Monday, 22 August 2011

Match Report - Bolton (Away)

I sent a text to my flatmate at about 5:05pm on Sunday that read "We've scored 3 goals away from home, whats going on?", clearly this feeling is not new, we had some fine away days last year, but hopefully it will quieten down some of the more misguided critics of the club who claim we are a negative and boring team to watch.

In truth it wasn't all so straight forward, granted we dominated possession but it was still just a one goal margin that proved the difference at the final whistle, a couple of defensives lapses luckily didn't cost us but on another day in a different time the result could have been a crushing draw.

Whilst it wasn't entirely smooth sailing at the back, the point still remains that City really should have scored a couple of goals more than they did, Sergio Aguero missed a couple of sitters in an all action display and perhaps we were a little wasteful late on.  

It was however a slick performance, with attacking threat throughout the game.  Bolton away perhaps seems a strange game for Mancini to unleash some of our attacking talent but it was definitely a much more attacking display than some away days last season.  With Toure occupying a much deeper role than normal playing alongside the superb Barry, Aguero and Dzeko were left to terrorise the Bolton defense.

There was perhaps some fortune about the first goal, Silva hit a nice strike from outside the area that perhaps should have been saved by Jaaskelainen, but there was no argument about the second and third. Barry struck a stunner from a well worked corner, something that perhaps we haven't seen enough of.  At 2-0 City were in total command and it took a very sharp finish from Ivan Klasnic converting a Martin Petrov cross to fire the Trotters back into the game.  There is perhaps more Lescott could have done to stop Klasnic from reaching the ball, but it wouldn't be right to take anything away from Bolton who scored a superb goal.

The second half began as the first half had done with City on top, not more than 2 minutes had past before Edin Dzeko fought for a Milner flick, marauded past Zat Knight before firing a superb finish into the Bolton net, it was a great goal from a player who is now firing on all cylinders, cynics of the Bosnian should really take note, Edin was first class again and lead the line superbly.  Much to Mancini's disgust however City endeavoured to give Bolton a way back into the game again with Kevin Davies heading home a good fee kick which maybe again Lescott could have done better with.  There were late cameos from Johnson and Tevez and in truth even though Bolton were just one goal behind the game ended with City being on top again.

2 wins from 2, and more important a couple of very impressive performances, next Sunday will be a real test at White Hart Lane, but until then lets enjoy being top of the league, and more importantly being the team who has played the best football in the first two weekends of the season.

Enough of my diatribe, lets get onto the numbers:

Joe Hart: 7 - Nothing he could do with either goal to be honest, made a couple of smart saves early on, other than that he really didn't have a great deal to do.

Micah Richards: 6 - Got a great assist for a goal that was wrongly ruled out for a foul, good attacking performance, he was at times troubled by Petrov though and perhaps could have done a bit better on the first goal.

Vincent Kompany: 6 - Never looked totally comfortable with Davies, did a good job for the most part but didn't always have his supreme confidence.  Having said that the Bolton captain is one of the hardest players in the game to deal with.

Joleon Lescott : 6 - Strange one really, generally defended really well, perhaps better than his partner, but was at fault for both goals to a degree.  He was the right sort of player for the occasion, should perhaps have marked Davies and left Klasnic for Kompany though.

Aleks Kolarov: 7 - He replaced Clichy and was superb to be fair, lethal coming forward, provided some great ammunition and created width exceptionally well.  Defensively he dealt with Eagles well and didn't give him a sniff.

Gareth Barry: 8 - Superb performance, dominated the Bolton midfield with Yaya Toure, shielded the defense expertly and I think it was probably his best performance in a City shirt, even if it wasn't for his stunning goal it was a quality run out.

Yaya Toure: 7 - Played a much deeper role than normal and he excelled, didn't offer as much offensively as can be expected, but he shut things down well and his power and presence infront of the defense steadied the ship.

James Milner: 9 - This was why Milner was signed, his energy and enthusiasm was great, he created chances, was unfortunate to not score, and he got back and defended too.  It was an all action display from the Englishman, more of the same please, absolutely superb.

David Silva: 8 - Another quality display from the Spaniard, scored a good goal and was once again the heartbeat.  Mr Reliable is always there when we need him and his ability to just pop up between the lines is exceptional, if it weren't for Milner he would be my man of the match.

Sergio Aguero: 6 - A good performance from the Argentine but he should really have had 2 goals.  Nice runs, good link up, and very hard working display, but not great in front of goal, plenty will follow though, there is no doubt about that.

Edin Dzeko: 8 - I could fast run out of positive things to say about the massive striker, another top performance.  He held the ball up, brought in his team mates, he bullied defenders, fought for the ball and scored a superb goal, fantastic game for Edin and his tally is now 3 in 3.


Carlos Tevez: 6 - Where to begin? He looked interested, hungry, and passionate, whether he will remain though no-one knows.  He doesn't look fit yet, but a good 30 minute run out.

Adam Johnson: 6 - Good cameo, but not really enough time to do anything, some tricky runs, but he was barely on the field for 10mins.

Pablo Zabaleta: N/A - No time to judge.

I have to give man of the match to James Milner personally, but to be honest it could have also gone to Silva, Dzeko or even Barry.  The midfield and attacking unit was for the most part superb, but Milner stood out for me because I think he proved to some people just how useful he can be, and showed what he is capable of.  The hard part for the England man now is to continue in that vain because he has proved what a massive part he can play in our push for success.

No comments:

Post a Comment