Man City 2 - 0 Aston Villa

Result: Man City 2 - 0 Aston Villa

A simply stunning and sensational performance from Man City on Wednesday night allowed them to topple an Aston Villa pushing for Champions League qualification in a highly exciting and action-packed encounter at Eastlands. The visitors were very underwhelming, creating almost nothing, but credit should be given to City, who were rampant all night, mixing their blend of free-flowing attacking football with a usually hidden mean streak. Goals from Elano and Shaun Wright-Phillips settled the contest, the result of which moves the Blues up into eighth place in the table.

Team News

Missing key men Robinho, Craig Bellamy and Micah Richards, along with all the other long-term casualties, Blues boss Mark Hughes recalled Brazilian playmaker Elano to the starting line-up, where he was joined by the Ecuadorian striker Felipe Caicedo, who has been recently described as ‘a battering ram who can’t batter.’ Shaun Wright-Phillips returned following his three match suspension, and there were places on the bench for Valeri Bojinov and the unknown quantity that is more commonly known as Berti.

The Villains, hoping to extend their remarkable run of seven consecutive Premier League away victories, had a full-strength side available, with Emile Heskey passed fit to play despite being doubtful with an injury. They possessed a ridiculous amount of talent on the bench, with household names such as John Carew, Nigel Reo-Coker, Nicky Shorey and Marlon Harewood, showing just how far City still have to go, as the home side’s bench included Berti, Darius Vassell and Gelson ‘Just Give up Football, you Absolute ******’ Fer******.

Heskey was passed fit to play despite being doubtful with an injury

City Line-Up

                                           Given

Zabaleta            Dunne                       Onuoha             Bridge

                         de Jong                     Kompany

SWP                                   Elano                                Ireland

                                        Caicedo

Subs: Hart, Garrido, BERTI, Fer******, Vassell, Bojinov, Evans

Report

City started the match like a house on fire, looking bright, energetic and up for the challenge. The first opportunity was created just a minute into the game when the enigmatic Elano played through Stephen Ireland with what can only be a described as a sumptuous pass. Instead of shooting when bearing down on goal, Superman opted to cross the ball for a teammate, when no-one was actually there to help him. Fresh from his ban, SWP was causing havoc for the Villa defence, especially Luke Young, who, playing out of position at left-back, was being constantly tormented by the tricky little winger. City should have scored their opening goal after five minutes when Ireland fed SWP to race through on goal, but after wriggling past the efforts of Young, the Blues midfielder was put under just enough pressure and sliced wide.

With City enjoying the vast majority of possession yet failing to take their chances, one felt that Villa would, at any moment, suddenly break free and score to give the visitors an unwarranted advantage. However, the City defence, especially Pablo Zabaleta and Richard ‘Give Me Some Cake’ Dunne, were performing manfully, giving the likes of Ashley Young and Gabriel Agbonlahor less to feed on than a tramp in the midst of a famine!!!

Then, with 22 minutes on the electronic scoreboard clock, the first goal of the evening arrived. With SWP yet again bearing down on Brad Friedel’s goal and ready to pull the trigger, Villa winger James Milner brought down the England international illegally, giving referee Chris Foy no option but to award a yellow card and to hand City a glorious chance from the penalty spot. It was City’s fourth penalty in the league this season, and with Elano already having scored in exactly the same situation during the first game of the campaign, the responsibility was handed over to the Brazilian who calmly dispatched the spot-kick to Friedel’s right, putting the home side 1 - 0 up.

 
Elano takes ………………………………… and then celebrates the penalty

The Blues continued to press forward at every opportunity and were looking as dangerous as they had done at any previous point in the season. There was no obvious sign that we were missing Robinho, with his compatriot and best friend Elano filling in with more effect than the Premier League’s most expensive signing. With ‘Nifty Nige’ de Jong pulling the strings in midfield, ably supported by Belgian international Vincent Kompany, City were in total control, seemingly able to score whenever they wanted. SWP created another chance for Ireland after his tantalising cross, but the Irishman just failed to reach the ball. The half-time whistle went, much to the relief of the visitors, who, for a side with Champions League aspirations, were about as unimpressive as Peter Crouch’s facial features.

