Aston Villa 1 – 0 MAN CITY – MY THOUGHTS

23 Jan

For the second time this season, Darren Bent scored the only goal of the game to defeat Man City and even if this loss was not quite as disappointing as conceding a 93rd minute penalty against Sunderland, our failure to break down a stubborn defence was certainly worrying. The home side were buoyed by the arrival of Bent and he galvanised them into producing a solid performance, capped off by sterling defensive displays by James Collins and former City hero Richard Dunne.

Despite bossing possession, City lacked the creative spark to unlock the backline and it was noticeably that with David Silva nowhere near his best, we didn’t even look threatening. Nigel de Jong came close to breaking his City duck with a long-range shot that was deflected onto the post, but chances were few and far between. Bent, signed during the week from Sunderland, opened his Villa account in the first half, finishing off at the back post following Joe Hart’s save from an Ashley Young effort.

Unfortunately, I don’t have the time to write a full-length review or a player ratings article but will jot down a few brief thoughts. Against Wolves, Džeko played centrally, with Tévez nominally from the left, but it seemed the other way round yesterday. That resulted in Džeko often on the wing looking to put crosses in, when he should be the one on the end of them. Adam Johnson looked lively when coming on, but needs to have confidence in his right foot when he gets to the byline. Yaya Touré was dreadful and offered very little. He seemed more withdrawn than normal but produced nothing, yet again. Kompany was a rock at the back, whilst Aleks Kolarov got forward very well as usual and put some inviting corners in, but was troubled consistently by Albrighton and looks susceptible to a winger with pace.

This was a minor setback to what has been a very promising season. We will bounce back from this defeat. Keep the faith.

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47 Responses to “Aston Villa 1 – 0 MAN CITY – MY THOUGHTS”

  1. Johnny 23/01/2011 at 6:28 pm #

    As a Villa fan, I was most worried when the ball came to Johnson on the right – we looked shaky when the ball was delivered from that side, but luckily for us you seemed to be more interested in trying to take it through the middle.

    If the ball had been put into the box from out wide more often then I have no doubt that you would have been able to get an equaliser.

  2. elliot 23/01/2011 at 6:32 pm #

    I completely disagree with you about yaya. I though he was ok, certainly not as good as he had been but he put himself about and linked play up a lot more than he has been. When barry went off yaya went into a more withdrawn role in centre mid too meaning he had less of an impace up the pitch.

    Kolo I thought was a disgrace, his fault for the goal imo, he played a needless pass into silva and he played it poorly, in the second half he was often out muscled and displayed poor control and towards the end he chickened out of challenging for a header with reo-cocker.

    On another day we win that game comfortably but yesterday we couldn’t score through bad luck and poor final passes/finishing. Oh well, onwards and upwards for more midlands away days!

    • dave@shepton 23/01/2011 at 7:06 pm #

      Agree with you about Kolo. Disagree about the pass being needless. What it was, was fired at Silva, so the lad did not have a chance to control it. That was the poor bit.

      As for the game, City kept banging away, but seemed to run out of ideas. Barry was dreadful, as he always seems to be against Villa and once again, a game crying out for a bit of width, went unnoticed or unheeded.

      Never mind, time to slap Notts County.

    • Printer 24/01/2011 at 3:30 am #

      +1

  3. Hitman83 23/01/2011 at 7:12 pm #

    After our dismal display against City at the your place, it was nice to see a well organised defensive display. Kolorov always looked your most threatening player but something was missing.
    Great to see Bent on the score sheet, think he’l be our push to finish top 10-8.

    Good luck for the rest of the season

    • Bri-Bees 23/01/2011 at 7:52 pm #

      yes, bent will guarentee goals and therefore villa will be safe. Gotta hand it to villa for holding out because in previous seasons when city had a very limited squad, we got the occassional win against chelsea whilst being koshed and everyone heralded our defensive grit so kudos to the villa defence although it was annoying for me to watch as a city fan hehe

    • ALEKSANDER KOLAROV IS MY HERO!!! 24/01/2011 at 1:34 pm #

      Couldnt agree more. Kolarov was out best attacking option and I can only think of one mistake he made which came because he had made a fantastic run down the left, not been picked out so he ran backed and picked up a booking for taking the man out. Other than that he was not caused any trouble by Albrighten as the blog says. His crosses were dangerous, corners good and set pieces in general were a marked improvement from last season.

