Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Manchester City Shows Strength In Depth While Berbatov Blows Bubbles

Roberto Mancini had learned from the Fulham lesson and as David Platt said, Mancini freshened up his team after the Champions League defeat at Munich. He rang in changes for the match against Blackburn and the replacements repaid his faith in them by scoring four goals against Rovers.

Mario Balotelli, Samir Nasri and Adam Johnson together with David Silva were the difference in another routine match for the Citizens. Everytime Adam Johnson plays, he always makes an impression on those who watch him. Fabio Capello obviously feels the same way as I did since he selected Johnson for the England squad.

With Tevez and Dzeko benched for their Munich outburst, Balotelli took his chance and produced another excellent performance. He even afforded a smile after his goal, and this is a player who does not celebrate goals. Mancini has got the Premier League's most talented squad and he must utilise its potential to its fullest advantage.

In contrast, Manchester United looked to have "peaked" a little too early (and it's perfect timing too, since their next match will be at Anfield). David De Gea's punishment for stealing a doughnut was to warm the bench while Anders Lindegaard kept goal against Norwich.The young Dane did save United a couple of times and in general, looked quite solid especially when he made ex-United player Anthony Pilkington miss the target.

Again Dimitar Berbatov was left blowing bubbles on the bench while Park Ji-Sung and Valencia were preferred. Wayne Rooney looked off the pace after his enforced lay off and the classy Bulgarian could have added a bit of magic in this game. Without Ashley Young, the Red Devils did not get going until late in the game. Anderson and Wellbeck got on the scoresheet and that glossed over a performance which was two or three notches below United's previous high scoring matches.

I can't wait for the Manchester derby match end of this month. It will surely be a mouthwatering encounter, although Kun Aguero will most likely miss this match. Even at this stage of the season, the destination of the Premier League could be decided by the Manchester club that wins the derby. This puts an extra significance to the upcoming United v. City match.

Who could forget how Mickey Owen came on as a substitute and broke City hearts with a deft finish two seasons ago? With both teams having so much attacking threat, this season's Battle of Manchester could be Vincent Kompany's golden chance to lead City to a glorious victory.

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