Monday, December 31, 2007

City 0 Liverpool 0

Sometimes, as unpalatable as it may be for some of you, it is more important to ensure defeat is avoided in a game that go all out to win - thus increasing the risk of a defeat.

I'm certain that Sven looked at yesterday's game with the idea that Liverpool pretty much had to win to keep alive slim title ambitions, whereas we didn't want to lose first and foremost and a point would suit us perfectly in a quest for European football.

And so it panned out.

Yesterday was generally regarded as a game of cat and mouse, with Liverpool holding the ascendancy for the most part and our stat of zero shots on target bears this out a little. Yet, for me is there nothing wrong with sticking to a gameplan and playing out a 0-0 if that is what is required.

In fact, renowned Italian football writer Gianni Brera has often championed the 0-0 draw as the 'perfect' result for a game of football, and what impressed me particularly yesterday is how well drilled we looked - particularly at the back where Richards and Dunne particularly showed a superb return to form after a slightly sticky spell which has seen us ship goals of late.

Vassell up front was as willing as ever, with Bianchi's demotion to the bench giving him ample time to no doubt check out the merits of a pie and pint before the game, but Sven must be keener than most to see the clock strike midnight tonight and herald the opening of the transfer window as it is clear we need reinforcements in an attacking sense - regardless of how Nery Castillo pans out.

No qualms about yesterday for me, and pleasing to pick up a point and keep ahead of those on our tails. Newcastle up next in a game I feel Sven will see as one to take all three points from, against a side shorn of confidence and in a mess off the pitch with the future of their manager again being questioned, and the habitual offender wearing stripes of a different kind.

Reports:

Guardian
Independent
Times
MEN

vote it up!

3 comments:

SKRATCHER said...

Like most of us at this festive period, Joey is merely spending time with his family.

Wigan Blue said...

Let's think about this for a minute. Sven set out his stall with his usual 4-5-1 (or 4-2-3-1 as the press are saying, and I'll accept, as Charlie is playing so well in there). We were slicing through their defence far more easily than they managed to do all through the first half. It's fine to say "No shots on target", but there were four or five crosses straight across the face of goal. Darius, hard as he was working, looked tired, and wasn't able to get up to them.

At half time, Rafa switched his defence around and blocked that left hand channel. And Sven switched to 4-4-2 to give us balance on the right. Without a solid base on the right (Geo struggled against their defenders without the free passing of the first half), we were leaving gaps that the scousers exploited more and more as the match played out.

Mr Rennie had a disappointing match. I am the first to agree that he isn't biased, but he misses things. I discount the 'wrestling matches' that were going on all over the pitch. They were certainly six of one and half a dozen of the other. On fouls, he got it more or less right. But on handballs he took everything as 'ball to hand'. After the first couple, Liverpool really started taking the piss, with at least two clearances made with the hand in their penalty area.

So I have to disagree about City's 'defensive' display. Rafa started it with his defensive close down of our left side, and Sven tried to open up play with his change of formation. That put pressure on our defence - who responded magnificently.

It was Liverpool's fault.....

Anonymous said...

Richard Dunne, Majestic......
Finest Defender in the Premier League if not Europe.
Blanked by the so called know nothing sports media.
At least we and he knows how much we appreciate him.