MAN CITY 1 – 0 Chelsea – MY THOUGHTS on the Victory

26 Sep

‘Winning mentality.’ Two words that seem to have become the mantra for Roberto Mancini and his desire to instill such a belief into our squad. Victory against Liverpool was thought to have started this transformation, but subsequent defeats to Sunderland and WBA surely dismantled any progress made. But this sensational win, fully deserved against last season’s champions, may just be the catalyst to restart this change.

Thanks to a second-half Carlos Tévez strike from outside the area, City recorded a third successive victory over a thoroughly underwhelming Chelsea side. The visitors travelled to Eastlands with a perfect record this season, but they failed to seriously threaten Joe Hart, who was expected to be busier than the M25 on a Friday afternoon, yet ended up being involved less frequently than Wayne Rooney’s moral conscience. Branislav Ivanovic rattled the crossbar, but apart from that, they created next to nothing, clearly missing the midfield drive of the injured Frank Lampard.

But rather than focus on Chelsea’s shortcomings, all the attention should be directed at the wonderful performance of Roberto Mancini’s warriors. Below, I have detailed what I think were the key moments in the game, the phases of play that led to us gaining the three points. 

Playing For Each Other

What was noticeable from the outset was the belief the players had in each other, the desire to work for the team and to grind out the result through a battling display. The starting eleven worked their socks off, and despite my dislike of cliché-ridden articles, it’s fair to say that they covered every blade of grass. They were spurred on by a fantastic atmosphere, fighting like warriors and truly believing that they were capable of causing an upset. If only this mentality could be carried forward into every game…

Defensive Display

The performance as a whole was mightily impressive but if I had to pick out one aspect that particularly stood out, it would be the defensive display. I’ll speak more about Vincent Kompany in greater detail shortly, but Dedryck Boyata’s performance deserves a mention. Drafted in courtesy of a spate of injuries in the full-back positions, Dedders started in an unfamiliar right-back role, but he countered the considerable threat of Florent Malouda with relative ease. He was perhaps fortunate to escape giving away a penalty for a push on Didier Drogba, but he coped admirably throughout. Kolo Touré was exceptional, whilst Pablo Zabaleta was more than competent at left-back, covering his centre-backs with his astute positional awareness. 

Vincent Jean Mpoy Kompany

The Belgian international, in my humble opinion, deserves his own paragraph. Faced with the threat of Nicolas Anelka and Didier Drogba, Kompany was a man-mountain, making countless blocks and interceptions, displaying great positional play and an aptitude for defending. He has firmly established himself as our first choice centre-back, despite it being his unfavoured position, and together with Touré, of the Kolo variety, he has formed an impressive partnership.

NO WAY THROUGH: Nigel de Jong and Vincent Kompany challenge Nicolas Anelka

Mancini’s Tactics

My good friend had been the subject of much criticism during the week on account of his weakened selection against WBA in the Carling Cup. Although this victory will still not silence some sceptics, it proves the wisdom in rotation and provides some sort of vindication for the Italian. Mancini’s tactics were evident: pack the midfield, stifle Chelsea and hit them on the counter attack. And it worked a treat. Let’s have more faith in the manager – he knows what he’s doing!

Thanks for reading. Please see my Player Ratings articles on this website. What do you feel were the key moments and phases in the game? Let me know below…

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2 Responses to “MAN CITY 1 – 0 Chelsea – MY THOUGHTS on the Victory”

  1. big john 26/09/2010 at 6:24 pm #

    i agree city can do well and have tht winning mentality come on u city

  2. Clevblue 27/09/2010 at 8:37 am #

    Isn’t it nice to be somebody else’s bogey team for a change?

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