As good as the three points is for City going forward, the happenings of this match pretty much described the shortcomings for us this season. After a breath taking display of skill and touch, Aguero put away City’s first of the game, and from then began our inability to put lesser opponents away. RM said it perfectly after the game, when asked about getting the second goal, that we should have scored at least one to two more times. I know, this is a bit nitpicky after a win, because I am a firm believer in “a win’s a win,” but we should have scored more this whole season.
Okay, time to stop being a negative Nancy and get to what I thought we did well today, and there is a lot. I’ll allude to this in my player ratings, but with Silva in the lineup, City is a completely different team in attack…in a good way! Unlike last week, we played the Spanish style “ticky tack futbol” that has been very successful for us when done. This style was on full display when Aguero put away the first goal for City in the first half, it was so beautiful that I needed a bib to wipe away the drool (and no, it wasn’t from being sleepy). After City opened up the scoring, West Ham’s defense began to get a bit stretched and opened up a plethora of opportunities for us to double our lead.
Likewise, our defense got back to form today even though we let up a late goal, which was coming anyway; in my opinion. The addition of Lescott was a good strategic decision by RM, because Andy Carroll probably would have abused the young Nasty with his great ability to attack crosses into the box. Only being up one goal heading into the second half really put the onus on the defense to stay strong because you knew West Ham would do whatever they could to steal a point from a losing position.
Finally, I mentioned at the beginning our inability to put away the opportunities we should, and it shows a lack of a “killer instinct” as they call it. Now, I’m not saying that the players aren’t trying to score and such, but when we get up one goal, we have tended to just sit back and play prevent defense. For the rest of the season I hope that City will begin to put away their lesser opponents early, and leave no doubt for the rest of the game. Especially because I don’t believe my heart can take much more of this constant second half pressure put on us by teams. Next season, with the addition of more talent to our squad, If RM has his way; I believe the one-goal score lines will be a thing of the past.
Aguero and Tevez (7’s) - I’m grouping these two together today, because if Aguero weren’t happily (or not) married with a child, they would make quite the power couple. All kidding aside, when they are paired together for City, they always are a threat to score one or two goals.
Nasri (6) – Another solid performance from the Frenchmen, again reaffirming my thought that he may be playing to showcase his form for summer suitors (alliteration!).
Silva (7) – His importance to City was on display today, especially after our last match against Tottenham, where we lacked the creativity we had today. Unfortunate that he didn’t score on that volley, but again, he is a vital part of City’s attack (hence the new contract).
Barry (6) – Workmen like performance for Barry today, he was all over the field and made solid contributions on both ends.
Yaya (7) – Displayed his strength all over the field today. His goal was a great example of what Yaya brings to any soccer team. When he took that shot I thought “no way,” clearly he knew exactly what he was doing (duh).
Clichy (6) – His fitness did not fail him today or the whole team today, so that is a good sign going forward. He wasn’t faced with any on ball defensive chances, so it was hard to mark him for his defensive contributions today.
Lescott (7) – Glad to see ol Joe getting a start, my thinking is that RM wanted him for size and strength against the likes of Andy Carroll, whose ability in the air is impeccable.
Kompany (7) – His importance to City, like Silva, has shown since he returned from injury. After a shakey performance at the end of last weekends game it was good to see him and the backline get back to form. I really hope he gets one of those shots from outside the box to go in, that will make my season.
Pablo (8 MotM) – I mean jeez, does he ever stop? I believe, in the 91st minute, he was still sprinting down the right side looking for any opportunity to score or assist.
Hart (5) – Had him at a six, but after his back injury and conceding of the goal, I dropped him to a five. Still, he made some good saves today, especially late in the game.
Milner (N/A) - Came in late and really didn't have much to do because we were already up 2-0
Kolo (4) – Got manhandled by Carroll that lead to the West Ham goal.
Garcia (N/A) – He still looks like V, from V for Vendetta.