MAN CITY 3 – 0 FC Salzburg – MY THOUGHTS

2 Dec

The next round of the Europa League, here we come! A very pleasing victory, complete with splashings of attractive, free-flowing football against an underwhelming Salzburg side has seen us advance to the next round of this competition. It was a professional performance, never needing to reach top gear but producing moments of easy-on-the-eye passing and the win came courtesy of a brace of goals from Mario Balotelli and a sparkling effort from Adam Johnson.

On a bitterly cold night, when those fans who braved the inclement weather to attend the match ought to be applauded, City ran out comfortable victors and, truth be told, were never seriously put under any pressure by their Austrian counterparts. The volatile Balotelli certainly captured the headlines for his pair of finishes, but it was a competent team performance, in which a number of fringe players impressed.

Roberto Mancini made a total of eight changes from the side which battled to a point away at Stoke, with only Kolo Touré, James Milner and the afore-mentioned Balotelli retaining their places. Shay Given made a rare start in net, whilst Joleon Lescott, SWP, Patrick Vieira, Adam Johnson and Jo, all of whom needed playing time, were given the opportunity to impress. And by and large, they did.

Balotelli should have squared for Jo when through on goal early in the first half, but made up for that error moments later when he beautifully guided home Pablo Zabaleta’s cross with his left foot. The celebration that followed, or lack of it, demonstrated the Italian’s pure and utter nonchalance, and whilst it is slightly irritating to have a goal celebrated with less passion than an Ann Widdecombe tango, it does emphasise Balotelli’s rather volatile character. He is someone who has started four games, made two substitute appearances, received three bookings, been sent off once and has scored five goals. There is certainly plenty to write about Balotelli!

OPENER: Mario Balotelli volleys home City's first goal

He added a second later on, this time from just a couple of yards after Patrick Vieira, making a rare foray into the opposition box, scuffed his attempt on goal. Adam Johnson capped off an impressive second half performance, delivering an exquisite third towards the end, courtesy of a jinking run culminating a delightful right-footed finish.

That was the end of the goalscoring action, but the entertainment didn’t terminate there, with the crowd, no doubt in search of something to warm their hearts, taking a liking to the man whom I singled out in the preview of Salzburg’s main threat, Alan! Renditions of ‘Alan, Alan, give us a wave’ and ‘We love you Alan’ could be heard! It was a nice way to end an evening which secured City’s progress to the next round. It means the away trip to Juventus, which I’m attending, loses most of its significance, but for once, City have done it the easy way!

The Blues return to Premier League action at the weekend, when they play host to Bolton. It should be a cracker of a game, and the omens are good if I predict a City win, having nothced my second successive perfect prediction for this game, after failing to get one right all season!

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3 Responses to “MAN CITY 3 – 0 FC Salzburg – MY THOUGHTS”

  1. Citysince77 02/12/2010 at 8:58 pm #

    I was at the game last night and while I was obviously pleased with the result and peformance, I must say this guy Balotelli is already begining to grate on me. The guy’s celebrations, or rather the lack of one, left me feeling just that little bit colder on a deceivingly mild, (in comparison to what I thought it was going to be like) night at Eastlands. Last night was a truly important game in our quest to have a sucessful season and he was celebrating as if he’d found a quid after losing a tenner. I can see I’m going to have similar feelings towards him as I did a certain Nicolas Anelka. Whilst I always recognised his (Anelka’s) talent and felt he was one of our better players, I always cheered at one of his goals with a tinge of contempt at his arrogance. I have a feeling I am going to be cheering with that tinge once again unless Balotelli learns a little more humility and I think, respect for the shirt. That said, I cannot wait for the Bolton game as I feel they fancy themselves as a good team and Coyle will have them to come and have a bit of a go. Come on City, it’s time to turn it up a notch or two. Can I also let you know that I reckon you have got an excellent little blog going on here. Keep it up with the optimism.

  2. JOHN GUIDETTI IS MY HERO!! 02/12/2010 at 10:09 pm #

    My thoughts on the game are very similar to be honest. As we discussed I am still very undecided on Mario, but it is clear to see his effervescent skill and we shoudl all keep our fingers crossed he keeps his reputable temper to himself. Vieira has come out and said he needs to work harder for the team, but also said what a class act he can be. He can create a chance out of nowhere and score. More often than not, for his first goal, many strikers would have simply controlled the ball, tried to trun their man and THEN shoot, but Mario’s audacity shone through and what a splendid finish it was. Like you note though, hye was awfully greedy at times, flashing efforts into the side netting and not scoring for Jo when that seemed the easier option.

    As for the team performance, only Boateng, Zaba and Milner stood out for me. Lets hope he calls the changes again this weekend and to be honest I am sure he will. Im looking forward to seeing fireworks from Kolarov 🙂

    Great review once again

  3. Jem 03/12/2010 at 12:38 am #

    Decent performance against a poor side. Could have been 5 or 6 but 3-0 is good anytime. Balotelli is a typical kid. I’m sure he thinks he knows everything & we are all just grumpy old men who don’t understand him. He will grow up but I’m not sure it will be at City. Get him when he is between 25 & 30 & you will have a class act. I thought we created well and showed a bit of hunger (something that has been lacking in many games) and with a bit more composure in front of goal we could have had a feast.
    Bottom line. Job Done.

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