Published on April 7th, 2014 | by maxbloggs0
Goals win you games! (and a bit of luck!) – The City Nitty Gritty
At the end of the day – goals win you games, and usually we’re the ones on the receiving end of that debate. Southampton played some B-E-A-utiful football at times (just like we normally do) but failed to cause any real threat to Joe Hart’s goal. In the end the difference between the “very good” and “world class” players showed – with the Blues still managing to win somewhat comfortably, despite being the less entertaining of the two (for once!)
It’s happened so many times this season – where we’ve played wonderful, passing football at times – but had little or no goals to show for it, however, Saturday was a different story. In all honesty, even though we scored first, Southampton dominated possession, and as a result, were deservedly the better team for most of the first half. They continuously tried to exploit City’s lack of pace in defence by sending over-the-top balls to runners from very deep – and it worked, to a certain extent.
But despite Southampton’s impressive first half performance, I still thought that City looked the more threatening going forward, and, incidentally, the likes of Kolarov, Silva, Nasri and Navas created far more “golden chances” than any of Pochettino’s men managed to for the remainder of the match.
I’m sure you’ll all agree (as you’d have to be barking mad not to!) that the build-up to Samir Nasri’s goal was offside, and so it shouldn’t have been given, but, as I said in the title of this blog – every now and again you need that bit of luck to win games that aren’t quite going your way!
Although, for what it’s worth, I thought that both penalty decisions were correct, and that overall the officials had a very good game (other than that first half howler, of course!).
Luke Shaw and Adam Lallana were the two players that impressed me the most for Southampton, and I think that both would be able to get into today’s Manchester City squad. 18-year old Luke Shaw kept finding lots of space down the left-hand side, and sent in several decent crosses, as well tracking back in defence where needed, whereas Adam Lallana showed great composure and creativity on the ball, and made several defence-splitting runs throughout the course of the game – so its nice to know that they’re the types of players that Txiki and co are setting their sights on for this Summer’s transfer window!
I’ve also started to see a change in the defence’s (well, mainly Demichelis’) confidence in recent games, I’ve noticed that the Argentine hasn’t “lunged” into as many tackles or over-committed himself in the wrong situations, and as a result, he’s been in the “right place at the right time” a lot more often. He seems to have formed a decent partnership with Vincent Kompany, and has adapted well to his role in the left-hand side of defence – the fact that he’s been nominated for City’s player of the month for March tells you how much he’s improving!
However, I’m still confused as to why Manuel Pellegrini has decided not to start Stevan Jovetic since returning from injury a couple of weeks ago, as when the Montenegrin has played he’s been a breath of fresh air, and looks like he has a lot of tricks up his sleeve. I must admit that I expected him to start at the weekend in placement of someone like David Silva in order to give him some game time, and also to save some of the “bigger” players for next Sunday’s huge game against Liverpool, but it was not to be, and instead he came on as a late-ish sub to bag his fifth goal of the season – with virtually his first kick of the game!
In summary, it was an untypical performance from the Blues, but 3 points is still 3 points, and 4 goals is still 4 goals – which is crucial at this point in the season – and it takes us that one step closer to the coveted Premier League title!
Up the Blues!
– Daniel Cheeseman