Published on October 21st, 2014 | by Daniel Cheeseman2
CSKA Moscow 2-2 Manchester City | The City Nitty Gritty
“A strange game, despite the atmosphere”
I really can’t understand how we managed to do that. In the first half we were completely in control and were deservedly 2-0 leaders, however in the second half we were like a completely different team.
CSKA Moscow played using a 5-4-1 formation for most of the match, with the predictable tactic of trying to catch us out on the counter-attack with their pacey strikers Seydou Doumbia and Ahmed Musa. City dealt with this very well in the first half; Vincent Kompany was running the show in defence, whilst players like David Silva and Sergio Aguero were doing a fantastic job in attack. The Blues were 2-0 after just over 35 minutes without ever really needing to put their foot on the gas, so I can’t understand how they let that 2-0 lead slip so easily.
Fernando has not looked like the same player since he’s returned from injury. On Saturday his incompetence on the edge of the box resulted in Tottenham’s equaliser, and tonight he was very close to making the same sort of mistake on more than one occasion. I remember in his first couple of games for City he looked very sharp and was defending extremely well, but it seems that he’s either been affected by that injury he picked up last month or that he’s still not quite ready to return to the starting 11. The same goes for Eliaquim Mangala.
The French international was also very impressive when he first joined the club, as he was full of power and energy, but since his poor performance against Hull City, in which he conceded a penalty and an own goal, it seems to have affected his confidence.
In truth, there were sloppy performances all round for us tonight, particularly in the second half. Players such as Yaya Toure, James Milner and Edin Dzeko looked very off the pace as the game went on, they were all giving away lots of possession very cheaply and looked extremely sluggish at times.
However, even though I do think it’s our fault for throwing the game away, I still think we were very hard done by with the penalty decision.
From the moment I saw the ball approaching Doumbia in the box I thought “there’s no way that he’s not going to go down here” as he was throwing himself around the pitch for the whole match, and so I don’t know how the referee didn’t see it coming. I still can’t quite understand what the point is in having officials who stand on the goal line in European fixtures, as if there was ever going to be a better time to utilize one of those officials – it was in that incident.
Anyway, that decision can’t be changed now, and it still doesn’t change the fact that City were on the back foot for the last 30 minutes of the game.
In summary, it was yet another disappointing result in the Champions League, and it almost certainly means that yet again we won’t progress out of the group stage. It’s unfortunate that the new rule being brought in by UEFA (which means that teams who win their domestic Championship are automatically put into pot 1 of the Champions League the following year) starts from next season, because unless we manage to get into pot 1 and avoid some of the bigger teams in Europe I can’t see us getting very far in the Champions League any time soon.
Next we play West Ham at Upton Park, and I don’t see that being much easier than tonight’s game. We have to make sure that we pick our heads up quickly and concentrate on maintaining our current momentum in the Premier League.
Sorry that this blog was so negative, Blues, but I guess the fact that I’ve written this straight after the game whilst my emotions are still running high has changed the way I normally write my blogs – so please forgive me! 🙂