      • big steve 24/01/2011 at 4:41 pm #

        what are you talking about , that young lad albrighton tore kolorov to pieces , we payed 19 million for him and he is a disgrace

        • ALEKSANDER KOLAROV IS MY HERO!!! 24/01/2011 at 5:50 pm #

          You must not have seen the game. Kolarov made one mistake which I mention above. Yes he’s not the quickest getting back but he covers for others very well. He is constantly let down by the lack of support ahead of him in the LM spot. Due to the fragility of our wingers who do not track back and help similar to Martin Petrov, our LB will always come under criticism because he then has two to mark, goes to the ball and then gets it passed around him. How is this his fault. He gets the blame for the lack of tackling and tracking back from Johnson and Silva which is not deserved. Albrighton never tore Kolarov to pieces, as the Villa fan commented above me, Kolarov looked our most attacking player which kills me to say when we had Yaya, Dzeko, Tevez, Silva, Barry and Johnson on the pitch….

          • View From A Blue 24/01/2011 at 6:58 pm #

            Personally, I do think Kolarov was our best attacking outlet, and his crossing/corners were fantastic. However, towards the end especially, Albrighton did trouble him with his pace, getting past him far too easily on a number of occasions. It was a pure 1-on-1 situation, but Kolarov should be doing better.

            I think in the long run, he may end like Gareth Bale . ie. on the left wing, bombing on but doubling up defensively when needed.

            • ALEKSANDER KOLAROV IS MY HERO!!! 24/01/2011 at 7:34 pm #

              Back me up Steven and then stab me in the back! Hahaha! Only joking! I disagree, but I am a Kolarov “aficionado”, so i’m bound to!

  4. Bri-Bees 23/01/2011 at 7:48 pm #

    It was a bad day at the office. Yaya was shite, Silva was shite and Tevez was shite. Our 3 best players did not perform and unfortunately when that is the case, we always struggle. We had enough of the ball to dominate but it was ‘one of those games’. Don’t get me wrong, I love the 3 aforementioned players, they’re awesome. I also rate mancini after being skeptical initially but sometimes we are crying out to swap for a 442 when nothing else is working. Considering he won so much with the Internazionale 442 I am surprised he doesn’t revert to this at city when the 433 (451) is not bearing fruit. Anyway, live and learn and hopefully next match we’ll click into place again. I also have to mention that although we played poorly, villa were lucky to score, thanks to joe harts lazy parry and poor dive, Shay Given must be getting to knock on Mancini’s door!!

    • ALEKSANDER KOLAROV IS MY HERO!!! 24/01/2011 at 1:35 pm #

      Are you saying Yaya is in our top 3 players behind Silva and Tevez?! He’d be lucky to be placed in our top 10 the way he is playing? De Jong, Barry, Kompany, Milner are all better than him, as is Johnson when he comes off the bench, and Dzeko shows signs of quality unlike the Toure of the Yaya type.

  5. Norfstander 23/01/2011 at 7:49 pm #

    Villa did to us what we did to Arsenal and United, only they had an early goal to defend. Fair play to them.

    Silva is still recovering from his injury, and that coupled with the teething problems most sides face with tinkering with thier system, meant we weren’t at our best.

    Still by far the better side in terms of overall posession, so no need to be reaching for the nooses, just an offday on top of the Villa defence putting in their season’s best performance.

    Ultimately, the title talk is and always has been daft. Our aim since day dot has been to qualify for the Champions League. Anything better than 4th will be a bonus, anything worse would be unacceptable, but we’re well on course.

