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Aston Villa 0 - Manchester City 0 Johnny On The Spot & Stats Link
08 November 2015 16:10 Post ID: #559094
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Johnny On The Spot:

Three points dropped by Manchester City with the deafening clang of a Villa Park crossbar...If ever there was a game that served to emphasise just how much City are making unneccessarily hard work of a Premier League title campaign they should be well clear in, then this was it...The Blues collective first half showing was utterly lethargic in every department, a performance completely at odds with the side's heroics in Spain 4 days earlier. The failure to lay a glove on Aston Villa in the opening 45 minutes was all the more galling when you factor in how desperately limited the home side are...Manuel Pellegrini's men finally turned up for the second period, moving into the higher gears they must maintain to secure silverware this season. Almost immediately The Villans surprise at having previously enjoyed so much possession promptly crumbled as they found themselves retreating into the disjointed rabble mode we've seen so often from them this year. Remi Garde is canny enough to know that his delight at this amazing point (all things considered) will be tinged with deep concern at what looked to be poor fitness levels and the reality that City's at times ridiculous profligacy in front of goal was the cornerstone of this stalemate...This was a wretched missed opportunity from a Manchester perspective, not helped by yet another injury shipped to one of our strikers. The imminent international break affords more time to the absent Kun Aguero and David Silva's rehabilitation from international duty knocks. Yaya Touré's drained expression today suggests we need to freshen things up for the visit of Liverpool and involvement of the dynamic duo in any capacity will inject much needed urgency into the side...My Man of The Match today is Vincent Kompany. I thought he led the side and marshalled an untroubled backline with his usual authority...In conclusion, with the chasing pack now at our heels we cannot afford to again miss the chances we failed to take today in the run up to the Christmas fixtures.

Stats Courtesy BBC Sport: http://www.manchestercity.vitalfootball.co.uk/stats.asp?a=558817#ix...
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08 November 2015 16:17 Post ID: #559096 - in reply to #559094
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Manuel Pellegrini:

"We're disappointed with the draw. I think we did enough to win the game. They had just one shot on our goal, we had three or four clear chances to score. Villa defended very well with nine or 10 players. We tried to break that line. Two or three of our chances were unlucky. This happens in football. Without Bony and without Sergio Aguero we don't have a player who plays inside the box. We have to try and work without them."

Remi Garde:

"It was a nice experience and a fantastic atmosphere. It was a tough game. I can be vey happy with my team today, I saw smiles on their faces. When you play with sadness it does not help you. I tried in the three training sessions we had to deliver my message. Nobody expected we were going to score two or three goals. The difference between the two teams before was huge. Making sure we were well organised defensively was my priority. Some of the players who didn't start today had problems during the week. Nobody will play because he's French or Spanish or British. I saw in training how good or bad they were."
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08 November 2015 17:36 Post ID: #559102 - in reply to #559094
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Its very difficult to break down teams like that away from home.

We had a few chances but not so many. Sterling's point-blank header at the keeper should have gone in but it didn't. Villa played above themselves and dug out a point. Good luck to them.

We need to accept this is going to happen from time to time. At least we came away with a point. In times gone by we'd have shipped a last minute fluky goal and come away with nothing.
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08 November 2015 20:06 Post ID: #559112 - in reply to #559094
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We started the game 5 points up on where we were at this time in our last title winning season. So we are thereabouts, but with these other sides around us the pressure to avoid future slips ups is intense. Really hoping we have at least Merlin back for the dippers.
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08 November 2015 20:22 Post ID: #559113 - in reply to #559094
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Indeed. This game was crying out for his skills and ability to slip players in behind the defence.
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08 November 2015 22:34 Post ID: #559114 - in reply to #559094
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Anyone else think we'll be in the market for another striker in January?

Bony clearly not up to to the job at the moment due to illness/injury, and as much as I still think he'll come good eventually, we don't have time for passengers, especially in the next round of the CL.
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09 November 2015 05:21 Post ID: #559117 - in reply to #559094
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Hard to buy a good striker in Jan, but I think we need to try. Also a fine summary again by JB, thanks.
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09 November 2015 07:35 Post ID: #559119 - in reply to #559094
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If we buy a new striker does that mean Nacho will see even less time than he's getting now? Something has got to give though, either Pellegrini shows more faith in him or we go out and buy someone else, we can't effectively just play with two strikers in our squad.

If we do happen to bring in another striker who drops out of the squad?
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09 November 2015 08:02 Post ID: #559120 - in reply to #559119
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Didn't include this in my write up at the final whistle but I am beginning to wonder what Nacjo thought when the boss didn't send him on for Bony or even give him a half against the worst team in the league.
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