingham's case play for the draw) that cost us. That said, very unlucky with the deflected shot, De Jong is destined to never score for us it seems. But Villa defended their lead, full credit to them as we know full well the benefits of digging in, parking the bus, and grinding a result. Our problems were of our own making and David Silva's first bad game in a long, long time proved fatal as almost everything goes through him. Tevez also played poorly and he is the man who usually creates miracles, today he just came off as a greedy b@stard because nothing came off for him. Dzeko was OK, better than the other two of the "front three" Tevez and Silva but needs adjustment time. He holds up the ball well and has skill almost unheard of for a man his size.
StuMCFC
Also, what about Joe Hart... has cost us two matches now in the last few weeks, Mancini won't be happy but to drop him could destroy his confidence. :/
StuMCFC
villa are better than your face
ric112
Can we have Milner back on loan please?
SuperTommyJohnson
Milner plays plenty of games for us and probably should have come on today when it was apparent Silva wasn't playing well. Milner is joint top assister for us this season.
StuMCFC
That's a 'no' then.
SuperTommyJohnson
You won't play like that too often and not come away with points so I wouldn't be too distraught, just a bad day at the office (we've had a few of those this season lol) coupled by our defence remembering how to do their job.
mike_field
Credit to Villa for a good defensive effort. We have used similar tactics against teams like Chelsea. a bit unlucky not to get anything from the game, but thats football!
eighthsin
lets take it out on Notts County next week..... and i would give a rest to Hart, and let Given in the sticks for a few weeks, cos he could have done more with the Bent goal today, imho, you just dont parry a shot in front of you if you are going to parry MAKE SURE IT GOES BEHIND.... but Kolorov could have done FOR THE GOAL, more like WTF was he? what is a defender or winger? if hes a defender make sure he defends and if he's a a winger make his crosses count, cos at the minute he does neither, and he seems a tad slow as ALL Villas attacks came down his flank....
cityman51
Disagree about Kolarov's crossing, thought some of them were exquisite today along with his corners. There just seems a lack of urgency to get on the end of crosses from our team and has been that way a long time.
StuMCFC
Obviously a much needed result for us. A fair match report I'd say, as expected from the line ups you had the lion share of possession, and obviously us taking the lead only furthered that. Everytime I've seen Milner playing this season he's been out wide...he's good there but the time he became such an important player for us was when he moved into centre midfield...I think I'm not the only Villa fan who thinks his talents are being wasted at Man City sadly.
Villa4Europe
At the end of the day we were left in the lurch 4 days before the start of the season we couldnt buy any new players our new manager wanted for his own team until this january so what does anyone expect we will improve next season no doubt but people forget we have quality players that have been pushing for top 4 for 3 years! Ask chelsea drawed twice with us, ask man uts drew with us now we beat city its not a surprise to me now we have a 20+ goal striker UP THE VILLA see u lot next season
ClivetheVillan
By the way isnt if funny seeing milner playin his rols as a tea boy for you wow at 24 million i hope he can make a great cuppa lol :)
ClivetheVillan
It's been fun being involved at the top of the table but I really don't think we're quite ready for the pressure it brings with; always having to win. Fortunatley we have a lot of favourable fixtures remaining and we need to focus simply on getting top 3/4 primarily. Bit embarassed to have not scored against villa today having put 4 past them over christmas :(
arthur7171
Do one ya muppet. What about Stephen Ireland? He must make a great cuppa too, does he?
rojo2010
Funny thing is, Bent will probably go on a run of games where he can't buy a goal! We had loads of posession and loads of chances but lacked the killer instinct - full credit to Villa for the way they defended, but their goal did lead a charmed life on more than one ocassion! I think our problem is that Tevez is not used to playing with someone else - he often seemed to be unsure of his position today, with Dzeko occupying some of the spaces Carlos used to. I don't think he's a Rodney Marsh, but do suspect it's going to take a few games for the front players to get used to one another.
fifthcolumnblue
rojo2010 = sore loser
Pking
RE: "This Villa team are muck." Ha ha! Boy you've got a short memory, wasn't it just a few seasons ago your team was kicking about in League One?! Our brilliant 'team' (remember that word 'team', it's key to this) has been ever-present in the Premier League, has won the European Cup and has been in the top 6 for past 3 seasons. Our TEAM is a fantastic balance of experience and exceptional youth that has been built over the past few seasons. You're building something at City sure, but don't be so arrogant as to expect to win every game just because you've splashed the cash. Take a lesson from the other decent City fans on this site and have some dignity in defeat and show some respect 'rojo'. Ireland's injured by the way.
olofthegreat
Its not our fault your manager left it so late to put Johnson out to the right.Gabby was bound to chop him down in the box so we got off the hook there but we defended brilliantly.If dzeko acclimatises quickly and Johnson keeps driving into the box like that you will slaughter teams.
Pking
Come on Pking, Ireland is being wrapped in cotton wool so he can be sold on to the next mugs, I mean highest bidders! Let's face it he's done nothing for you and never will.
fifthcolumnblue
Sorry,that blokes comments wound me up.The City fans are brilliant,I dont begrudge you guys,you lot have been on some ride over the years and have earned the good times you have now.But that guy was plain arrogant.
