Writer: Johnny Baguette
Date:Friday December 28 2007
City should have been out of sight by Half Time against a pisspoor Blackburn side. The fact that they weren't makes the 2-2 result all the more frustrating...
For long periods in the first half last night City's shape, and pass and move acceleration was marvellous to watch and really should have culminated in 3 more goals to the good at least. At some stages, we really did look a very good side indeed.
Petrov was on absolute fire, exploding down the wing like a Bulgarian Berserker and Fernandes, the Tasmanian Devil, had midfield well shackled with the composed Corluka looking an ideal replacement for Hamman in the holding role. The defence looked reasonably assured, but then became disorganised for Blackburn's first equaliser. The fact is that we really must defend set pieces better if we are to make Europe this season.
Up front, Vassell and Bianchi were certainly right in amongst it for the first 45 minutes. Vassell went missing in the second half and Bianchi, who in the Italian press this morning has been talking up aspirations of moving to Spain or back to Italy, needs to convert gilt edged chances with aplomb if he is to make the Italian national side. Myself and many other Blues like the cut of the lad's jib, but I'd also appreciate him talking up his future with Manchester City.
The second half City performance gave me the impression that the team were in a collective disbelief that the game wasn't already sewn up. Slowly, Blackburn began to impose their combative kick and rush style upon the game and Friedel's direct kick to Hart was a declaration of their intent.
The game finally hinged on the type of inconsistent, shambolic and chaotic refereeing decision that increasingly stains Premier League football. Of course, it should not have come to that and this young City side have only themselves to blame. Howard Webb's 'to interfere or not to interfere' decision would have had Arsehole Whinger, Taggart, Bearditez or Woody O'Neill in absoulte hysterics. Fair play to Svennis for calmly alluding to a 'grey area.' With so much at stake these days, the calls for a television official in the stands Rugby and Cricket style will only increase. I must ring Michel Platini.
Frustrations aside, on to more positives. Blackburn have given us some roastings in recent years but at times last night City played their football on a different planet to them. Gratifying to see. City's youthful side can only learn from results like this and their steep learning curve continues.
City have now lost only twice in our last 14 Premier League fixtures and Fortress Eastlands still stands. There will be plenty of disappointment around Sportcity today at us dropping out of the Champions League places but Sven is building a side who increasingly look like they will win many more games than they will lose.
Liverpool's visit should make for a cracking encounter on sunday. But there's a catch.
A Mr. U. Rennie from South Yorkshire is officiating. He hasn't been in the sports pages much this season...yet...
Date:Friday December 28 2007
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