Vital Football

Latest Manchester City News

Bore Draw at Eastlands

Manchester City
0 - 0
Blackburn Rovers

City of Manchester Stadium

19/11/05 3pm

Attendance: 44032

Referee:

A rare Saturday 3pm kick off left the supporters of both clubs glad they donít play at this time that often. A dreary game, not helped by the absence of key personnel, did little to warm up 44,000 paying spectators as winter football announced itís return in the chill Manchester air. City were without the suspended Barton and long term casualties Reyna and Fowler although Sinclair, Thatcher and Onouha all made welcome returns to the bench. Bartonís suspension meant a rare start for Sun Jihai in the centre of a midfield that was to come up against a midfield built in Mark Hughesí image; robust would be to put it politely. Rovers were without their Aussie contingent of Emerton and Neill, no doubt still celebrating Australia finally achieving something of note this sporting year.

Given recent City/Rovers encounters (most notably the dire 0-0 draw at Ewood last season) the air of expectation surrounding this fixture was not high. More surprising than the news surrounding Roy Keaneís departure from Disneyland, Manchester was the fact that Rovers had actually managed to sell a full allocation of tickets for a game all of 45 minutes away. Admittedly it was a much reduced allocation but well done all the same.

If expectations surrounding the game were low the action on the pitch failed to even meet those. In 90 minutes neither team managed a shot on goal. Both James, in the City goal, and Friedel, keeping for Rovers, had as simple a weeks work as any Premiership footballer can expect. Rovers are not quite as direct as their Lancashire neighbours, Bolton, but their ability to bore the paying public is every bit as laudable. What is galling is that despite nearly every team in the Premiership striving for a single point when they visit Eastlands, City have still to find a way to break down the mass defences. Admittedly we donít get caught by the 90th minute breakaway as often but you would still expect us to impose ourselves on a limited team such as the one Blackburn fielded.

On a brighter note, Stevie Ireland continues to impress in central midfield and the central defence was once again immense. After his less than perfect showing at Fulham, Dunne was back to his dominant self whilst Distin imposed himself on Dickov, refusing to let him intimidate him as he does so many others. Dickov once more got the bird from a sizeable minority of the City crowd but letís not forget the 94th minute at Wembley, the guy will always be a City legend.

Realising the ineptitude of the football on offer, Stuart Pearce decided to inject some much needed spice into the game. Invading the pitch on two occasions in an attempt to get the Blackburn players moving, Psycho continued his entertaining sideshow from the sidelines. Mark Hughes showed all he had learnt from the Ferguson school of management with his rant that Pearce should have been sent to the stands, as he himself was for kicking a water bottle in a previous game. Pearce, with just a little more class than Hughes could muster, answered back that kicking a water bottle was simply disgusting.

As an advertisement for the Ďbest league in the worldí this game fell very short. If the authorities want to see the issues affecting football then Eastlands was the place to be on Saturday. Dull, unadventurous visiting teams with little more ambition than a solitary point are killing football. Crowds will not respond if there is nothing to cheer and shout about. Come on ĎThe Premiershipí teams, show the world itís the best league in the world and donít stifle the game.

Star Player

Stevie Ireland - Maturity beyond his years, controlling a congested midfield.


Writer:Andy Leggott
Date:Wednesday November 23 2005
Time: 7:25PM

Login to post a comment

Site Journalists

Tudor (VMC Editor)
Editor email
Profile
Johnny Baguette
no email
Profile
Pedmachine
no email
Profile
Skoorb
no email
Profile

Current Poll (see more polls)

With City not playing this weekend which live English TV game will you watch?
Suggested By: Tudor
Leeds v Sheffield Wednesday (Sky)1%
Brighton v Reading (Sky)0%
Norwich v Ipswich (Sky)0%
Spuds v Stoke (Sky)0%
Saints v Rags (EPL Cup Final - Sky)9%
Watford v West Ham (BT)0%
Two of the above0%
Three of the above9%
Four of the above0%
Five of the above0%
All six0%
I won't watch any81%
ScoopDragon Premier League Network Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Chelsea 25 19 3 3 60 34
2 Man City 25 16 4 5 52 22
3 Spurs 25 14 8 3 50 28
4 Arsenal 25 15 5 5 50 26
5 Liverpool 25 14 7 4 49 24
6 Man Utd 25 13 9 3 48 17
7 Everton 25 11 8 6 41 13
8 WBA 25 10 7 8 37 3
9 Stoke 25 8 8 9 32 -6
10 West Ham 25 9 5 11 32 -9
11 Southampton 25 8 6 11 30 -3
12 Burnley 25 9 3 13 30 -9
13 Watford 25 8 6 11 30 -13
14 AFC Bournemouth 25 7 5 13 26 -14
15 Swansea 25 7 3 15 24 -23
16 Middlesbrough 25 4 10 11 22 -8
17 Leicester City 25 5 6 14 21 -19
18 Hull City 25 5 5 15 20 -27
19 Crystal Palace 25 5 4 16 19 -14
20 Sunderland 25 5 4 16 19 -22
Vital Football Comment
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News
Write for Vital Football

Recent Manchester City Results (view all)

Manchester City Fixtures (view all)

Feb 26 2017 2:15PM : Manchester United (H)
Barclays Premier League
Mar 5 2017 4:00PM : Sunderland (a)
Barclays Premier League
Mar 11 2017 12:30PM : Stoke City (H)
Barclays Premier League
Mar 19 2017 4:30PM : Liverpool (H)
Barclays Premier League
Apr 1 2017 3:00PM : Arsenal (a)
Barclays Premier League
Apr 5 2017 7:45PM : Chelsea (a)
Barclays Premier League

Vital Members League Table

RankNamePoints
1.Buzz Lightyear554
2.Skoorb268
3.Johnny Baguette256
4.Rising142
5.Bluedub123
6.Tudor107
7.johnkelv106
8.citizhun77
9.Colin Is The King74
10.kennyclementstache59
The Vital Football Members League