Published on November 3rd, 2014 | by Daniel Cheeseman4
Manchester City 1-0 Manchester United | The City Nitty Gritty
“Back on track (Sort of!)”
Finally we’re back to winning ways, it feels like this “blip” that City have been going through has gone on for decades – but they definitely chose the right game to get back on track!
It wasn’t our best performance by any means, and just as it’s been all season – we never really got out of second gear. However, I thought that certain players like Gael Clichy, Martin Demichelis, Vincent Kompany and Sergio Aguero were outstanding yesterday, and to be honest it was a much better performance on the whole.
I must admit, when I saw that Clichy had been picked in place of Kolarov in the starting 11, I let out a big sigh of relief. Not that I wish anything bad on Kolarov, because I’m very aware that he got injured in the warm-up, it’s just that it wasn’t the right game to play the Serbian. While Kolarov offers a lot in terms of attacking, when it comes to defending it’s a completely different story, and the fact that he would have had to deal with the pace and skill of Angel Di Maria it had all the ingredients to be a recipe for disaster.
I was also happy to see Martin Demichelis in the starting 11, because I know that he and Vincent Kompany compliment each other’s style of play very well in defence – and we looked a lot more secure than we have done in the past couple of weeks while Mangala has been trying to settle into the team.
Yaya Toure was also much better; he stringed together a lot more passes in key areas of the field and showed more glimpses of what he was like last season, which brings me onto my next point – I’m starting to think that Yaya is becoming the ‘Pirlo’ of Manchester City.
It seems to me that the Ivorian prefers the playmaking aspect of the game right now, instead of being the guy who we rely on to score all our goals. His pass in the build-up to Aguero’s goal was top-quality, and while not every one of his passes resulted in a goal, he conducted the play in midfield wonderfully all afternoon. While I’m not sure if Yaya has the energy or will-power to reach the same sort of peaks as he did last season, I do still think that he is a crucial part of this current Manchester City team, and I hope he continues to play for us for as long as possible.
I heard lots of people on social media after the game saying that City were ‘lucky’ to have barely scraped a win against a 10-man United side. While on the face of it you could say this is true, you also have to remember that United were extremely lucky themselves not to have conceded at least 3 or 4 clear penalties and not had another man sent off when Marcos Rojo brought down Yaya Toure at the end of the first half.
Besides – I think the main reason why we were on the back foot in the last 20 minutes or so wasn’t because City weren’t good enough, it’s that we made the wrong substitutions, at the wrong time.
Taking off Sergio Aguero (pretty much our only chance of getting a second goal) allowed United to commit more men forward, as they knew we weren’t as much of a threat up front, and bringing on Edin Dzeko for Stevan Jovetic 70 minutes in was absolutely pointless if you ask me. In my opinion, the only substitutions we needed to make was to bring off Stevan Jovetic for Fernandinho and James Milner for Samir Nasri, this would have added more stability to out midfield and allowed us to keep better posession of the ball when United were pressing for an equaliser.
But what do I know? Even with the substitutes we made we still managed to win the game and deserved it, but I just think that it would have been a lot easier had we made the right changes.
Overall, I’d say it was a fantastic weekend. Saturday night I was lucky enough to be at the MCFC Supporters Club annual dinner at Lancashire County Cricket Club, and got to see lots of former City players including Uwe Rosler, Andy Morrison, Rodney Marsh, Tony Book and many more!
The following day I saw City beat United in the derby yet again, and had a great view of Sergio’s goal from within the stadium – it doesn’t really get better than that does it?
Next up is CSKA Moscow in the Champions League, and I’m sure that there’ll be just as much pressure on the team as there was against United on Sunday, with it being a must-win game for City if they have any hopes of qualifying for the next round.
I know I said in my last blog that I think that we’re virtually out of the Champions League now, but one things for certain – I’ll definitely still be getting butterflies in my stomach when it comes to match day, as we all know that anything can happen in football!
P.S. – We’ll be putting up highlights of the Supporters Club dinner on this website within the next few days – so stay tuned if you want to see what went down on the night!