There are no more undefeated’s’. There’s only City!

Manchester City returned to Premiership action Saturday after having the last couple of weeks off thanks to the International breaks.

Although for City the word ‘break’ really isn’t correct as City stars jetted off across the World for games with their individual countries. 

Roberto Mancini left Dzeko, Johnson and Barry on the bench along with David Silva, electing instead to give rare starts for Nasri and De Jong in the midfield. Aguero and Balotelli were selected to start upfront as Mancini continues to really ask questions of the opposition defence whether home or away. 

Both teams were undefeated going into this game although City were top and had the better form having only failed to win the single game against Fulham earlier on in the season. Newcastle were also undefeated but had drawn four of their games already this season leaving them six points behind first place City.  

Manchester City, as you would expect, had the best of the opening exchanges with Nasri finding spaces, and even Micah Richards breaking into the box on occasion. Despite all the pressure the first real chance came after twenty minutes with Yaya passing to Aguero, who turns on the edge of the box and fires a shot over the bar. All the pressure but so far City had nothing of substance to show for it.

Then, with only five minutes left in the first half a cross into the Newcastle box is half cleared into the path of Yaya Toure who fires at goal. For some reason Ryan Taylors arm was outstretched and as Toure unleashed his shot it hit the Newcastle defender. The referee pointed to the spot for a City penalty. Super ‘Cool’ Mario Balotelli dispatched the penalty in his own unique way and didn’t get booked for a celebration! 

Only minutes in the reverse of a Spice Girl lyric, one became two! Yaya and Nasri exchanged passes outside the box that finished with Samir Nasri putting a nothing ball into the box. Again the Newcastle number 16, Ryan Taylor is more focused on where Micah is running than where the ball is heading and makes a hash of what was an easy clearance. Micah Richards nicks it off him and gives City a bigger lead for the break.

The second half starts as the first one did with City making the majority of the attacking play. In fact City would end the game enjoying almost two thirds of possession. Like the first half start it yielded no goals. Then with less than twenty minutes on the clock a cute little reverse ball sent Richards into the box yet again.

This time he found himself upended by Ben Arfa in the area and the referee again pointed to the spot. Now it was a soft penalty to concede from a Newcastle stand point but for City it showed Micah maturing and thinking of the smarter option. City had a lone striker in the box and four Newcastle players. The earlier Micah would have either ran out of room and conceded the goalkick, had a shot from an acute angle or tried to find the single City player. This time he simply stepped in between the ball and the defender and won the penalty.

Balotelli had only been substituted a few minutes earlier (and for the provider Silva I might add) and so Aguero had to step up. There was no mistake from the Argentine as he made it three and secured City’s record breaking start to the season. 

Newcastle would have some consolation though in the dying minutes as the City defence went to sleep. Ba’s initial toe poke was diverted by Hart but only to Dan Gosling who ensured that although City would stay undefeated, they would not get a clean sheet. 

PA Cityboy

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *