MAN CITY 4 – 0 Aston Villa – MY THOUGHTS

29 Dec

A stunning win that sends out a message to the rest of the Premier League. Yes, the visitors were abysmal and it’s not hard to envisage them struggling to avoid relegation this year, but on that display, better sides than Villa would have been powerless to stop the City juggernaut.

It was a performance full of quality in all areas, of desire to achieve success, and of a team – playing for each other and showing our critics the ability we possess. Mario Balotelli will grab many headlines for his hat-trick, made up of two nonchalantly taken penalties and a one-yard tap in, but all round the side, there were displays that oozed class and comfort.

Personally, it was an extra special day for me as I was given the rare opportunity of a behind the scenes tour of the ground just an hour before kick-off. I was able to sit in Mancini’s seat in the dugout, stand in the tunnel as the players came out, go into the press room and chat with Mancini, Brian Kidd and Tévez. It was fantastic and capped off all the more by City’s wonderful result.

With such a short space of time to recover after the Newcastle victory, Roberto Mancini opted to make full use of his squad, making five changes. That saw Micah Richards and Pablo Zabaleta occupy the fullback positions, whilst Patrick Vieira replaced Gareth Barry in midfield. Adam Johnson was handed a rare start in place of the rested Jame Milner, and Balotelli started, with Tévez suffering slightly from injury.

The Blues had started at a ferocious tempo against Newcastle, scoring twice in the first five minutes and although they couldn’t repeat that instant double success, they weren’t lagging too far behind. Neat interplay on the edge of the box between Balotelli and David Silva saw the latter of those two slip a delightful ball in for the Italian, who was tackled illegally by Eric Lichaj as he pulled the trigger to shoot.

In the absence of Carlos Tévez and Manu Adebayor, the onus was on Balotelli to take the penalty and as befits a man of his enigmatic nature, he casually strolled up and tucked it away, sending Friedel the wrong way with an air of complete nonchalance. In contrast to previous displays, Mario was working extremely hard for the team, tracking back and putting the Villa defenders under pressure. More of the same please!

The second goal arrived just minutes later, this time courtesy of a Lescott header from a Johnson corner. The assistant flagged that it crossed the line despite the protestations of the visitors and from my vantage point, it was the correct call. It also broke City’s unwanted record of being the only side in the league not to have scored a headed goal.

The third goal arrived near the hour mark as Villa were in disarray. The departure earlier in the season of Martin O’Neill looks to be having disastrous effects on the club, as Gérard Houllier has fallen out with a number of players, including former City stars Stephen Ireland and Richard Dunne. They were all over the place in defence, so it came as no surprise when they conceded another.

A 33 pass move that, if done by Arsenal or Barcelona would be praised for months, was capped off by Balotelli’s second of the afternoon, this time a tap-in after some great work by Silva. The Spaniard was running the show and nearly added a goal of his own, only to see his shot deflected narrowly wide.

Villa were thankful for the respite the half-time whistle brought, their only real chance of the first half being Stewart Downing’s free-kick which sailed over, but City came out at the start of the second period determined to provide more entertainment. Adam Johnson, whose trickery and skill tormented Stephen Warnock throughout, dillied and dallied his way into the box, where Marc Albrighton fouled him. Balotelli again strolled up and slotted home to record his hat-trick.

The game petered out after that, with the Blues in complete control and Villa settling for damage limitation. It was a hugely impressive performance from City, one that keeps us in contention at the top and we must continue our form against Blackpool at the weekend. Well done Mancini, well done the players, well done Man City.

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5 Responses to “MAN CITY 4 – 0 Aston Villa – MY THOUGHTS”

  1. rat 29/12/2010 at 6:58 pm #

    Roberto’s seat sure looks comfortable

  2. Citysince77 29/12/2010 at 10:26 pm #

    What an excellent win. We showed class in abundance and if Villa had managed a goal I think we would have got another two just for the hell of it. Mr Balotelli looks like he is warming to the task and if we do indeed sign Dzeko we will have one fearsome strike force when you add Carlos Tevez to the equation as well. We are where we are in the league on merit and if you take the Everton game for what it was, a match against a team that has a bogey like hold over us, we are the most in form team in the whole country for the last two months. But now we must focus, as Mancini seems to say in every interview he does, because this is the time when we came make our real statement of intent. I just hope we can continue in the same vein for the rest of the season as I really feel 2011 will be our year.

  3. dAVE Scott 29/12/2010 at 11:21 pm #

    Money, money, money. Always funny, in a rich man’s world.

  4. COLIN BELL IS MY HERO!! 30/12/2010 at 12:51 pm #

    “despite the protestations of the visitors” >>> never saw any protests myself?

    “The Spaniard was running the show and nearly added a goal of his own, only to see his shot deflected narrowly wide.” >> SHOULD HAVE SCORED

  5. COLIN BELL IS MY HERO!! 30/12/2010 at 12:52 pm #

    p.s how can you write this article without talking about ‘the bird’!? Best chants ever!

    1.) JOE HART, FEED THE BIRD, JOE HART, JOE HART FEED THE BIRD

    2.) WATCH THE BIRD JOE

    3.) FEED THE BIRD AND WE WILL SCORE

    Ahhhh it was BRILLIANT!

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