Monday, September 22, 2008

City 6 Portsmouth 0

Mark Hughes talked of this victory as having set a standard, and if this performance is the measure on which we will now be judged then the bar has been raised to unprecedented levels.

It was such an impressive performance, not just for the result but the manner in which we tore apart a side who on paper are a side withhave similar aspirations to ourselves, and a game that was difficult to call heading into kick-off - something that Hughes readily acknowledged himself.

Portsmouth were abject - particularly so in defence, but the movement that we showed in attack was so impressive. The space that was created, the vision and pace in which we moved with was evident the whole game.

Following the signing of Robinho, I did speculate that Elano may be the odd man out, but Hughes so far has played a very attacking looking line-up, which has accomodated him into the side.

Whether Hughes continues to adopt this formation remains to be seen (particularly when Petrov returns to fitness), but we are certainly looing impressive going forward and this week has been a huge positive in particular for Jo, who now seems to be finding his feet having returned from the Olympics after the season had begun.

Stephen Ireland has also been an integral feature of the side in recent times, and whilst he has been frustrating at times, maybe he is now finding a position that really brings out his qualities and hopefully he can become the player he has so often threatened, and his passing today was on par with any of the Brazilians.

There have been times - even under Sven last season, where we struggled to break down sides (mainly at home) who adopt a defensive, safety first outlook, but with the players we have at our disposal now, there is the quality there can unlock defences and pick sides apart.

With the takeover set to be completed tomorrow, there is a real degree of positivity around the club and there is a real expectation created as to what could be achieved - both long term and the more immediate future.


Swaggering Manchester City turned on the style with a devastating display of attacking football to crush Portsmouth at a buoyant Eastlands. >>bbc sport

Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan picked the wrong day to inject realism into his £200m takeover of Manchester City. >>

MANCHESTER City's new owners were treated to a stunning performance from the Blues as Portsmouth were thrashed at Eastlands. >>MEN

There was a samba beat to City’s performance, with a trio of Brazilians – Elano, Jô and Robinho, looking every inch a £34.2 million player – impressing, but as if to underline the importance of investment in youth to the club’s new owners, it was Stephen Ireland and Shaun Wright-Phillips, two products of one of the best academies in the business, who stole the show. >>times online

The money arrives for sure tomorrow, when Manchester City is placed formally in Arab hands and the fans who have found a new use for tea towels can be sure they will not wake up to find it has all been a dream. But here was how their new world really might be. >>

As a spectacle and as an indicator of something deep and long-lasting in football, this was a far more significant match than the foul-tempered stalemate at Stamford Bridge. >>

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