There really isn’t much to say about a game like this, just happy to have gotten a point out of it. Especially with the way the game ended, you could see Norwich grabbing a late winner against the run of play. But, after a tough loss to Chelsea at midweek, I was hoping to see a bit more from City, as this was a good chance to get three points to the good. This tie was only disappointing to me because we underwhelmed my expectations, and it looked like a trip to Starbucks should have been in the cards before the game.
Although it was an all around snooze-fest of a game, there were chances created by City. Unfortunately, they weren’t capitalized on, and the score line was left at 0-0. Norwich’s most threatening play came from a corner, which Hooper had seemed to convert to put the Canaries up 1-0. But, the sideline official raised the flag for offside; ultimately the correct ruling.
At times today, City flashed shades of last season all over again: no creativity, pockets of space taken up by a packed box in the attacking end, and hogging of the possession with little to show for it. Norwich did exactly what many teams did last season. They packed the box with defenders and just looked to make City work for their chances. And, like last season, it was highly successful in frustrating our Blues who tried to force openings that just weren’t there.
With City getting 15 shots, you’d imagine a majority of them would be on target, but that wasn’t the case. Only two of those shots were on target today, and if you want to grab a goal for the good there needs to be more than two on target.
Having had to listen to the previous games on the radio, I had yet to see Jovetic play since the Capital One Cup game where he was subbed off injured. He really impressed me today with his menacing presence, runs and vision in the final third. With the likes of Aguero out, his performance will be key to our success as he gives us the same presence as an Aguero. Obviously, not EXACTLY like Aguero because that’s damn near impossible.
It has become more obvious, if that was possible, that we need the likes of Aguero and Fernandinho in the lineup if we want to get the beautiful play we have had in previous fixtures. Their consistent performances, paired with the understanding they have with their partners (Yaya and Negredo/Dzeko), have lead to the goal onslaught we have seen this season. That being said, we can’t make excuses as to why we looked so laggard in games like today’s.
In the end we are two points back from Chelsea, one point back from Arsenal and in third. The season is far from over and there is plenty of work to be done. This season will come down to the 93rd minute, I’m sure.
Negredo (5) – Quiet at times during the game, his injury may have hindered him a bit as his real chance was from the flick on by Demichelis, which hit the cross bar.
Jovetic (6) – His work rate to get open in spectacular, lots of ability. He and Navas were our most influential players during the first half today, but couldn’t get a goal for City. He makes great runs, and one-twos with teammates.
Silva (6) – Finding those spaces, as he does, and working well with Jovetic. This could be a fun partnership. He
Navas (5) – Menace on the right side, and he always seems to be the one looking to put a cross in the box. Probably our most influential player the last few games, but wasn’t too accurate with his crosses as the game went on.
Yaya (6) – He tracked back well and made some great passes from outside the box. Wasn’t in his usual forward position, and the team missed his presence there.
Milner (5) – When he has possession of the ball in the attacking third, he can create a lot of chances with his strength and tenacity. In the second half he was more aggressive and almost assisted on a few chances.
Clichy (4) – Getting beat often, and not giving City much in attack. Not much more to say for him today.
Kompany (5) – Haven’t heard much from him throughout the game, which is generally a good thing. But when he was called into duty he made sure to make no errors.
Demichelis (4) – Well timed challenges, and needs to given his lack of speed. But his decision making with the ball can be a bit odd.
Zabaleta (5) – pushing forward well, making well timed interceptions as well.
Hart (6) – When tested, he was up for the task Not much for him to do today.
Dzeko (5) – Had his chances to get a goal, but was unable to take advantage. Sounds familiar, eh?
Kolarov (N/A) -