Pking
Everything was sooooo sloooow, Villa could see our moves before we made them! StuMCFC, couldn't agree more about Kolarov today. Some excellent crosses put over only for them to be wasted by our forwards (and midfielders). Dzeko only needs time. Probably only about the second time i've been worked up by one of our performances this season though. CL qualification is ours to lose!
RobsonGreensleeves
Hang on a minute olof, where's the disrespect? The last time I checked you were hovering above the relegation zone without a win this year and with a paltry six wins all season. So don't you come on here being all high and mighty just because you won a game. So I do stand by my comment that 'this' Villa team are muck, badly managed and lacking in confidence. I was not talking about last season or seasons gone by. *bites lip* I'm a very modest City fan, I don't expect to win all the time, and I don't go around slagging off other teams (though i do hate Utd). I think Villa set out their stall early and defended well. But they didn't play well. They barely played. Important 3pts for you boys though in your fight against relegation
rojo2010
Rojo2010, I heartily agree that today Boateng was indeed a mongo! Well put!
RobsonGreensleeves
Last 5 Form... Aston Villa: LLDLD Man City: WWWDW I shouldn't expect my team to win? This Villa team are "brilliant"?
rojo2010
Spoken like a gentleman rojo I retract my comment about you.We played anti fotball today City are a big scalp now so get used to teams adopting these tactics.Good luck for the rest of the season.
Pking
Well, it isn't possible to win every game this season. We've lost five games this season and IMO all of them were avoidable and some had the same pattern (opponents score and park the bus, we pressure them but can't break them down)... at least Everton and Villa did. When you consider Sunderland beat us in stoppage time and we only had 10 men against Arsenal in our home loss (and drew with them with 11 away) it really does show how marginal the fraction between where we are now (possibly destined for CL but not the Premier League title) and where we could have been (top of the league) is.
StuMCFC
Saw some city fans out side the ground strutting their pathetic stuff with a strange song about how Milner had told them that Villa was SH**. I suppose Tevez told you the same thing about Man U. Deluded!
RiF
Sadly this is the kind of result you get sometimes. It's so hard to come from a goal behind....a very good team would of but we're not quite there yet. I definitely think a top 4 finish is well within our grasp but i can't see us winning the title based on our overall play this season. Every City fan should take heart because I believe the player jigsaw is not finished and Mancini and the owners will let more dead wood players go and replace them with maybe two or three others that will make our squad a real force next season. Lets all learn from this and move on to Notts County next week and a run of results that will lead to a FA Cup final win and a consolidated top four finish... and lets not forget a Europa Cup final.
NZblue
Boo hoo, the club who sold its soul couldn't break down a team in the relegation dogfight!!! All your dirty money can't buy love, and neither can it buy 3 pts - now get over yourselves!
crimsondonkey
unlucky boys but when you play 3 DM's you cant expect much...
CDX_Villa
crimsondonkey, you win some you lose some but you do sound like a jealous idiot, so u beat us it happens u wont be the first and you wont be the last either! the fact is it should of been 3-1 to city but hey we can take it on the chin and dont go round gloating when we beat someone
mark.mcfc
I think all the villa fans gloating should stop, and the city fans whining should also. Villa fans need to remember that they stuffed us 4-0 a few weeks back, city fans need to see that we won fair and square. They are a good team, passed it around nicely but didn't get anywhere, just a bad day for them and we defended very well and got the goal. The game could of gone any way possible last night. All parties at the end of the season will be happy, city will get top four and we will survive relegation and looking at our fixtures we should and probably will get into the top 10 and might have a decent FA cup run and build on europe next year.
P.Avfc
Who's whining P?
Bluedub
CDX, who were those three DMs? Yaya Toure is *not* a defensive midfielder for Manchester City. And may I remind you were had Tevez, Dzeko, Silva, and Johnson on the pitch for the same time for much of the second half. It was simply a case of not being able to break through, we needed to go around the bus rather than try and charge through it IMO, as our main threat was when we pushed it out wide to Johnson.
StuMCFC
bluedub i have saw different comments on and off this site from bitter fans complaining on how they should have won...
P.Avfc
And bludub when i try and make a positive comment on your site instead of a negative one which i use to you always have to try and belittle me. You really are a ******** tool, least there are some decent city fans on here.
P.Avfc
Eh? WTF is that all about P? How am I trying to belittle you? I merely asked who was whining. Why do you feel the need to insult?
Bluedub
You've done it several times to me before. You seem yourself asif you have been hard done by the result. Sorry if iv'e slightly over reacted, this is the message im getting off you.
P.Avfc
What have I said that would bring you the conclusion that I feel hard done by?
Bluedub
I'll comment on the other article bludub instead of keep doing two lol. You havn't said anything on here it's the other article i think iv'e got you mixed up with someone in terms of you feeling hard done by.
P.Avfc
P.Avfc I get the feeling you could start a riot in an empty beer-hall.
fifthcolumnblue
Probably could fifth.
P.Avfc
Mark.mcfc. An idiot I may be, but I'm certainly not jealous - I thank the Lord that my club hasn't been bought by some-one with no idea about football, values, and no respect for the heritage of our great clubs. You have sold your soul - I hope what you get in return is worth it, you're welcome to it as it will be an empty and hollow victory if it comes. Oh and thanks for the transfer money, the old boys are doing just grand aren't thee?
crimsondonkey
 

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