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Published on February 17th, 2014 | by Daniel Riordan

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“Business as usual” – Daniel Riordan (Guest Writer)

Almost two weeks ago when Chelsea came to the Etihad, there was a feeling of doom and gloom as they overcame City in a 1-0 victory. A performance which we haven’t seen all season as most of the players didn’t turn up and it felt like we were the away team rather than being the dominant home side. However, the performance we’ve seen all season returned on Saturday as Chelsea returned in the FA Cup which saw City be victorious in a 2-0 win to proceed into the quarter finals.

The game two weeks ago left a damp feeling amongst City fans as Chelsea out played us. They passed the ball across the pitch hitting the wings (mainly our left) and had several chances to get several goals. City had a chance early in that game from Silva and Toure which, had they been taken, we would of easily won. All Chelsea mainly did and applied again yesterday were to hit long balls and shoot from outside the box which resulted in the ball going over the cross bar. But there was a lot of points took from that game which Manuel Pellegrini took away and developed on in preparation for yesterday’s clash which I think showed his professionalism and intelligence.

He played the right players in yesterday’s game. Playing Milner down the wing was a key part to the success as he’s a player who never complains about not playing and when he does play, he gives 110%. He applied crosses and passes which kept Chelsea at bay. Also playing Javi Garcia in the middle surprisingly benefitted us too rather than opting for Demichelis in the middle. Garcia who has been under a lot of stick this year from the stands was suggested by many of being man of the match. I also think Pellegrini starting with Jovetic also worked in our favour. Mainly for the goal but he was all over the pitch. Putting himself into tackles and working for the ball. Also making a return in the game was Nasri who is a big player who we’ve missed for the past couple of weeks. He’s come right on form and has been another player who has put the effort in this year. You could hear how much we missed him by the roar he received from the stands.

We possibly could of gone on to get more goals and it showed that Pellegrini didn’t want to give up and settle with a 2-0. Bringing Navas and Negredo on justifies his attacking mentality and not wanting to back down. I personally don’t think Negredo was fit in the league game and to get him on with 10 minutes to go was to get him active and ready for Tuesdays game against Barcelona.

Finally there had to be one team for the quarter finals. The draw for the next round saw City draw at home to Wigan Athletic, the team who beat City in the final last year. City had the same fixture earlier in the year in the League Cup which saw City win comfortably. It also sees a return for fans favourite and City legend Uwe Rosler return to his beloved blues.

– Daniel Riordan (Guest Writer)

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