    As for Villa, Houllier will be fine now he’s got a couple of the egos out of the door, as Mancini was once he culled his playing staff a bit. They can push on now and finish top half, or at least top of the bottom half, and next season they’ll be in the mix for Europa League qualification.

    We’ve had plenty of great weekends recently – winning and results elsewhere going our way. It was inevitable we’d suffer a bad one at some point, and i fancied it might be this one. Had they not signed Bent few would’ve given them a chance. They did, and whilst he’s not a good player overall, he is as good as there is at doing what he did on Sunday, mooching round the six-yard box and feeding off scraps.

    One slight problem i have is the Villa supporters attitude towsards Gareth Barry. The games he put in for them should mean he’s applauded on and off their pitch whenever he returns. The fact that he’s painted as some sort of pantomime villain for moving to a bigger club is a sad representation of the ficklness of modern football fans.

    • Bri-Bees 23/01/2011 at 7:54 pm #

      agreed on all counts

    • donny 23/01/2011 at 8:17 pm #

      uhumm – bigger club? More money? yes. – Silverware? No.

      • rat 23/01/2011 at 10:03 pm #

        donny what he meant was we are 3rd and youre like 14th or 15th

    • ALEKSANDER KOLAROV IS MY HERO!!! 24/01/2011 at 1:36 pm #

      Great comment. I wish people would submit more comments like these.

  6. Brian Little Walks on water 23/01/2011 at 8:02 pm #

    Great result for us Villa fans, especially those like me who saw us humiliated at your place. Good to see an organised and committed defensive performance – Richard Dunne and James Collins showed last seasons form at last!! And of course we had that bit of luck that you always need. Good luck to Citeh, hope you can continue to threaten at the top.
    BTW Loved the banter at your place – especially the ‘Poznan’, and I know most of you were there when you were sh*t – just like us.

  7. avillian136 23/01/2011 at 8:05 pm #

    were man cit£h a bigger club wen u bought him is the question and the fact he sed i want to go to liverpool because of the champions league but if they didnt have championsleague i would definately stay at villa. and then man city come in who we finished higher than the season b4 and offered him double the money with no champions league and two years later its still the same. but what u would have seen if milner was playing i nobody would boo him and infact they would probably cheer him at the end as he didnt b******t like barry. Also he had a go at martin oneill publically for this. and u ask y we boo? btw money doesnt make u a bigger club. we r still bigger than city until u actually win something worth talking about i.e the european cup

  8. avillian136 23/01/2011 at 8:08 pm #

    *also barry had a go at martin oneill for this and u wonder y we boo?

  9. king kenny 23/01/2011 at 8:29 pm #

    MAN CITY R NOT VERY GOOD JUST KEEP BUYING CASTOFFS

    • CitySince77 23/01/2011 at 9:13 pm #

      Liverpool managed to win a game have they? Prat!

    • ALEKSANDER KOLAROV IS MY HERO!!! 24/01/2011 at 1:38 pm #

      No doubt you call Carlos Tevez a cast off? 40 odd goals he has scored for us, so I dont mind!

  10. king kenny 23/01/2011 at 8:31 pm #

    WELL SAID VILLA FAN THEY AVENT GOT A CLUE THEY JUST SPEND SPEND SPEND ON AVERAGE CRAP

    • Norfstander 23/01/2011 at 8:47 pm #

      I sincerely hope you aren’t a Liverpool fan saying that!

      You’ve got three good players, and two of those are just coming back from a year off!

    • rat 23/01/2011 at 10:05 pm #

      why would you comment on a Man City – Aston Villa article, how dose this concern you?

    • Gratian 24/01/2011 at 10:03 am #

      Village idiot.

  11. Siamack 23/01/2011 at 8:40 pm #

    You do not find a team that change inside out twice in a span of two years and then do as well as City has done. We are right on track toward our objective of top 4. What is important is the city’s upward trend for the past few years. They are getting better and better not matter how you put it and that is a real worry for other rivals. No team is immune to “a bad in office” and this was just one of those days.

