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US perspective on 2-0 Riverside conquest

Alas, some breathing room...I for one will be sleeping considerably better this week after City's first league triumph since New Year's Day. Finally some positive momentum to build upon going into a challenging set of fixtures to finish out the season.

People may say that our Blues were lucky to face a 'Boro side with one eye on their Monday showdown at the Evil Empire and the likes of Woodgate and Viduka held out of the starting lineup, but make no mistake...these 3 points were very well deserved. Thank you, City for coveted bragging rights over Middlesbrough's Phil McThomas on "Soccer Shout"!

Somewhat overlooked in recent matches is how solid our backline has been, and this was no exception. Fortunately, it looks as though Micah's injury was not too serious...and with the Neville incident earlier in the day, Richards may be an integral part of the England setup in their crucial showdown in Israel.

The match was shown on tape delay here in the States (Setanta North America). As per usual, the City away contingent was impressively audible throughout the telecast. Sadly (?), no up-close shots this weekend of the sobbing, screaming Blues supporter from the FA Cup quarterfinal who is now infamous in some circles. It was quite pleasing to see Samaras actually hustling today at the Riverside...Emile Mpenza's performance hopefully will be a big confidence-booster and earn him starting lineup honours amongst a tragically impotent strike force.

It wouldn't be right to end things without some bitterness...Rovers did us no favours today. It is bad enough Blackburn defeated City three times this season, how could they lose to West Ham at Ewood Park with a 1-0 lead in the 70th minute? And I have major concerns that Charlton is getting Newcastle at just the right time tomorrow afternoon...the Addicks will be very up for this one, while Newcastle are coming off a classic European hangover situation following their heartbreaking Thursday night match in Holland (and historically have been very poor in the Capital).