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City 4-0 Leeds: Post match thoughts

Shaun Botterill

Well, that was a hell of a response, eh? That’s what I’m talking aboot! Why did I go Canadian to start this, I have no idea but I’ll roll with it! Anyway, from the beginning you could tell City’s plan was to silence the critics, and this was a heck of a way to do that. There isn’t much to be said game-play wise other than we dominated, but I will still give a decent analysis of the passage of play.

Tevez and Aguero applied high pressure, which has been a staple of City’s attack when the Argentineans play together. The style and formation was reminiscent of what we saw in preseason and early in our EPL campaign from City. But, because of the constant switching of personnel from RM, we have seen less of this attack, but we may see more in the future!

As I had asked on twitter, City scored early, even before some fans butts had hit their seats, a beautiful sequence of 1-2 passing lead to a goal by Yaya. And, not only 10 minutes later, the pesky Aguero forced a PK after beating the Leeds defender in the box. The Argentinean stepped up to take the PK, and he beat the keeper to make it 2-0 to City. Not too shocking, but with a team that consisted of minimal size up front managed to play a wider game than we have in the recent matches. Silva, Milner and Aguero fed our backs on their runs down the wings, and funneled the attack back in to the middle. We controlled much of the possession in the first half; and even when we didn’t hold possession, Leeds hardly saw our end of the field. If it weren’t for the cornering of a Leeds player by Nasty in the 42nd minute, I would have totally forgotten that we had two center backs.

We played with a fluent and magisterial display of passing, which looked similar to Barcelona’s ticky-tack style that they have made famous. Chalk it up to our early lead, or the skill of our opponent, but all together the chemistry of the starting 11 was extremely refreshing, especially after how god awful, lethargic and unorganized we looked against Southampton.

The second half saw much of the same from our boys, as the “Argentineans Ltd.,” continued their beautiful 1-2 passing, leading to two more goals from Aguero and Tevez. Despite their team being dismantled, on and off the field, the Leeds fans were in fine voice, and having fun, which was really awesome to see. They heckled Pantilimon as he took goal kicks, and joined in with the City fans as they did the “Poznan.” But, in the team aspect, it was a little disappointing that Leeds didn’t show a little more effort in the game, but I’ll take the win over a 3-2 comeback any day.

Tevez, Aguero, Silva, Milner and Yaya, worked beautifully together throughout the entire match, and I hope to see them in the lineup together more. The had great chemistry; playing quick 1-2’s, knowing where one another wanted the ball and fed Zaba and Kolarov as they headed down the wing. This type of attack is breath taking to watch when it works, and when there is a connection like that in soccer; it embodies the Spanish phrase that correlates with soccer “joga bonito.”

Now, the onus will be on Roberto to make a positive team selection for our match against Chelsea next Sunday, and if this game was any indication, I would expect to see a team similar to the one today.

Side note(s):

In the midst of the action, there were numerous (unintentional) shots at the Leeds players’ “man regions,” I thought this ironic, especially given Sufferbruins “Daily Links” post, where Mancini essentially said City players need to “grow a pair.”

Michael Brown, who has a reputation of being “Joey Barton” Esq., was able to stir a reaction from Yaya, after the two collided at midfield. Knowing that Brown has this reputation, I was upset that a player of Yaya’s caliber gave him what he wanted.

Early in the second half, Samuel Byram, seemed to get a cut on his tongue I believe. After getting patched up, the adhesive bandage purging from his mouth made him look like the character “Flick,” from “A Christmas Story,” after he sticks his tongue to a freezing pole. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, look it up!

Aguero (8) (MotM) – Pretty easy to give him the Man of the Match award after the game he had today. Not only was he scoring, but he was supplying his teammates passes that led to goals.

Tevez (7) – After missing the last match because of family problems, it was good to see him back and have him back too! His high ball pressure and off ball movement kept the Leeds defenders on their heels. When he made runs into the box, he was rewarded by receiving the ball AND converting those chances.

Silva (7) – Merlin was back! Not that he wasn’t Merlin-esq., in the previous games, but because the teams mindset was ATTACK, ATTACK, ATTACK his passes were received in prime position to score.

Yaya (7) – Similar to the 2011 FA Cup run (huh, huh, nudge, nudge!!) he scored a goal after a beautiful sequence of passing from the five amigos (I am looking for a better term for Tevez, Aguero, Milner, Silva and Yaya, but this is the best I got for now). He got the chance to push forward more, and he took advantage of that.

Milner (6) – Work horse, didn’t get the see the ball much in attack positions, but he was applying the pressure.

Kolarov (6) – Still not a fan, but his mindset as an attacker is growing on me. He needs to improve his defensive skill, until he does that I don’t see him getting much time in the future, unless he comes in as a sub.

Garcia (6) – another strong defensive performance from “V,” after being disappointed by the loss of De Jong, in lieu of Garcia (essentially), I am starting to appreciate what he brings to our side. His versatility continues to be an asset, and will be in the future.

Nasty (5) – Did he play today? KIDDING, but seriously, he was hardly mentioned/needed in the game. Obviously, that’s a good sign for City because it means defense was not a necessity in the game.

Kolo (6) – He was a bit more active then Nasty was when the ball came in to the box from Leeds. Although it was limited, he headed the balls crossed in to the box with force. Yeah, I’m really stretching for summary of his play.

Zaba (6) – What more can be said, just another Pablo performance, just less intense because he didn’t end the game with a bandage on his head L.

Panty (5) – Other than that free kick, he wasn’t really needed, but he may get some minutes in tonight’s NBA All-Star game.

Rodwell (5) – His only chance to make an impact on the game was his header that caromed off the crossbar. He should have scored and it would have been a huge confidence boost for him.

Maicon (6) – “The right-footed Kolarov.” Yup, that’s how I can describe Maicon. He puts the pressure on down the wing, and in pairing with Kolarov, you can see the similarities.

Dzeko (5) – He had his opportunities, not only to score, but to pass too (which he didn’t). His shot from outside the box would have been better served as a cross to Rodwell, but when in Rome, right?

Finally: Happy Birthday MJ, I was definitely spoiled to see his greatness growing up. Truly a legend.