  12. Zorrin Drax 23/01/2011 at 9:05 pm #

    When a former Man City player visits Eastlands with his new team, he never gets booed. Ireland and Richard Dunne certainly wouldn’t get booed.

    Why is Barry booed by Villa fans? Because they know he abandoned them to further his career. When a City player goes to Villa, he’s clearly on the downward slope, we feel a bit guilty for getting rid of him if anything.

  13. CitySince77 23/01/2011 at 9:10 pm #

    Bad day at the office and a result which puts our title ambitions into perspective for the time being. Still, you can call me an optimist but I do not think we are out of it as our next two league games are totally winnable and thats all it takes to be considered as contenders again in this league. Full credit to Villa on the day though, they looked a totally different team to the one who rolled over at Eastlands 4 weeks ago and pulled off a result that reminded me of our win over Mourinho’s Chelsea a few years back. But let’s look on the bright side and take some heart from the fact that was only our second defeat in 16 games and we still sit comfortably in a Champions League place which has to be our main priority. What I am worried about though is our inability to start well since that home game against Villa, and because of this we have began letting teams get a foothold in matches when we should be stamping our authority on them. I’m hoping the 8 day gap will benefit us as well now because that was our 8th game in four weeks and I do feel a few of them have looked jaded at so much football recently. We have to remember we are a new team as well and 5 of the players who started the game yesterday did not even play in the Premier League until the start of the season, at best. What we need to do now is get Notts County beaten in the cup at the first time of asking and get the 2 wins we are capable of in the league before our game with the Rags, then we’ll know if we are in the title race or not. In brief we must not get too disheartened as we are one of the top three on merit and on paper, and by all accounts Arsenal were out of the title race a few weeks ago, but they are not now are they?

  14. Zorrin Drax 23/01/2011 at 9:13 pm #

    Nothing against Villa, by the way. Good solid team. I’ve got a feeling that if Martin O’Neil was given a Bent-sized warchest, they’d be in the top 4 now.

    Bent guarantees premiership goals, but he has the cold dead eyes of a man who keeps a gun in his glove compartment. No good will come.

    Every manager seems pleased to get shot of him

    • Matt 24/01/2011 at 2:27 pm #

      O’Neil was given shit loads fella!! We spent more under him than we have in a long time. The fact is that his transfers were gash!

  15. king kenny 23/01/2011 at 9:25 pm #

    prat????? you little tool sad little manc WHEN YOU HAVE WON SOMETHING COME BACK SILLY LITTLE BOY 18 LEAGUE TITLES 5 EUROPEN CUPS CANT BE BOTHERED WITH THE REST I HAVENT GOT ALL NIGHT LFC A PROPER FOOTBALL CLUB

    • CitySince77 23/01/2011 at 9:44 pm #

      All many years ago and your future doesn’t look too bright either. By the way, you’ve left the caps lock on again you sad scouse internet ninja warrior prat. BYE.

    • Gratian 24/01/2011 at 10:05 am #

      Liverpool winning a lot of trophies many years ago doesn’t make you not a prat! Prat.

    • It's Grim Oop North 24/01/2011 at 1:22 pm #

      King Kenny, what do you mean you haven’t got all night?

      Is it Giro day tomorrow?

      You’re the knobhead who always posts on Tribal Football and similar low quality websites in CAPSLOCK aren’t you?

      Stick to Goal.com, they’re more your level.

  16. Kaptain Kompany 24/01/2011 at 12:08 am #

    Silva was shite. Put him on the reserves and never bring him back. He is a horrific footballer and I have no earthly idea why anyone would want to sign this twat. He never gets it off his damn foot and his passes are horrific. Let’s sell this guy while the rest of the world is oblivious to how bad he is so we can get something out of him

    • Gratian 24/01/2011 at 10:07 am #

      You are a balloon head mate.

    • It's Grim Oop North 24/01/2011 at 1:18 pm #

      Eh????

      You’re the only person I’ve ever seen/heard say anything remotely derogatory about David Silva!

