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Mcfc 3 - Villa 1

Eastland's

15.00

Attendance: 47,102

City Continue To Dream

Manchester City recorded a pulsating 3-1 victory over Champions League contenders Aston Villa to continue our push for Europe. John Carew opened the scoring but an entertaining comeback which included goals from Carlos Tevez, Adebayor and Bellamy left the home fans jubilant.

With Tottenham in the Champions League driving seat, today was an afternoon where both teams had an opportunity to destroy the opposition`s chances of the illusive Champions League berth as well as continuing to push themselves. Aston Villa have regularly been part of the chasing pack, but haven`t had the end of season consistency to earn a fourth spot finish. This season, long outsiders and recently forgotten by the pundits, Villa had the chance to seize the initiative and regain serious hope of finishing fourth. A tremendous away record sent them to Eastland`s hopeful of gate crashing our own hopes. Manchester City, well, we have been favourites for most of the campaign, sturdy and resilient at home we have major hopes and aspirations to topple the top four monopoly.

City have often had the upper hand at Eastland`s in this fixture, but Villa are a team full of English determined spirit, they counter attack with raw speed and have a target man in John Carew who is a very strong competitor. City started the brighter, the fans were urging their side on and we sensed a terrific performance. We attacked with regularity, Villa were pinned back, Johnson was sending over countless corners, but we were thwarted. Villa found it difficult to get out their own half, so it was surprising they managed to take the lead. That man John Carew, far from elegant, but certainly destructive, galloped with ease into our box, fending off Toure he hit an early shot at the nervous Fulop. His shot took a slight deflection and sheer silence arose when the ball crept into the back of the net.

This was against the run of play, it took the home fans by complete surprise and the nerves were slowly entering the players` minds. We attacked, we pushed them back but couldn`t find an answer to break down a Villa defence, marshalled by Richard Dunne, once our Mr invincible. Tackles were last ditch, blocking every shot, preventing every move. Friedel was at his usual best, a remarkable save prevented Bellamy before several penalty shouts were rightly turned down. Finally we had a perfect appeal, Johnson was played in, he jinked his way into the box until Warnock brought him down, his heads were in his hands and everyone knew this was a pivotal moment. Tevez stepped up and had the whole weight of City on his shoulders, unfazed he stepped up and struck the penalty under Friedel to level the scores.

The attacking play was admirable and we were finally rewarded for our persistence. However, it was only seconds later until our joy was nearly turned into more disappointment. Carew again strode forward but this time saw his shot cannon back off the bar. A huge shriek from the crowd, finally died down and it was our time to attack. The fire was in our belly, we were desperate for another and the crowd urged the players on, again Johnson twisted and turned his way into the box, he left defenders in his trail before pulling back to Adebayor, the Togolese front man, 6 yards out managed to regain his balance and slot his shot home, just past the despairing dive of Friedel.

There was pandemonium in the stands, a fantastic fight back at the end of the first half ensured we were certainly in the driving seat when the second half arrived. We were greeted with a more patient build up in the second half, Villa now had to attack us and we could use our potent attacking force to pick them off. We had several fantastic chances but in Typical City fashion we were left anxious of a Villa goal.

We couldn`t punish the Villa mistakes and with Fulop looking rather shaky in the spotlight, we needed a third goal to ease our worries. Zabaleta was immense, he constantly stopped the Villa pressure and allowed us to force attacks of our own. His hard work allowed Bellamy to find space, coming in from the touchline he unleashed another fine shot, but again Friedel was there. The clock was ticking but a Villa goal would have certainly spoilt the party. Young attacked next for the visitors but his long cross was too much for the stretching Delfouneso.

Shaun Wright-Phillips also entered the fray and his first involvement brought great delight. The right winger picked up the on the half-way life, skipping past defenders, desperate lunge after desperate lunge, he rampaged forward with supporting blue shirts, he picked his head up and carved out a spectacular chance for Bellamy, his hard work had paid off as he arched a sumptuous shot into Friedel`s top corner.

The goal was met with unbelievable joy and sheer relief. It was needed and fully deserved. Fourth is again getting very close but can we remain calm for the Tottenham match? Bellamy put the icing on the cake and it could truly be a memorable performance and result.

Star Player

Zabaleta- Truly Inspirational. Gutsy, determined and 100%.He never shirked a tackle, he battled and pressed and gave one of his best performances.

Player Ratings


Fulop-6

Slightly unlucky with the goal but looked shaky early on. Settled a bit in the second half, but no Shay.

Zabaleta-9

Truly Inspirational. Gutsy, determined and 100%.He never shirked a tackle, he battled and pressed and gave one of his best performances.

Toure-7

Agbonlahor was a passenger today, due to Tour'es pace and athleticism. Should have prevented the Carew goal but performed better after it.

Kompany-8

Strong, great awareness and battled well. He reads the game very well and is a firm fan fave.

Bridge-7

Played very well and better than his opposite number Warnock. He stopped many Villa attacks and the wide men were often kept quiet. Attacked well and frequently.

