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FA Cup Final City 0 - 1 Wigan: Post Match Thoughts

Shaun Botterill

That just summed up our entire season in 95 minutes, and I almost texted my dad, a converted “soccer” and City fan, to not watch the recording of the game. But I’ll let him suffer, what a terrible son I am.

At the stat it looked like City was certain to be the winner, and by beginning, I mean when the lineups were available. After that though, it was anyone’s game and Wigan happened to be the team who wanted it more. Sadly, there was more attention being paid to City’s contribution to the managerial caracal going on in the EPL than the build up to this game. The team looked very distracted, and whether it was with all this speculation, or the empty feeling they have, still, over not winning again, this game was too important for that to happen.

I wish I could be creative in this post, but the game really didn’t give me much to talk about. After a very lethargic first half, City came out in the second half looking to score; like they have many a times this season and sadly too often. It wasn’t until Nasri was subbed off for Milner that our attack began to get wide and funnel the ball into the box. I am not saying that to knock Nasri because he was one of our bight spots in the first half, but it was the style of attack we needed. Mancini baffled everyone by taking off the best attacker on the day, Tevez, for Rodwell. It has been lineup managing like this that has really let RM down this season, especially after seeming to hit all the right buttons for the prior two seasons. We had the better opportunities throughout the second half, but we were unable to capitalize on any of them.

The defense was left on an island by itself today, and they tried the best they could to stop the constant Wigan attack. The duo of Kone and McManaman were giving Clichy and Nasty headaches today and they wore the back line down. The frustration of being on alert all game came to a head once Pablo was giving his second yellow of the game and promptly sent off, it was evitable that Wigan would be the side to take the lead and they in the 91st minute, oh the irony! Congrats to Wigan and their fans, as a fan of City who has struggled for years, I know how it feels to have something go your way for once.

With what has happened in the last 48 hours from the report of Pellegrini being signed by City, to our absolute botching of the Cup final, what’s next for City this summer? Lots of questions will be asked, and I haven’t seen the post match press conference with RM yet, but I’d imagine it got a little testy so to speak.

Aguero (5) – Awfully quiet game today from the Argentinean, and it was reflected on the score sheet. He didn’t have many chances to make his mark on the game, and when he did, he looked to be out of pace.

Tevez (7) – baffling that he was taking out when he was, but regardless he was the energy for City throughout the game. His work ethic to win the ball back was great today, and without him I couldn’t see City getting some of the chances he did today.

Silva (5) – He got more of the ball than Nasri and he couldn’t supply the usual touch and vision he always does. Wish to see better from him, but that is also my feeling about the whole team.

Nasri (6) – When he played his part in the build up, he was great but with sporadic chances for the time he was in it was hard for him to make an impact on the scoreboard.

Yaya (4) – Bad day for Yaya and looked like his dead legs were still affected him not only with tracking back but even trying to attack. He looked a shell of himself today, and it showed in City’s attack.

Barry (6) – I made it a point to tack Barry most of the game because I feel I always lack in my reasoning the grade he gets. Today, he did a hell of a job tracking back to help the back four when the ball quickly changed possession.

Zaba (5) – Up until the second yellow, Pablo, was having a pretty solid game defensively and doing the usual on offense. Sadly, his timing on the challenge was very poor, and probably could have done without it, unfortunate for Pablo.

Nasty (5) – Much like Clichy, he had a hard time staying with the Wigan attack. He didn’t have more timely defensive stops than Clichy, so I gave him a higher rating.

Kompany (7) – I like to say Vinny is one of the top 3 defensive players in the EPL, maybe top 5 in the world. He did a good job playing high defensive line and stopping attacks that came down the middle.

Clichy (4) – He got abused by McManaman the entire game, and he couldn’t handle the pace of the winger. He got some of his typical crosses in, but really didn’t impact the way he usually does.

Hart (4) – Shouldn’t have started, and I said this before the result because Pantilimon got us here, he should have seen it through. That being said he only had one true opportunity and it was the header from Watson, so there’s that. He did make confident decisions when choosing to come out and collect the ball.

Milner (6) – Added that bit of width to our attack that we were lacking with Nasri on.

Rodwell (5) – liked that he was subbed on, the choice in person to sub off? Now that’s a whole other subject. He had a lot of impact on the game from the moment he was put on and almost put home a header from a free kick.

Dzeko (N/A) – Nada, he had a shot at being the super sub again, though.