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Manchester City 1 - Liverpool 4 Johnny On The Spot and Stats Link
21 November 2015 19:44 Post ID: #559485
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Johnny On The Spot:

Right. At the outset of today's post mortem I doff my beanie to Jurgen Klopp for having galvanised a shot Liverpool squad into the type of pressing, harrying and busy side that is his trademark within a short space of time. They set about what was for me a naiively set up City side with a ruthlessness we have rarely seen in the Sheikh Mansour era. They are going to have a big say in how this Premier League season ends up, make no mistake...Now to City. I use the word naiive which might seem hyper-critical of a manager with Manuel Pellegrini's experience but I think he focused too heavily upon the imminent massive Champions League clash in Turin with this team selection. The two most glaring mistakes were in the axis that made for an overrun central midfield and an utterly shambolic central defence...Yaya Touré in a two man engine room pairing just does not work and his AWOL effort typified a shockingly uncompetitive first half performance that was underlined by the fact that The Blues didn't even register a foul. We ordinarily bully sides into submission out of possession. As for Eli Mangala and Martin Demichelis at centre back, words almost fail me. These two shored up the end of season run-in earlier this year but today they were a car crash of a combination, careering all over the shop and couldn't have distributed half time oranges such was their inept showing that quite frankly encouraged Liverpool all the more, especially after City's fightback...Affording acres of space all over the park, City were routed inside 30 minutes and the game was lost...Encouraging signs to take forward out of an implosion that has confirmed the steady surrender of what looked to be a commanding early season title lead (admittedly not helped by international breaks and injuries)? - Kun Aguero looks to be in tremendous shape and the six weeks he has been out have thoroughly derailed us. Then there is Fabian Delph. He is my Man of The Match for the way he guard dogged City's midfield in the second half and surely now it is time for him to get a run of games alongside Fernandinho and Fernando in 3 man combination...Juventus await and City had better come out fighting.

Stats Courtesy BBC Sport: http://www.manchestercity.vitalfootball.co.uk/stats.asp?a=559259#ix...
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21 November 2015 20:00 Post ID: #559487 - in reply to #559485
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I didn't envy you JB in pulling together some coherent thoughts after that performance. :hat off:

The leadership I expected from Demichelis was totally absent, Mangala was somewhere else against the movement of the Liverpool players.....

Pellegrini could perhaps have acted sooner even at 0-2 down it was apparent things wouldn't improve. I agree about Delph - energy, commitment, diligence, effort all present in his showing tonight. Toure was not at the races and is a liability against teams that press and deny space - we have seen this in Europe before and now in a domestic game.

Would Silva have made a difference is one question I have been pondering....
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21 November 2015 20:01 Post ID: #559488 - in reply to #559485
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When I saw the team sheet at 4am and the back four I considered going back to the sack. Agree JB- the prospect of the Fern twins and Delph looks very good.

Kuns goal was a real eff off goal to Jim Beglin. He must have shit himself. Any idea that we can play Martin AK, Mangala Jesus and Yaya in the same team must now be binned for the rest of the season even against Hull.
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21 November 2015 20:15 Post ID: #559491 - in reply to #559485
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.....or against Leicester
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22 November 2015 00:55 Post ID: #559496 - in reply to #559485
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Good report JB Ya ya is a shadow of himself shocking
Mr Brown did ok Joe had a good game as delph did when he came on
Rest where shocking
Kun :hat off: great goal
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22 November 2015 01:27 Post ID: #559497 - in reply to #559485
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Another top report JB, the only reason our coach did not pick his best team was because of the game v Juve on Wednesday, which tells us his remit is to do well win in the Champions league. I don't think our fans really care about Europe and wont to first finish higher than the Rags and hopefully take the title. Current form is 5 from 12 which will not keep us in the top four. Would Merlin make a difference, well Merlin nearly always does. As for my favorite player who was well rested by his own admission and then hooked. He needs to be replaced at the end of the season, his best days are behind him I fear. We also need a top CB to play with Nick cause Kompany is crocked too often, a better DM than Fernando and maybe a top play maker #10.
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22 November 2015 07:25 Post ID: #559499 - in reply to #559485
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Last night I was utterly mystified by this performance until I noticed someone mentioned the Juve game was next week which I thought was in two weeks time.
JK is spot on.

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22 November 2015 09:29 Post ID: #559501 - in reply to #559499
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His selection was definitely made with on eye on Juve, otherwise Otamendi and Fernandinho would've been in there you'd think. I'm not happy with us prioritising a competition we've already qualified to the knockout stages in. Knowing our luck even if we do top our group we'll probably end up getting PSG anyway.

That said though, even if he had got the personnel right he still got the system wrong, I'd wager that we still would've been overran in midfield regardless of who played in that system. I can't get my head around the fact that we played with three centre mids against Villa but then go back to two against Liverpool, it's just baffling.

Another thing that baffled me was Iheanacho replacing Aguero. Pellegrini suggested following Villa that Kelechi hadn't got it in him yet to play as a lone striker which was his reason for not bringing him on when Bony hobbled off, yet, fast forward a couple of weeks and here he is throwing Kelechi in for Aguero to play the last half hour as a lone striker against Liverpool. Answers on a postcard please.