The second-half began, but almost immediately, City were dealt a major blow with ‘Nifty Nige’ being forced off injured with a knee strain. Mark Hughes had numerous options off the bench, including Javier Garrido or Ched Evans, but Sparky, seemingly intent on making us lose the game, brought on Gelson ‘It Pains Me To Write His Name’ Fer****** to occupy the holding midfield role. I wouldn’t trust Gelson with holding a baby, let alone a midfield!!! Villa brought on the giant John Carew in place of centre-back Curtis Davies as they looked for the goal to make the game level. The visitors’ reshuffle meant Milner had to fill in at right-back, not the best use of his considerable talents, and the Villains struggled to stamp any authority on a match they started clear favourites to win.

SWP gets stuck into the action against Luke Young

The second-half was a much more languid affair, with City happy to play keep-ball, whilst keeping Villa at bay. The Blues were still capable, however, of launching a counter attack and it was from one of these where Felipe ‘I Run Like a Donkey With a Broken Leg’ Caicedo nearly managed to add a second, but just failing to reach Wayne Bridge’s ferocious cross. Then, to the delight of at least one of my readers, namely Matt Jones, Hughes brought on Ched Evans to replace the Ecuadorian striker, and the Welsh international immediately caused problems for the visitors. With his first touch, a majestic chest-down, Evans set up Elano for a left-footed volley on goal, which Friedel somehow tipped wide.

Villa were barely creating anything, but only a last-ditch Richard Dunne header prevented Gabriel Agbonlahor from equalising. Bulgarian striker Valeri Bojinov, who looks as if he could do with spending some time at the gym to shift those pounds, came on to a rapturous reception, replacing Elano, who had had one of his best games in a City shirt.

And then, with just two minutes remaining, the Blues sealed off the game, courtesy of a delightful one-two inside the box between SWP and Ireland, which allowed the English winger to slot home beneath the body of Friedel. Ireland nearly added a third in injury time, but it didn’t matter as the final whistle went, signalling a great victory for City.

Wayne Rooney in fifteen years

Key Battles

Nedum Onuoha ‘v’ Gabriel Agbonlahor

Onuoha was brilliant at shutting out Agbonlahor all night, restricting the Villa striker to just the occasional effort on goal. Since winning back his place in the side, Onuoha has performed superbly and deserves his place in the team. Winner = Onuoha

Pablo Zabaleta ‘v’ Ashley Young

Argentinean Zabaleta returned to his favoured right-back role and was sensational when faced with the prospect of Young. Denied space and time on the ball, Young was virtually bypassed and full credit must go to Zabaleta. Winner = Zabaleta

Wayne Bridge ‘v’ James Milner

Will Young look-a-like Bridge, had arguably his best game for City, coping admirably with Milner, who failed to reproduce the spark he has been showing recently. He was the culprit for the Blues penalty and was pushed back to defence for the second-half. Winner = Bridge

Will Young or Wayne Bridge???

Player Ratings

Given - Was only forced into making one save, a low stop from Gareth Barry, and handling was safe - 8

Zabaleta - Brilliant performance in his favoured position. Handled Young superbly and got forward really well - 9

Dunne - Captain’s showing. Led from the front with his attitude and determination - 9.5

Onuoha - Yet another fantastic game for the younger defender. Had Heskey in his back pocket - 8.5

Bridge - Best game for the Blues. Got forward well and looked solid at the back - 8.5

De Jong - Lynch-pin of the midfield in the first-half. Broke up every attack and distribution was excellent. Unfortunately had to be taken off injured - 9

Kompany - Acted like a captain at times, winning every aerial battle and supplying the forwards well - 9

SWP - Perfect performance from the winger. Looked rejuvenated after his suspension and caused problems all evening - 10

Elano - Superb return to the starting line-up for the Brazilian. Pulled the strings early on and created numerous chances for teammates - 9

Ireland - End-to-end match for the attacking midfielder. Popped up everywhere and set up SWP’s goal with a deft pass 9

Caicedo - Not the most agile of players and fails to anticipate the game. Should make way for Evans in the UEFA Cup - 6

Subs:

Gelson - Dreadful. Gave the ball away so many times. When he’s on the pitch, it’s like playing with ten men - 0

Evans - Looked very, very bright when he came on. Full of running, involved in the build-up to the second goal and nearly set-up Elano to score - 8.5

Bojinov - Too late to mark

Man of the Match = Shaun Wright-Phillips

15 Responses to “Man City 2 - 0 Aston Villa”

  1. Whatch Out Istanbul Says:

    “it’s like playing with ten men” - I disagree, more like nine.

