I'm really at a loss for words, not just because I am extremely disappointed in the result. I’m really just shocked at the performance today. Bear with me as a try to articulate my thoughts here.
City turned in a truly “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” performance today, especially in comparison to last weeks convincing victory over Newcastle. From the start we seemed to be bored and unfocused. We weren’t playing the game we saw last week, creating chances from beautiful passing and well timed runs. It looked like the City of last season: they could wow you one day and make you want to gouge your eyes out the next (over the top I know). Plain and simple, it was not an uninspiring performance all around. From attack to back line, the necessary class required was missing.
It's obvious that Kompany's injury played a big factor in the loss. However, it wasn't only his skill that was missed: his ability to communicate with his fellow defenders, and keep their shape, was really missed. Additionally, our center back overall speed was hindered by his absence. It seemed like we were lucky to escape the first half without conceding a late goal, as Campbell sped by them both but timely defending, and Hart adding some pressure lead to solid saves. Another weakness of our team that was exposed again today was our defense against set pieces. Please correct me if I am wrong, but this has given us trouble the last three or four seasons. The first goal for Campbell came when he charged untouched (I believe) through the penalty box and headed a laser into the back of the net. All of this is easily correctable at this stage of the season, and with Nastasic coming back, we will have more of an idea of how our back line will look during the rest of the season.
To continue getting the full three points during the rest of the upcoming fixtures, we will need consistent performances from Dzeko, Aguero, Silva and the other starting attackers. Dzeko's goal today was an example of what he can bring, when he is at his best. But, I would like to see him convert his chances more frequently, especially in games like last weeks.
Finally. a little dose of reality is in order here. As easy as it is to overact to one win, the same applies to one loss. In sports you sometimes lose the ones you should win, and you sometimes lose the ones you should win. Given a choice, it is better to lose early rather than late. Chins up blues; next week is another chance for three points.
Full marks to Cardiff, as they put on quite a performance in front of a fan base that has been waiting for over 50 years for a chance to cheer on a top league team. No ratings this week readers, didn't get a good visual of the game (streaming on the phone was hit and miss) I will put ratings out on Tuesday after I suffer through the replay.
How Pellegrini handles his first lost as an EPL manager will be something to look for throughout this week.