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City 1 - 0 Aston Villa: Post match thoughts (abridged version)

Laurence Griffiths

Let me start out by stating how much of a pain college classes are, especially when you want to watch your soccer team play a weekday game! Sheesh, what a nuisance, right?

Anyway I digress, and sadly I was unable to catch the whole game so I won’t be able to provide my player ratings, but I can give my thoughts on our first half performance. I even resisted the urge to look at my ESPN Score Center notification once the game went final just so I could act “surprised” by the result (I’m such a whiner, huh?). between you and me, I broke my superstition today and wore my jersey on campus during our game.

After coming off such a strong performance against a top 4 squad in Chelsea, you expected there to be a bit of a “hangover,” so to speak, and City showed that early. Especially with a game as “easy” as one against Villa, a relegation zone team, could look on paper, it certainly was a trap game.

Villa, as I alluded too, is in a fight to stay out of the relegation zone, and could use a win against a side like City, that would really boost their confidence, and give them momentum done the stretch of the season. The Villa attack showed early in the first half that they had no fear, but City’s defense did “just enough” to hold them from scoring. From what I heard, Nasty and Kolo had another fabulous game at the back, and from what I saw, I had a feeling that was going to be my comment on them in player ratings (damn you class!). Villa created a new page in the “How to Keep City From Scoring” book, by playing keep away in the first half, as we failed to maintain possession.

My “Man of the Half” goes to Brad Guznan, I know it should go to a City player, but he put on a goalkeeping clinic saving shot, after shot. The Villa defense looked like my characters in “Tower Defense,” giving City’s attack room for open chances, but the “power-up” Guznan was being abused by the user. Sorry, this paragraph may have been confusing, but if you have played Tower Defense, you’d understand! Also, as I listened to the last 10 minutes of the first half on the radio, I was picturing Fox Soccer’s Rob Stone screaming “THE AMERICAN,” every time Guznan made a save, and it was really making me mad!

Tevez was the obvious decision for man of the half, as he not only saved a goal, but scored on as well. After a defensive blunder from Ciaran Clark that only Martin Skrtel could top, Dzeko laid an unselfish pass to Tevez who evaded Guznan and a defender, and beat the final defender defending the goal. Once Dzeko was subbed on City’s attack began to pick up the tempo a bit, rather that was because of “waking up,” or Dzeko’s influence we won’t know, but either way it worked. Tevez and Zabaleta had the best chances to score before Tevez put his in the back of the net.

I was much of the critic of RM when he selected to put Dzeko on for Rodwell because it meant Yaya would go back to defensive duties. I still say Barry would have been the better choice, but that’s why he gets paid the big bucks, and I’m hear writing about it, right?

As I was writing this I spilled water on my keyboard, when it rains it pours, eh? Luckily it wasn’t enough to stop me!