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City 0 - 2 Everton: Post match thoughts

Clive Brunskill

Everton continue to give City trouble, especially at home. Coming into this game City had been playing extremely well, and Everton were coming off a headline producing loss to Wigan in FA Cup competition. With that being the form of each team, I was hopeful that City would come out of this game 3 points closer to Manchester United. Clearly I was off my rocker to believe this game would be a “walkover” for City, especially knowing how this fixture has given us trouble in the past.

The phrase “typical City” came to mind when watching this game and I say this with love, of course. After such great performances in the last few games, you wouldn’t expect City to trend back to the form we saw against Southampton. You can blame it on lineup selection, formation, pitch, officiating, injuries or etc. but our boys didn’t show up today, and obviously Everton did.

I’ll leave the lineup selection at this, Yaya’s last minute injury forced RM’s hand, as he needed to select a defensive midfield. He chose to play three at the back moving Kolarov to the midfield, and Nasty to left left back a position he is not comfortable playing. Now, I will rip Kolaov more in the rating section, but he got absolutely embarrassed by Coleman the entire game and this won’t be a game film he’ll write home about.

In the first half, City were completely dominated by Everton, we could not hold possession for a substantial amount of time. The Toffee’s pressured every time we were on ball, something that has been giving trouble all season. City was lucky to end the half only down 1-0, as an offside call, that shouldn’t have been, pulled back the first goal scored by Everton. But, as dominated as City were, I left the first half think that we had a chance to score two in the second half because when we had a lot of good opportunities on goal, albeit a small amount. My small glimmer of hope relied on the combination of Tevez, Dzeko, Silva and Milner, as they worked somewhat well together when they finally got possession.

The second varied a bit, caused by the sending off of Steven Pienaar, and from that moment City dominated possession and chances on goal (as you’d imagine). City should have been awarded a free kick late in the match as Fellaini clearly put his hand on the ball IN THE BOX, and about two yards in the box at that! But, it would have been a consolation goal for City, because we were completely dominated this match.

City had plenty of other opportunities to not only level the score, but also take the lead; unfortunately they were unable to come up with the final ball to lift City’s spirits. I give a lot of credit to the defense of Everton because when they were called upon to act, they stepped up to the challenge especially down a man. Everton scored a late goal as City were forced to bring their men up to get something out of this match, but it just solidified the Toffee’s victory.

All in all, this was a disgraceful, and lack-luster performance by City today giving Manchester United more than enough comfort as they head into their match with Reading today. It was an all around bad performance from manager down to player, and pretty much summed up the season for City. With the pressure officially “off” we should end the season strong, maintain second position and keep in mind there is still the FA Cup to win!

I would like to let you know it took all my might not to just completely rip the boys, as I had high hopes coming into this match.

Tevez (6) – Did all he could to get City a point today, his footwork was marvelous, but his final balls lacked the finesse to beat the keeper.

Dzeko (6) – Liked his attitude to start, but he got a little annoying towards the end of the match. Granted he was be hounded the whole match, he did a great job of working in the attack.

Silva (7) – Didn’t have a typical Silva game as he did not see much possession of the ball. When he did though, he set up Milner and Tevez with great chances on goal. Where he struggled was with his touch, which is very surprising for a player of his ability.

Barry (4) – Other than his flick on to the back post on the corner, Barry was not very involved in the attack. Forced to be a part of the offense was probably his undoing as he strives more on defense.

Milner (6) – Worked extremely hard on the wings to deliver a ball for Dzeko waiting in the middle, but his teammate could not finish. He dumped off a beautiful pass to Garcia and, like Dezko, he couldn’t put the ball home as it was a bit behind the midfielder.

Garcia (5) – Not sure what to say about his performance today. Not that it was either bad or good, it just was average and I’ll leave it at that.

Kolarov (3) – I MEAN GOOD GOD HE WAS AWFUL! Moved into the midfield because of his attacking “prowess.” When he had to “defend” Everton made him look like a complete fool, and I think if you put me out there, we would have been better off.

Zabaleta (7) – Poor Pablo. Just like Carlos, he worked so hard to bring City back from the dead, but Mucha denied his best chance on goal.

Nasty (4) – Not the young man’s best performance, but he was forced to play left back, a position he is not too comfortable or familiar with. I believe he will put this behind him and have a better match in two weeks.

Kolo (6) – Pretty solid performance today from the Ivorian. Not like it was overly impressive, but compared to the rest of the team it was above average. Not sure how I feel his future should be handled by City.

Hart (5) – He was absolutely flat footed by Osman’s shot, which I thought he should have at least had a shot at saving. Not much he could do about the second goal, but he looked shakey at times when called upon to clear the ball.

Nasri (5) – Provided a change of pace, and surprisingly it was a positive change. We may see him more in a substitution role for the rest of the season because of what he showed today.

Sinclair (3) – Did he even play? If he did, he totally fooled me. The only time I saw him was when I was tying to decide whether it was he or Clichy in the box late in the match.

Clichy (4) – Came on late, FINALLY, but he didn’t do much to help the team. His debacle on the ball which led to the second goal summarized the afternoon for City.