The other day I said that the pending Villa clash threw up a few questions. They were answered...and more.
Answered…with a taste of injustice
So how did we react following a Champions League away trip to Sevilla 4-½ days earlier? Well actually I was a little surprised [following a Tuesday night game and then a Sunday – and not Saturday – afternoon game] that we looked a little lethargic and started fairly slowly to say the least. If we’d have ‘had at ‘em’ from the start and got our noses in front, I’m convinced their self-doubts would have caused them to crumble in a big way. But we didn’t and, frustratingly, we-instead gave them a good dose of confidence. Opportunity missed.
Did the ‘new manager factor’ come into play? Of course it did…and with a helping hand from our afore-mentioned ‘leg up’ in the first half the Villa players had a ‘zip’ about their play.
The ex-City player factor at all? Well at least Micah was on a mission and, so, yes; I’d have to say that the extra percentage he threw into yesterday’s fixture made a difference to the home side.
I pull no punches and have no qualms whatsoever in having a whinge about a sense of injustice. The officials were appalling and although I can only recall three of the four (at least) incidents of poor officiating; these three alone had me shouting at the telly a little.
- The second foul on Raheem Sterling in the box, where the Villa player didn’t get the ball and, instead, trod-on / stubbed Raheem’s toes.
- The non-foul by Nicolas Otamendi, where the attacking Villa man jumped well over Nicolas’ outstretched leg.
- The weird, non-throw in that, from memory at least, was CLEARLY ours and was given to them; made even harder to swallow as it was in an advanced, promising position and looked as though it may have led to something.
Can’t recall the 4th as I say…
The utterly APPALLING ungentlemanly conduct / unsportsmanship-like behaviour show by Rudy (Ruddy) Gestede, when he launched the ball at Joe in-supposedly giving it back to us when we had put the ball out after Charles N’Zogbia suffered a head injury. What an absolute ****er!
The referee could do nothing though as, technically at least, he hadn’t actually cheated; and so the ****er then earnt his side a goal-scoring opportunity corner as a ‘thank you’ for-us looking out for his head-injured colleague. What a nice “man”…
Could we have done better though?
Most certainly. I’ve already said that we were slow to start / didn’t have a great first half; although I think Villa only just about edged the first 45+ over all.
We then blitzed them for most of the second (the official, overall possession percentage was 59% to City) but wasted a hat-full of chances - crosses that should have been better placed and shots that could have been better hit.
We also hit the bar and their keeper knew nothing at all when a Raheem shot hit his bonce in the second half.
Draw a fair result? I'd say not really. However, all things [above] considered we should be reasonably happy with an away draw; something Chelsea would swap for their weekend result I'm sure...
Well we’ve lost Wilfried Bony to an apparent hamstring injury, the result of which we won’t know AND, which, we may only find out via the Ivory Coach medical staff; as Pellegrini believes he will still travel to meet up with his international colleagues. Good job we have Kelechi Iheanacho AND that Sergio might be back after the international break…but cover in this department in becoming more paramount by the week.
Arsenal could only manage a home draw in their derby – hurray!
‘Surprise package’ Leicester City won…again – booo…
Manyoo managed another clean sheet and a home win – booo…
Tottenham Hotspur & West Ham United only gained points in their respective games and just in case Jurgen Klopp was ever going to send Liverpool on a table-surging run; they lost at home – hurray!
Biggest gainers of the weekend I’d have to say are Leicester…and Manyoo – booo…
It’s very, VERY tight at the top with just 6 points now separating the top 7 teams (yikes!). However, we’re still top (just) and have David Silva, Sergio Aguero and quite possible Pablo Zabaleta and Samir Nasri all returning following this international break and in time for a home game against Liverpool – hurray!
Fingers, toes, legs, arms and ANYTHING else crossed that our international travellers all return safe and injury free…