Couple of other observations, how did the ref miss Coutinho taking Sagna's right leg from under him on their first? And why is he playing advantage for differing amounts of time in the same game? I'm not for a nanosecond suggesting anything the ref did had any bearing whatsoever on the result or our inept performance but I still feel his performance is as open for criticism as much as anyone's else's.

Few positives, Hart did very well to keep the score down or this could've been worse than against Boro under Sven. Aguero took his goal really well, great to have him back. It was also good to see Yaya hooked for a poor display, doesn't happen very often so good on Pellegrini on that one.
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22 November 2015 09:38 Post ID: #559503 - in reply to #559499
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Pellers got it wrong yesterday, he had a cunning Baldrick plan which was not carried out by the players.
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22 November 2015 09:46 Post ID: #559505 - in reply to #559503
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All together now, "In the bleak midwinter..."

Spot on re that ref BD. I thought he was rubbish.

We're gonna look pretty stupid if we get beat on Wednesday night now. We must secure top spot in that group now.

Klopp's teams run about like maniacs and I cannot for the life of me believe how we went with the selection we did in the face of that. Even if intent on holding players back, then flood midfield.

Regardless of the personnel, it was the lack of effort that shocked me in that first half.

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22 November 2015 09:49 Post ID: #559507 - in reply to #559485
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Btw, due to security restrictions at work under the State of Emergency I won't be able to access VMC from work breaks TFN. This means I will be currently stumped to send in any input for the Juventus game from the night shift. I'll get our front page lads to run the stats. Frustrating but there you go.
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22 November 2015 09:52 Post ID: #559508 - in reply to #559485
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Some valid points there BD. At times it was as if Liverpool were playing at a different speed to us - they were at 78rpm and were were stuck on 45rpm until the second half by which time the damage was already done.

Moss's variable advantage time was noted - although I personally would like to see advantage lasting more than a nanosecond as is usual by PL referees I don't think he was consistent e.g. when Lucas pulled back Aguero we had a break and he blew straight away. He saw it and could have booked Lucas 'it was my first foul' (yeah, right) later.

Yaya getting hooked surprised me too. Sign of his time coming to an end? - we always used to say he must have had a clause in his contract not to be substituted. He has a role to play but I think Pellegrini should/could have spotted the problem when we were 0-2 down and made a change earlier. Big call though and would have made some headlines I am sure.
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22 November 2015 10:37 Post ID: #559514 - in reply to #559508
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Looking at the bigger picture, I reckon Real will go balls out for Sergio next year. I'm hoping respect to Atletico would dissuade him but above everything else we need to win something. He looked back on the pile of shite behind him yesterday and at one point just shook his head.
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22 November 2015 11:08 Post ID: #559515 - in reply to #559485
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Good point JB re Kun, he is a once in a generation striker and we need to keep him. For Kun he needs to be winning in the Champions League, or he could start to play up as players do. It will have nothing to do with money, only glory. It will be tough for us to hang on to him I fear, if we turn in performances like v Liverpool. Real will be desperate with Ronny of to PSG and if you watch the hiding they had v Barca, they were turned over big time and will need to buy big.
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22 November 2015 13:33 Post ID: #559517 - in reply to #559485
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Some thoughts
I wonder how much last weekends events affected Mangala & Sagna?
Our 'worst' pairing in defence (who haven't played for weeks) forced by Kompany's injury & Otamendi's late return from international duty?
They looked like they'd never played together before?
One eye on Wednesday? - not sure. I feel he may have made the same decision to rest who he did
Don't think we got above 33 rpm most of the game
Merlin always makes a difference
Did we get Liverpool at the wrong time? Klopp has them flying, but keeping up that intensity all season (with no winter break)?
Kun did look sharp(ish) - not his usual 4-5 games to get back up to speed after injury
I wonder if Manuel felt the game had already gone when he took him off?
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22 November 2015 15:14 Post ID: #559518 - in reply to #559517
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citizhun - 22/11/2015 13:33

Some thoughts
I wonder how much last weekends events affected Mangala & Sagna?
Our 'worst' pairing in defence (who haven't played for weeks) forced by Kompany's injury & Otamendi's late return from international duty?
They looked like they'd never played together before?
One eye on Wednesday? - not sure. I feel he may have made the same decision to rest who he did
Don't think we got above 33 rpm most of the game
Merlin always makes a difference
Did we get Liverpool at the wrong time? Klopp has them flying, but keeping up that intensity all season (with no winter break)?
Kun did look sharp(ish) - not his usual 4-5 games to get back up to speed after injury
I wonder if Manuel felt the game had already gone when he took him off?


Was thinking the same about Sagna, out of sorts yesterday but has been along with Dinho our most consistent performer this season. Not sure about Manga, that og could be equally responsible for his poor showing, he looked all over the place.

In regards to resting the same players, do you think he'd have rested them had we be playing Arsenal, Chelsea, Rags? I don't, I think he underestimated Liverpool.

Want to make a point on this belief that it takes Aguero 4-5 games to get back to speed. It doesn't, it did following his ligament injury last season but previous to that he's scored in either his first or second game back from injury.
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22 November 2015 15:42 Post ID: #559519 - in reply to #559485
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Dunno mate - it's a peculiar set of circumstances. It seemed bizarre and yet understandable at the same time :wow:
Can't say I was exactly filled with optimism when I saw the starting lineup, but the overall performance by the team was poor. The ones who did play should have performed better, but shit happens
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