Date:Wednesday October 23 2013
The Pedmachine profusely apologises to readers for his noticeable absence over the weekend. He was catching the last of the sunshine in Spain, although he did get a chance to watch the match against the bubbling, or bumbling Irons.
As we know Big Sam, so often the mastermind of unusual results. Decided to go with a sort of 4-6-0 formation which was apparently successful recently against Spurs. Once City got to grips with this the outcome didn`t really look in doubt. This was not really parking the bus it was more like nailing railway sleepers to the goalposts in a bid to stop the Blue tide. The idea was to spring maybe 2 from 4 on the counter attack, in similar fashion to the Stretford Statues during Erikson`s reign. The difference here was the quality of the personnel, but the outcome was the same as you will recall that with Geovanni`s early goal and an afternoon of last ditch defending, City won in unlikely fashion.
There was nothing unlikely about the way Pellegrini`s team set about business on Saturday. City are still reeling from their incompetence away from the Etihad where important points have been tossed away due to a lack of concentration, and with almost everyone having been away on international duty during the week, limited rotation was once again the chief tactic deployed by the Engineer.
Hart once again had a lucky dip in front of him with Richards, Nastasic and Clichy making for interesting times with the unimpressive Garcia joining them at centre back. I have to say that the Pedmachine was not the happiest Teddy around when he saw that back four.
Further ahead Nasri, Silva, Fernadinho and Yaya were tasked with the job of containing 6 men and the new cult hero Negredo and Mighty Atom Aguero tasked with getting the scoreboard moving.
The Hammers coming off the back of a 3-0 beating of Spurs and fielding man-of-the-moment and ex-Statue Morison as well as Vaz Te as their forward springs looked as though they would provide stern opposition.
The triumvirate of Silva, Aguero and Negredo always looks as though something is cooking and it didn`t really take City too long to get things going with Negredo unlucky as early as the 6th minute. Indeed Silva looked to back in full swing with his array of precision passes and 2 hungry horses ahead of him. Despite the congestion in midfield he somehow got open time and again to work the channels and set up links for Aguero and Negredo.
City continued to prompt and probe and with this line-up a goal was inevitably inevitable! On the quarter hour Fernadinho donned the surgeon`s scrubs and his precision straight pass was stepped over by Negredo, who took half the defence and midfield with him leaving a parting of the Pacific as the ball found Aguero who didn`t need asking twice to place the ball into the bottom corner.
One would have thought that West Ham would have been forced out but Big Sam is never the purveyor of anticipated tactics and his expectations now were for the Irons to sit in and get to half time with nothing else in the goals against column. They achieved that one way or another.
It could and should have been 2-0 shortly thereafter when the Silva, Negredo and Aguero axis was in movement again but the final shot went straight at Jussi, so often a thorn in City`s side over the seasons. And it was hands to the pump as in almost the next move the three kings again sprang forward with Aguero leading the Hammers a dance, Jussi once again kept him out, but could`ve quite easily spoon-fed Silva, who for once was on his heels and 2 defenders got themselves between him and goal.
In almost every clip on TV in the West Ham half you could see the entire West Ham team and this told you a story. Fernadinho and Yaya were forcing them back and Silva was carving them open. Nasri was a little anonymous but worked well with anything that came his way. But it was to be Silva`s day in a performance of total command and total quality.
Indeed ahead of the break Yaya joined in the fun and brought an excellent save out of Jussi. The Hammers were trying to impose a less than subtle tactical change, forcing the ball out wide and getting in crosses, to try to create problems amongst Nastasic and Garcia, but we got to half time more on the Hammers terms than City`s and we could have been forgiven for thinking that one was not enough.
Within 5 minutes of the restart Aguero somehow wriggled out of a series of proposed tackles and was unceremoniously chopped down by Reid and Downing in a gang tackle outside the box to the left of the goal. Wandsman-in chief, Silva stepped up to take the resultant free kick. With the Irons defence concentrating on the bigger boys scatter around their penalty area, nobody followed Aguero to the near post and although the cross was slightly behind him he somehow guided an excellent header past the keeper and into the net.