    Ched ‘Chesty’ Evans made a great impact on a fairly late sub on.

    Great home performance again by the blues, just need a performance like that away from CoMS.

  2. Whatch Out Istanbul Says:

    And a good report too (needed to get the important bit aross first) :-p

  3. Richard Dunne likes Food Says:

    Good comment about Gelson

    ‘Chesty’ - Is that some sort of sick joke???

  4. Chesty Ched Evans I LOVE YOU :) x Says:

    ‘‘a battering ram who can’t batter.’’ SO TRUE PLAY CHESTY MARK HUGHES HE PROVED WHAT A GOOD PLAYER HE IS!

    ‘I wouldn’t trust Gelson with holding a baby, let alone a midfield!!! ‘ LIKE IT!

    ‘Felipe ‘I Run Like a Donkey With a Broke Leg’ Caicedo’ - Whoever thought of that must be an absolute legend, although it should be ‘I Run Like A Donkey With a Broken Leg and Serable Pausy’

    ‘then to the delight of at least one of my readers,’ WOOHHOOOOO! A MENTION FOR MATTY JONES!

    ‘courtesy of a delightful one-two inside the box between SWP and Ireland’ this should say ‘courtesy of some fantastic play by Ched Evans on the right wing who chased down a dall all others would have given up hope of getting’

    ‘Should make way for Evans in the UEFA Cup ‘ FINALLY I HAVE SWAYED YOU!

    Awesomem review!

  5. Whatch Out Istanbul Says:

    see someone likes the chesty comment

  6. Richard Dunne likes Food Says:

    Is this ‘Chesty’ thing an in joke, or am I missing something?

    Thanks Matt, not sure if you have made me a Chedwyn fan, just a Felipe hater!!! If you want your name in the blog, I can put it in?!?!?

  7. Chesty Ched Evans I LOVE YOU :) x Says:

    YES!

    I think the chesty thing is just the way Ched’s first touch was majestic that’s all!

    Who is ‘Watch Out Istanbul’? Ricky?

  8. Richard Dunne likes Food Says:

    Oh … ok - not going to stick. I’m not a fan of calling him ‘Chesty’, think of something else.

    Yes, it’s Ricky.

  9. Chesty Ched Evans I LOVE YOU :) x Says:

    AHAHA I AM IN!

  10. Whatch Out Istanbul Says:

    now its not funny cos matt’s had to explain it

  11. Chesty Ched Evans I LOVE YOU :) x Says:

    p.s Chestwyn?!

  12. I*T*P*L Says:

    Another great review. Really fantastic result for you, Villa are surely going to blow it. I still can’t get over your unjustified abuse of a squad member though, it’s called a SUPPORTer for a reason! Elano’s was possibly the best penalty this season. I see the Will Young one, but not as strongly as the other one.

  13. Plattsy Says:

    Hi Ste,
    I agree with VJ, although I must say that the ‘wouldn’t trust Gelson with holding a baby, let alone a midfield’ comment made me chuckle!
    As did the ‘Richard ‘Give me some cake’ Dunne’ reference! Your harshness tickles me!
    I can see Bridge/Will Young, but Friedel/Rooney? Behave!
    Why do we look so capable at home but so ordinary away?

  14. I*T*P*L Says:

    I don’t know why you look so hgood at home bu5t so bad away, but th contrast was apparent in the tw Stoke games. Surelyh the life of a human being IE a baby is more impprtan than a midfield role ?!

  15. Richard Dunne likes Food Says:

    VJ, were you slightly tipsy when you wrote your last comment??? There are more spelling mistakes than mightyhammer!!!

    Agree with Plattsy about Rooney/Friedel - on second reflection that is a bad shout.

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