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City 1-0 Blackpool

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blackpool result
blackpool result

Another victory that rounds out a Festive period that saw a maximum nine point return.

City deserved the victory on the balance of play but it should have been a more comfortable win and although one goal leads at times this season have felt like the side are in control of the game, this wasn't necessarily one of them.

Taking the game as a whole, it was as open a game as we have seen for some time at Eastlands. Whilst a genuine number of quality chances created was perhaps not there, both sides were willing to commit players forward and it did feel as though the majority of the play was in the final third of each end; a grinding midfield battle this wasn't.

It was a bright start from both sides over the first half an hour or so, but the game began to drift a little with City not having taken an early lead like so often of late. Somewhat of a surprise then that City went ahead when they did; an innoccuously cleared corner fell to an unmarked Adam Johnson to hit home from the edge of the area.

Having gone ahead, the game should have been killed off minutes later. Yaya Toure was felled in the box to hand Carlos Tevez the chance to put City goals a head - an insurmountable lead you feel even with Blackpool's ambition. Tevez, however, hit wide. An outcome that was perhaps coming given some of the fortuituous finishes from the spot this season.

The selection for the game was a surprise. With two games preceeding this in such quick succession and Arsenal on the horizon, more changes were anticipated but Roberto Mancini opted for a near full strength side. With bodies and minds no doubt tiring, this made the one goal lead even more precarious. This was exacerbated when David Silva was forced off injured with just under half an hour remaining.

Blackpool, perhaps sensing an opportunity committed themselves forward and City's possession and control of the football was lacking. The passing stats were not of the standard seen for the most part and this contributed to a nervy finish where City retreated to more desperate measures to clear their lines. It did at least show that following some quiet games, Joe Hart is still in decent touch having been called upon to make a number of testing saves.

Patrick Vieira was introduced for the final five minutes; Mancini's trusted lieutenant to steady the ship and for all of Blackpool's endeavour there were no major scares late on.

A win was the main thing of course, especially so with other sides around City winning. Whilst there was a lack of ruthlessness in attack, the clinical edge missing (how thoughts turned to Edin Dezko), the tiredness factor must be taken into consideration. Whilst City had two games over Christmas (albeit comfortable results), Blackpool were inactive and they looked the far fresher side. Had they too come in on the back of having played in quick succession they surely would not have been able to maintain the pace for quite so long.

Prior to the past week I thought seven points would be a good return so in that respect we have exceeded ambitions. On now to the Emirates on Wednesday with an important clash with Arsenal. Post game, Brian Kidd stated he hoped that David Silva and Mario Balotelli would both be fit. 

Silva certainly came off limping and may well be a doubt. To go to Arsenal without him would make things difficult indeed such is his growing value and importance to the side.

A nervy few days await but for now, satisfaction at a successful weeks work.