Fulham 1 – 4 MAN CITY – MY THOUGHTS

22 Nov

A truly magnificent victory. A superb win to silence the critics who, by and large, are desperate for us to fail. But in the face of such adversity, City produced their most fluent performance of the season, including a first half as memorable as the Burnley game last year. Goals from Yaya Touré, Pablo Zabaleta and a brace from captain Carlos Tévez sealed the three points in a match which had more than normal riding upon its result.

It would be wrong to dwell on the Mark Hughes saga after such an exhilarating City performance, but suffice to say that Roberto Mancini will be delighted with the way his team played just as the manager was coming under pressure. Sparky would have wanted to prove a point to his former employers, but led by the irrepressible Tévez, Mancini’s eleven warriors were outstanding from the first whistle to the last.

Although I could write in depth about the superb team performance and wax lyrical over a number of individuals, I have decided to highlight a few of the key moments that led to us winning this match. However, it must be noted that despite the brilliance of the team, some credit must go to Mancini for reverting back to his original way of wearing his scarf, as opposed to the unstylish look he has donned recently. I’m sure that helped!

Early Goal

As crucial as an early goal is in any game, it seemed especially so in this match. The build-up to the fixture had been intensely heated and I’m sure that many people watching would have liked Hughes’s side to run out victors. But City started brightly and thanks to Carlos Tévez’s well taken fifth minute strike, they controlled the tempo of the game. There was a hint of offside about the goal, but the way Carlitos, in front of the watching Diego Maradona, shrugged off Carlos Salcido and slotted home was decisive.

After that, City oozed comfort. Passing the ball around at a brisk tempo, our movement and ability to retain possession was too much for an overwhelmed Fulham side. One visibly saw the confidence City gained after that goal, with everyone eager to be on the ball and contribute to our attacks. Who knows what may have happened if Tévez was given offside, but the Argentine’s early goal certainly helped us to win the game.

Jo

Not many would have given the Brazilian a chance of starting yesterday, and when I saw the teamsheet I must admit to groaning slightly at the sight of his inclusion. As one of my United supporting friends put it, ‘last week, City fans were dying for Jo to come on instead of Barry, he starts this week and yet you still complain!’ But I will hold my hands up: Jo had a good game, supported Tévez well and gave us balance on the left.

He played the same role which Mario Balotelli had occupied against WBA, and as Roberto Mancini pointed out, he felt that we needed another striker closer to Tévez. The Brazilian, despite not possessing the same technical ability as his teammates, performed admirably, working back defensively and supporting Tévez well. He won more headers than Emmanuel Adebayor usually does and could have scored a couple had he been played in by his teammates. Balotelli can expect to return against Stoke, but Jo certainly did his job and can look forward to more game time in the future.

Attacking Fullbacks

In the absence of both Jérome Boateng and Micah Richards, Argentina hard-man Pablo Zabaleta was recalled to the right-back role, whilst Aleksandar Kolarov made just his third Premier League start on the opposite side. Without any true width in attacking areas, the onus was on Pablo and Kolarov to supplement the forwards. The Serbian is a natural attacker, getting forward at every possible occasion, and could, on another day, have scored twice. He has settled in nicely to the role and should be a great addition to the Blues.

On the other side of the pitch was the versatile Zabaleta, whose recent form has been outstanding. He managed to combine his defensive duties and his attacking forays very well, and it is testament to him that the normally dangerous Damien Duff was replaced at half-time. His goal was as a result of a fantastic strike, albeit taking a slight deflection off Duff, but nestling into the corner for Zaba’s second City goal, after his strike against Wigan a couple of seasons ago. Overall, both fullbacks did a fantastic job, although the only downside is that Zabaleta will miss the Stoke game after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season.

Strength in Depth

As should be expected from a side that has spent as much money as we have, the strength in depth is certainly something to be admired. A quick glance at the bench revealed a whole host of seasoned internationals, such as Shay Given, James Milner, Patrick Vieira, SWP, Adam Johnson and Manu Adebayor. In addition, factor in the absence of Mario Balotelli, Jérome Boateng, Micah Richards, Joleon Lescott, Wayne Bridge and Michael Johnson and one starts to realise just what this squad is ultimately capable of.

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3 Responses to “Fulham 1 – 4 MAN CITY – MY THOUGHTS”

  1. Ricky 22/11/2010 at 8:53 pm #

    Just one thing to pick up on
    >>> You are correct to say that Jo does not possess the the same technical ability as other strikers. However, I believe that this sentance could easily say that Jo does not possess ANY technical ability.

    Even I shall admit, though, that he had a fairly sound game.

    Tevez and Silva were, as usual, superb, as were both Fullbacks – at least there is more attacking and potential for ball retention than there has been all season (with what I would consider the second string fullbacks).

  2. JOHN GUIDETTI IS MY HERO!!! 22/11/2010 at 10:17 pm #

    Again Steven, I really like your ending. I love how you always end on a big positive which is great.

    Ive always shown by admiration for Zabaleta, and that paragraph you write does him justice, but I cannot comprehend the yellow card at all. I guess he just got a little too excited!

    The strenght in depth is a fantastic point to make. As I have ended before….onwards and upwardsss x

  3. Matt 25/11/2010 at 6:06 pm #

    Craven Cottage is normally a hard place to go, so a 4-1 win is very impressive, although there are still a lot of harder away games to come so a 4-1 away win may be a bit of a one off!

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