So what next? Would we go into the nervous nineties forced by City sitting back or would they go for the jugular as West Ham could no longer sit around and defend a defeat? The answer came quickly. It was fairly simple in its development down City`s right. Richards wasn`t robust enough and the cross was deep into City`s penalty area. The header wasn`t a problem but a piece of semi-genius from Vaz Te saw his semi-bicycle kick caught out Joe Hart and the nerves were set to jangle once more. I remember seeing Vaz Te playing for Bolton Reserves at the Manchester Regional Area and he impressed me then and for me he has done well since he re-joined Allardyce at the Boleyn Ground.
But City today were no going to give up another lead and as things started to open up Negredo was unlucky to hit the bar as he got clear and hammered a shot that the Hammers were pleased to see rebound to safety.
West Ham were however now getting some joy down the flanks and set about setting up headed chances and crating that uncertainty that City`s defence does not like and to which it looks vulnerable. Pellegrini`s first negative move was to take off Negredo and put in Kolarov to shield Clichy and maybe also push along down the wing if City got on offence.
When they did it was Aguero once again looking lively and he almost squeezed his hat trick inside the far post from a chance he carved out like a master sculptor after good supporting work from Fernadinho, now fully finding his Premier League feet.
Milner was brought on for Nasri to provide a barrier for Richards, who was finding the Hammers constant feeding of Downing and now Jarvis, who were the ammunition providers for firing crosses into the box. City looked vulnerable but today were not going to let the Hammers off the hook. After 80 minutes Yaya sprang Aguero who in typical fashion drew all the cover, then smartly back-heeled a pass to his provider-in-chief Silva who set himself before sliding the ball into the corner of the net.
City saw out the match without further problems. The big plus was that we saw Silva playing further forward and moving the ball with rapid precision. The channels were buzzing like a tuning fork and the chances came and came and came again. In Aguero we have the second best box player in the world after Messi and in Negredo a dynamism that scares defenders and if he doesn`t get a goal his head stays up and he goes again. He scatters centre backs for fun set things up and has an impressive scoring record.
Fernadinho is getting it together and Yaya looks back to his best. Apart from a short period where the Hammers tried to bombard the goal area City looked resistant enough although once again the goal against showed a lack of awareness. But that apart Hart looked untroubled.
Although he scored two, could have scored four and was an in-form striker in total control, Aguero`s game was for me matched by an exceptional performance from Silva, who for me just shaded man-of-the-match.
We move on to the Muscovite Quagmire for tonight`s match against CSKA. We will have to wait and see precisely what damage a surface probably not as good as Hough End can do to the quality footballers that will adorn it tonight.
Date:Wednesday October 23 2013
Stats: West Bromwich Albion v Manchester City (Wednesday December 4 2013)
VIDEO: Pellegrini Hails Kompany Return (Wednesday December 4 2013)
El Kun And The Hunt For Red December (Tuesday December 3 2013)
The Baggies versus The Citizens (Tuesday December 3 2013)
The Ped Report City 3-0 Swansea City (Monday December 2 2013)
Stats: Manchester City v Swansea City (Sunday December 1 2013)
The Citizens versus The Swans (Saturday November 30 2013)
The Ped Report City 4-2 Viktoria Plzen (Thursday November 28 2013)
Stats: Manchester City v Viktoriá Plzeň (Wednesday November 27 2013)
The Citizens versus The Viktoriáni (Wednesday November 27 2013)
|2.||Colin Is The King||88|
|3. Man City||14||9||1||4||+26||28|
|Everton beat Man United 1-0
» Everton : 04/12/2013 22:36:00
» Everton : 04/12/2013 22:15:00
» WBA : 04/12/2013 22:13:00
» Man City : 04/12/2013 22:08:00
» Arsenal : 04/12/2013 22:00:00
» Southampton : 04/12/2013 21:59:00
» Aston Villa : 04/12/2013 21:48:00