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City Have No Poke As They Lose To Stoke

Stoke City
1 - 0
Man City

Britannia Stadium


Attendance: 27,236


Rory Delap was sent off yet City only managed one shot on target as they slumped to another away-day defeat to Stoke.

The game started quite good for the Blues. City managed to keep the ball well and dominate proceedings without managing to penetrate any sort of final ball. Stephen Ireland did have a good chance though after good pressure by Bellamy led the ball straight to the boot of the Irishman, but his volley flew wide of Sorensen`s Right post.

Stoke managed to get a foothold in the game after City`s spell of dominance. A variety or successive corners and throw-ins produced two good chances for Stoke with Shawcross heading over the crossbar and then managing to flick the ball towards goal from two Delap throw-ins.

Man City took advantage of the pressure and broke with style. Ireland found the ball and pushed forward with the ball, before releasing Bellamy who squared the ball to Robinho, but the little Brazilian`s shot was scuffed and rolled straight to Sorensen.

The game was then paused briefly as Onuoha and Amdy Faye clashed heads. The Stoke player came off worse after originally seemed to lose consciousness but after a short time, he was back on his feet and ready to continue the Stoke cause.

Nobody could question Stoke`s passion for the cause as they were hustling City when they had the ball and getting their foot stuck in. However Delap went one step to far on the 37th minute and saw red after kicking Shaun Wright-Phillips who had been tripped by him moments earlier. City fans waved the Stoke player off the pitch but City were lucky to still have eleven players on the field after replays revealed Wright-Phillips retaliated by kicking Delap back while on the floor. A lucky escape for the "wee" lad.

City then went on the attack but through all their possession they could not manage anything worth shouting about, in fact it was the Stoke City fan`s who found themselves screaming moments before the halftime whistle.

Good play by Stoke and bad defending by Richards and Bridge gifted Stoke a goal, as the cross came in from the right which Richards should have blocked, but it found the head of Beattie who flicked the ball into the bottom corner. Question marks over Bridge`s positioning but either Way City went in at half-time behind.

Halftime: Stoke City 1 Manchester City 0

City kicked off the second half, as Stoke made one change. Fuller was replaced by Cresswell.

Stoke seemed more than happy to have "parked the bus" for the second half as every member of the stoke side seemed to be in their half. A long ranged shot by Robinho was all there was to shout about as Hughes made his first change.

Zabaleta was replaced by Elano who was booked within a minute of coming on. Some sort of record maybe?

Half chances came and went for City with another couple of long-ranged shots. Ireland was then unlucky to reach Elano`s shot come cross, but City never looked likely to break the wall of Stoke`s defence.

Robinho had a volley from just inside the box but it flew over, as Hughes made this second change. De Jong was sacrificed for Caicedo as City went to try and find an unlikely goal.

Bellamy was next to fluff his volley over the bar, but the Welshman then had another long range effort which silenced the Stoke fan`s for a split second before the ball whispered the top of the bar and out of play. A good shot after good work from Caicedo to present the opportunity to Bellamy.

A late shout from Richards after a tangle with Griffin was unsuccessful as City failed to produce anything more.

Final Score: Stoke City 1 Manchester City 0

Aaron`s Conclusion:

The City performance resembled the mornings when your car won`t start. You`re willing it to kick into action but it just doesn`t want to work. I don`t get why the same team can play well against Newcastle at home but fail to produce anything away from Eastlands? It needs sorting out otherwise we can prepare ourselves for a mid-table finish.

Star Player

Elano, - He certainly tried to bring something new to the side, and played some very good balls. 7/10

- Aaron Collins

Elano - 8 - Unfairly booked immediately after coming on but didn't seem to hamper him. Passing was spot on and he looked like City's only bright spark today.

- MCFC_Goatboy

Elano (sub for Zabaleta) Changed the game for me distribution wide right and left stretched the game, unlucky to get booked. 8

- Buzz Lightyear

Elano - 8 - City's only bright spark today

- mcfcthriller

Player Ratings


Hart: not at fault for the goal, played well -7

- Buzz Lightyear


Bridge - 2 games 2 mistakes 2 goals conceded. He's meant to be a world class leftback but is not looking like one at the moment. 4/10

- fifthcolumnblue


Kompany - 6 - Defended solidy but passing was woeful at times today.

- MCFC_Goatboy


Onohua - 7 - Best defender on pitch today.

- mcfcthriller


Richards, caught out by laziness in not cutting out the cross, tried to make up for it second half and was visibly tired at the end.; 6

- Buzz Lightyear

De Jong

De Jong - 6 - Nothing fancy but did his job sitting in front of the back 4

- MCFC_Goatboy


Zabaleta - 6 - Cleared up in front of the defence well enough before being substituted early 2nd half.

- MCFC_Goatboy


Ireland - 5

- Hbrock


Robinho. tried hard to get the team going bits of magic but shooting boots on wrong feet today . 6

- Buzz Lightyear


Bellamy - 6 - Run his heart out for the cause.

- mcfcthriller


SWP tried his best still full of running. got little change out of gigantic stoke defence. 6

- Buzz Lightyear


See Star Ratings.


Looked good and should be playing? He has so much promise.

Player Ratings!

Thank you everyone for your comments on the players in the Stoke Game. If you're interested in having your opinion on a match report, then join Manchester City Vital Football, and enjoy our friendly forum's to express yourself!

Date:Saturday January 31 2009
Time: 4:17PM


I was absolutely disgusted with city's performance. I knew as soon as Delap was sent off we would have a tough game on our hands, but to get only 1 shot on target is a joke
31/01/2009 17:35:00
No poke? Some of our players deserve poking with a very sharp stick for that performance. This game merely gives more ammunition to the City-bashers out their who will berate us for having spent £44mil thus far in the window, yet somehow failing to beat a well organised but extremely limited pub-team.
31/01/2009 18:02:00
I just don't get why when we are 1 down playing against ten men who were virtually all stood in their own penalty area for the whole of the second half that we persevere with one up front and it takes so long to put on another forward.
31/01/2009 19:19:00
Seeing my hard one 700 odd points disappear overnight is almost as gutting as the City result. How am I going to placate the wife enough to ever amass such a points total ever again? Woe is me!
01/02/2009 01:53:00
and it's a short month too FCB
01/02/2009 02:45:00
Hughes has us geared up to be mid-table hopefuls. He talks about "Big Culb Mentality." He hasn't the first clue. Sheikh Mansour -- please get us Martin O'Neill or Steve Bruce!
01/02/2009 03:53:00
yet another "typical City" display.........
01/02/2009 08:42:00
2 games in 4 days the lads must be tired and clubbing in leeds its a pity they dont really have to earn their money all that moaning about bellamy and hes only 1 out of 3 or 4 thats up for it
01/02/2009 09:00:00
Everythime I think you guys have turned the corner you throw in a display like this .. 0-1 to ten men Stoke .. ouch !
01/02/2009 09:02:00
Is The team balanced?
Buzz Lightyear
01/02/2009 09:17:00
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