Tuesday, December 18, 2012

City slicker (than us)

Newcastle Utd 1 - 3 Manchester City

As is fast becoming the story of our season, this was once again a "nearly" performance. Behind to a City side playing some fantastic football, we nearly clawed our way back to level terms, had them worried about hanging on to their lead for a time in the second half, but ultimately were left rueing missed chances as the visitors left with all three points.

With HBA hamstrung the Silver Fox opted to bring Perchinho into a defensive midfield with Vurnon Anita and Mr T, pushing Spidermag further forward in support of Papiss Cisse and Demba Ba. However, it was the visitors who started the brighter, with Samir Nasri pulling the strings behind Carlos Tevez and Sergio Aguero and sure enough it was Aguero who opened the scoring, timing his run to perfection to get on the end of Nasri's pass.

Already behind, it could have been a lot worse with Nasri hitting the post and Krul by far the busier keeper.

With the Mancini's team playing some cracking football, there was a depressing inevitability when City added a second, albeit Javi Garcia's header from a David Silva corner should have been cleared by Davide Santon who somehow contrived to miss the ball on the line.

At half-time the Silver Fox's words clearly had a galvanising effect, with Ba and Cisse moving closer together in the second half and posing a greater threat. It was Ba who narrowed the arrears, getting on to Sideshow Bob's first-time ball back into the box after a slightly wayward Anita corner. As the ball came back in, both Ba and Cisse timed their runs to get in behind the defence, with Ba rising well to head the ball over the stranded Joe Hart.

With the game in the balance it was Cisse who squandered the opportunity to level the scores. Having worked himself an opening on the edge of the box he fired over to add another chance to the frustratingly long list of "chances he'd have taken last season".

With our midfield working well, and Anita in particular impressing, we continued to press for an equaliser only to be cruelly undone by Yaya Toure when he finally sealed the game with ten minutes remaining.

So once again we're left rueing missed Cisse chances and thinking of what might have been. For what it's worth, the fact that Cisse continues to fashion chances makes me believe that at some stage things are going to go right for him. Here's hoping that day is nearly with us.

Other reports: BBC, Guardian 

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