Sunday, October 30, 2011
Mancini and his Manchester City have shown us many sides to their character this season. They are resolute in defence, even without the collossal Nigel de Jong. City have shown that they are not content to sit back on a lead. They have served up game after game of excellent attacking football, never resting but always probing. And against Wolves, they showed that they can be patient, they confirmed that they have believe in themselves and more importantly, City proved that they too know how to win while playing "ugly".
This match against Wolves at home, was supposed to be the crowning glory of an excellent week as Mancini's City came back expecting to bask in the adoration of their fans. Unfortunately, Wolves proved tougher to subdue with Welsh No. 1 Wayne Hennessey equal to everything that Aguero, Silva, Nasri and Dzeko threw at him.
In the end, Manchester City had to wait before they scored their customary three goals against Premier League opposition. Adam Johnson racing all the way from defence, collected a pass from Yaya and fired home a 20-yard curler past the Wolves keeper.
Super Mario came on three minutes before Vincent Kompany received a red card for a professional foul. If the Italian had come on, hoping to add to his burgeoning goals tally, he was in for a shock as his captain was given his marching orders. Once that happened, Balotelli changed his approach to the game and selflessly put the team first. He kept a cool head whenever he was in possession, using up precious minutes on the clock. His cult figure status received a further boost when he belatedly robbed a Wolves player, held the ball up while waiting for support, released it to Yaya Toure and Adam Johnson did the rest. When he's not setting fires to bathrooms, Super Mario has the intelligence and instincts of an excellent footballer.
The one blot is the impending loss of City captain, Vincent Kompany for the next three games. The Citizens coped well without the big Belgian in the last 15 mins against Wolves. Against Liverpool, however, Kompany's giant presence and excellent positioning will take some compensating. Mancini and Platt must make sure the tactics are spot-on against Suarez and the resurgent Reds.
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