Date:Wednesday December 3 2008
The City of Manchester Stadium
Mark Hughes made several changes to the side that disappointed against Man United. Kaka, Torres, Buffon and Robinho all drop to the bench? Ok I`m a couple of years ahead their. Seriously though, Mark Hughes has made several changes. Zabaleta, Ben Haim, Elano, Sturridge and Jo all starting, as Richards, SWP, Robinho, Hamann & Benjani drop out due to injury or just because they need a rest. Can Manchester City get their form back?
Teams in Full:
City: Hart, Zabaleta, Dunne (c), Ben Haim, Garrido, Kompany, Ireland, Elano, Vassell, Sturridge, Jo.
Subs: Schmeichel, Berti, Logan, Hamann, Caicedo, Evans, Benjani.
PSG: Landreau, Sakho, Makelele, Bourillon, Luyindula, Pancrate, Traore, Kezman, Camara, Clement, Rothen.
Subs: Edel, Ceara, Giuly, Hoarau, Mabila, Armand, Ngoyi
Well if the first 10 minutes where anything to go by, Manchester City were looking like a very good passing side with confidence oozing out of every pass. Elano looked interested in receiving the ball and Jo and Ireland where creating little one-two`s, and it didn`t take long before Elano was threading one of his perfect through ball which simply split the defence, and found Sturridge on the left hand side who wondered into the area, only for his touch to let him down, and the keeper managed to clear.
Jo then produced his Elano type ball as he set Elano and an offside Vassell through on goal. Vassell gave more evidence of why City fans believe him to be useless as he decided to take the shot on even though he knew he was offside, which seemed to dismay Elano.
PSG finally got into the game after a great quarter for Manchester City. Kezman got himself booked after many brawls with Dunne, and Ben-Haim but yet again Garrido was being skinned way too often. Luyindula and Pancrate both eased past Garrido on many occasions. This almost cost City when Luyindula found himself past Garrido. The winger had Kezman free in the box, but waited before laying the ball across, but only for Kezman`s effort to be superbly blocked by Ben-Haim.
Manchester City were at this point fading in the game, and apart from the long ranged shot by Zabaleta and Kompany. Manchester City never manages to set the stadium alight, and as halftime loomed, The City fan`s were still as cold, as the style of play.
Halftime: Manchester City 0 PSG 0.
The start of the second half saw an instant end to Elano contribution. The Brazilian seemed to pick up a groin injury and was replaced by Benjani.
PSG then started to play football. Luyindula managed to fire straight down the throat of Hart, before Vassell had the best chance of the half when he managed to scoop the ball over the bar from the edge of the penalty box. Seriously Darius, you`d be better playing rugby.
However City were beginning to show some of the passing they had in the first half as Sturridge shot wide after neat work from the City frontline. PSG then broke down the other end and were left one-on-one with Hart, but the English man denied Luyindula again. I tell you, this bloke is good. Oh don`t mark my words; he will most likely be linked with us tomorrow.
Ched Evans then replaced Jo who seems to only be lacking in confidence rather than quality.
PSG then began to find the upper hand and were getting in good positions without testing Hart too often, but as 10 minutes remained on the clock, the game was perfectly balanced without either side looking dangerous in the final third. PSG did have fun however when Vassell was replaced by Hamann. The wing that Vassell was deployed on was beginning to get exploited and on two occasions Zabaleta was caught out and PSG managed to place crosses in that where cleared, or inches away from reaching Giuly or Armand.
The game ended after 3 minutes of injury time, and in all honesty PSG deserved 3 points.
After the first 15 minutes I really believed we had our form back. However how wrong was I. We lost the ball too many times and failed to penetrate in the final third. Its performances like this that will just bring more questions to Mark Hughes`s table
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Date:Wednesday December 3 2008
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