Vieira-8

Another strong game. Read the game very well, some nice slick passing and tackled strongly in midfield.

De Jong-8

Never stopped running. He didn't give Milner an inch and deserves his praise.

Johnson-8

Jinked his way past defenders and created the first two goals. Our best attacking player until he was removed.

Bellamy-8

Deserved his goal due to his hard work and commitment. Put their defence on the back foot and created constant pressure with his pace.

Tevez-7

Slightly subdued and not at his full-flowing best. He still put in a good shift but possibly played too deep.

Adebayor-7

Provided an outlet upfront and was in the right place for his goal. Got into the game more as it progressed.

SWP-6

Provided a goal from a fantastic run and burst of pace. Always does well against Villa.

Richards-3

Didn't have long to affect the game.




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The journalist

Writer: Yak Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday May 1 2010

Time: 6:53PM

Your Comments

Looks like you lads are in the driving seat now!
merlin
I dont think any Citeh or Spurs fan will remain calm wednesday evening, lets hope its a corker and is not decided either way by rank bad officials.
Born&BredSpur
Good call, BBS. Some of the officiating this season has been atrocious. Meanwhile, City were superb today against a very good Villa side. Vieira was immense.
Johnny Baguette
Coulodn't agree more BBS. Here's hoping for a controversy free match that is won by the better team, not by some skanky decisions. I'm hoping spuds don't come for a draw as that could somewhat decrease the excitement factor, but a point would probably do you.
fifthcolumnblue
Spurs come for a draw? Like you did against the goons? Why would we be looking to draw, we're the better side.
Tony Rocky Horror
fifthcolumnblue, i dont think we will play for a draw...we never do, we always go for it
Yid_from_India
It's a cup final, no two ways about it!
Johnny Baguette
TRH - what makes you say Spurs are the better side? Table doesn't lie, not a lot in it between both sides and City have home advantage, I would imagine that makes City slight favourites. Should be a cracker. C'mon City!
Bluedub
What makes one side better than the other? If points are your measure, then spurs are 1 better than us. If goal difference is what you're looking at, then we're + 2 over the spuds. If you look at goals scored over the season then City currently lead by 8 (72 goals scored vs 64, and this despite spurs 9 goal thrashing of Wigan). So I have to agree with Bluedub when I say that we're pretty even at the moment, with our home advantage giving us a slight edge. So we do need to beat you on Wednesday night, and hope we get something from West Ham whilst at the same time you don't do a Wigan on Burnley. Time will tell!
fifthcolumnblue
We can all shout the odds but the truth is this game is massive for both of us, it is such a fine line between CL or not, yes we dont have to win this match but to me thats a false sense of security to have the mentality to play for the draw, whoever wins the final CL spot will be heaven for the fans and hell for the losing fans, this is why you wont hear me gloating if Spurs win, because I would fully understand the crushing feeling of failure, it just dont bare thinking of,
Born&BredSpur
Well said BBS!
Bluedub
Excellent win over Villa. Spurs are not capable of playing for a draw.Wednesday will be a winner takes all situation. I will not charge you a fee for that insight
cynicspur
Cheers cynic, every little helps in these recessionary times.
Bluedub
Obviously there are some exaggerations on both sides but at the end of the day however you rate the season both side have been almost identical in terms of general consistency, resilience, moments of greatness, strength in depth, quality of players/squads. I personally think it will be a shame that a one off game will define either teams seasons to be 'success or failures' as we've been almost inspereable throughout. Analysing the match, home advantage gives city an edge on the day but the one point advantage gives spurs the edge overall so which ever way you look at it it's a coin toss for fourth. What a game in prospect.
Phartman87
Sorry but i don't understand why De Jong keeps getting hign ratings from you guys, the ratings for the other players are spot on but De Jong has been awful for us for the last half of this season. He can't pass forward, doesn't make tackles (which is his main role), his off the ball play is terrible and he can't press with the rest of the midfield. Zabaleta plays far better at the defensive midfield role than De Jong. I don't understand why mancini keeps playing him. There's a fair few people that sit near me that have the same opinion too.
given_is_ironman
I hear you GII, i have been critical of De Jong on occasion this season. I think "awful" is a bit harsh though, as I do believe his ball winning abilities are second to none. Problem for me is when he wins the ball he often looks clueless in what to with it, and more often than not takes the wrong option.
Bluedub
Alright, yeah, maybe awful is a tad harsh. He's still shockingly bad at what he does though. There's a guy on the lower tier below us who has de jong on the back of his shirt who get a fair bit of stick from us, it's all for comedy effect though.
given_is_ironman
Great read OAB re the comments on de jong - I don't agree on his lack of form the only difference I would see is the change of role with Vierra in the team We either plump for a creator or De Jong to strengthen midfield OAB comments re Milner were spot on. Suppose now Vierra has picked up we have to egg someone. Maybe the same comments were levelled at Dunne by the same punters?
taggarts nose
 

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