      I don’t know what else to say, you’re so wrong it’s unbelievable.

    • ALEKSANDER KOLAROV IS MY HERO!!! 24/01/2011 at 1:40 pm #

      You couldnt be more wrong. No Silva = No support. No Silva = No goals.

  17. durban blue moon 24/01/2011 at 7:59 am #

    Dead right,Dzeko was playing completely out of position most of the game, he should have been the target man,upfront,central,knocking the ball down to the likes of Tevez and receiving the ball from the wings.Is this not ‘the missing link’ that we have all heard about?

  18. Bobby 24/01/2011 at 1:16 pm #

    Two biggest problems were Dzeko going out wide when he should have been more central getting shots in and laying balls off to Tevez and company. The second would be Gareth Barry, he has no creativity and his only good pass is a long ball out wide, plus he’s slow. We need another creative midfielder to go alongside Silva. Barry and Yaya just don’t have that ability to keep the ball in tight spaces a play that critical pass. Afellay would have been perfect but alas he is now with Barca. Let’s hope Gai Assulin is a steal or Mancini goes out and gets someone before February so Silva wont have to carry all the creativity on his shoulders.

  19. Amman Kallumpram 24/01/2011 at 11:42 pm #

    As a United fan, this was a hugely pleasing result. City showed their lack of experience as a team to break down a stubborn Villa defence. Villa were definitely galvanised by the “Bent-factor” and defended well with Collins and Dunne playing well. However what struck me is that City did not take advantage of the fact that Villa were playing to Centre backs at full back, Carlos Cuellar and Ciaran Clark( the latter is very impressive!).
    The lack of width was alarming as Villa weren’t stretched enough and City lacked the guile to unlock the defence. Usually the door is unlocked by the wily Silva, yet as you mentioned he had an off day and City look very ordinary when that happens, relying on moments of individual magic from Tevez. Johnson made a notable impact when he came on,cutting in and bamboozling Clark for a while yet no end product sadly. Although Mancini likes his wingers to cut inside, it means that there is less space in the middle of the park, where City have to play extremely intricate football, if they want to create chances. As City now have a target man in Dzeko, they should put more crosses into the box, utilising his innate heading ability to full effect.

    A player I very much like, who will improve over time is Aleksandr Kolarov. He’s an attack minded full back ( like myself!) who has a great shot on him. However, i felt he shot far too much in desperation from ridiculous angles,instead of making meaningful overlapping runs which would have been more effective. However that will develop over time. He has the potential to be the best full back in the league, and Imo is already better than the overrated Clichy, who can’t defend for his life!

    Anyway City showed glimpses of what they can do, yet this newly assembled squad needs far more gelling time to realise their full potential. Next season, they will give it a real go at the league and be more scarily more consistent. That said, football is unpredictable and they might win a trophy this season ( god forbid!). We’ll see in May!

    • ALEKSANDER KOLAROV IS MY HERO!!! 25/01/2011 at 11:12 am #

      Yes Amman! See, even a United fan rates Kolarov! And may I say what a delight it is to see Amman posting a somewhat positive City comment!!

  20. Alec 28/01/2011 at 10:17 pm #

    Lets really put the villa game into perspective. This was touched on by one of the TV pundits.
    Had Carlos Tevez scored the early chance villa would have suffered another heavy defeat like at CoMS. But once they got ahead they put up a brick wall in defence.
    We had enough chances & probably deserved something out of it, however, had City “parked the bus at home & given 70% posession to the opposition, there would have been uproar, but cos villa did it against us, well that was fine. Utd did it v spurs & that was fine, I think it just goes to show, that in a short period of time in football (2.5 years) City are now the team everyone wants to beat, its now time we took up the challenge and find a way of winning against these sides, we just dont convert enough of the chances we create. However, it does mean we have to go to the swamp & get a result, that is if we want to have a pop at the title. The target this year was 1 place above last year & we are well on target to do so.

    One day we will get it all together & someone is gona get an almighty beating.

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