Well hey, we are certain to be in the Champions League next season, check one for Mancini! Awkwardly though, that means win or lose Saturday, Wigan will be in the Europa League and after that loss today they are the favorites to be the third relegated team.
Okay, with that out of the way lets get to the business of today’s early week match. After a less than impressive performance on Saturday, it was important for City to get all three points from this game. The lineup’s look was not too surprising with the Cup final looming this weekend, but I was hoping to see a few more EDS players to be on the team sheet. The fact that the score was 1-0 totally does not tell the tale of the tape; because the final could have easily had been 5-4 City, or worse! And let me add a joke for a little comical relief, the trio of Tevez, Milner and Nasri looked like the “Chuck Lidell’s” of the team Roberto put out there today. If you don’t get the reference, check out the new Miller Lite commercials!
Up until he found the back of the net, Dzeko, looked very Dzekoian and so did our attack. As the half moved along so did our pace and thankfully after a wonderful bit of skill from Tevez, his cross-found the foot of Dzeko and he powered it by West Brom’s Myhill. My line for this goal was simple “even a blind squirrel finds a nut,” I’m so mean, aren’t I?
We dominated the end of the first half and looked like we could have scored at least 4 and go into the half with nothing to worry about, sadly that wasn’t our plan. After West Brom’s early fury of attack in the first half was essentially the last time we saw of it until the second half, which got me thinking, did our back line take the first half off? Obviously kidding. When we had the ball early in the second half, we couldn’t get it to any of our playmakers and that hurt our holding of possession.
West Brom on the other hand, came out in the second half like a team possessed throwing shot after shot toward Joe. I say toward because only eight of their shots were on target, but we were just as bad putting 7 of our 24 shots on frame. Our main problem other than the rust of our back four/three was our inability to clear the ball out effectively. This has been one of our issues, along with not converting chances; all season and we couldn’t do a worse job of that tonight. In the second half every time we cleared the ball, it was right at a West Brom player and they were right back in possession.
Now Blues, what do we think of RMs chances of remaining the managers now? After securing a UCL spot and the possibility of another trophy in as many years.
Dzeko (5) – He did get on the scoring sheet this afternoon, well, he was the only one too but that was his only shinning moment. He looks to be lost when he has the ball, at times.
Nasri (7) – Surprised to see him in the lineup tonight, especially because he will most likely get the start for the Cup final, but he was certainly needed today. Him and Milner worked while on opposite sides, and got the ball to Tevez and Dzeko in scoring positions.
Tevez (7) – He was doing Fifa like stuff today and it was really impressive, more specifically that lift of the ball to aid his cross was the greatest move. He is so powerful when on the ball, late in the match he just slid in front of the West Brom player to start a push down field.
Milner (7) – He took over the role Pablo had been playing all year, but on attack not defense. Granted, he has been doing that all season, today he was just another great example of his tenacity.
Rodwell (8 MotM) – Great to see Jack back out there, and he looked completely unaffected by his run of reoccurring hamstring injuries. He was so snack bitten today, and if he had scored he would definitely be the unanimous MotM, in my eyes, but he still wins it.
Garcia (6) – He was all over the strategic roster today, finishing the match at the back showing his versatility. He did a fairly decent job helping when the West Brom attack got deep into the City half.
Lolarov (6) – I have to say that he impressed me today, that being said, it was only because his frailties were limited. He is very effective in an attacking move and you saw that today as he was able to put crosses in from the wing. But, that is also why he doesn’t play, he is a liability defensively and Clichy is better all around, obviously.
Kolo (4) – Not his best today and after being so impressive during Vinny’s absence it was disappointing to see because it seemed he had “given up,” on the team in a way.
Lescott (4) – That baby must be keeping him up at night! He looked very lethargic on and off the ball, much like Kolo but with an excuse.
Richards (5) – Glad Micah was back in the lineup and he looked in better form than his last appearance in the squad.
Hart (6) – Boy was Joey tested today, especially in the second half and he stood up to the challenge West Brom presented, smoothly or not.
Barry (N/A) – Did he pass the ball to Myhill because he thought he was on West Brom? Haha.
Maicon (N/A) – Looked lively at times on attack, but defense…..it was only fitting he played this poor on the 11 year anniversary of Allen Iverson’s “Practice” press conference. “Defense? Not, Not, Not attack, defense?”
Razak (10…..N/A) – Wish he got more than a minute of time on the field.