Monday, December 01, 2008

City 0 United 1

"We're disappointed today and in the first half we didn't really ask enough questions of them. We sat off too much and allowed them too much space to play and dictate the tempo of the game. That obviously wasn’t our game plan, we wanted to force the issue."
>>Mark Hughes.
  • A disappointing game for us after the recent confidence boosters, and in truth United were the better side and were value for the three points, without having to really exert themselves. Not a derby that will make too many 'Greatest Derby' dvd collections though.

  • I did fear that Rooney was going to be really focused for this game, and so it proved. He was at his energetic and combative best and alongside Carrick was the quality on display in a game where the big name and form players in general failed to show.

  • For a derby, the game had a very slow tempo and lacked an urgency or bite that you would normally expect. Hughes did get the tactics wrong in the first half - but did realise this and addressed it at half time, but for the increased possession and spark after the break, I never really believed we would take anything from it.

  • The pace (or lack) of the game played into United's hands and allowed them to play a possession style game which led to them controlling it for the most part. Given the verve and way we have attacked for the most part at home this season, this was a disappointing aspect.

  • I wonder if Micah Richards came into the game with an injury as he looked pedestrian throughout and was beaten for pace on a number of occasions. The fact that Kompany got the nod at centre-half could be telling as we move forward but does present its own problem in that on ability (and form) Kompany is both the best centre-half and defensive midfielder that we have at the club.

  • Vassell is game player and there is no doubt he puts in a shift, but should not be in the side. Playing him out on the right also detracts from the effectiveness of Shaun Wright-Phillips and alters how we approach games. Yesterday was evidence of this and there were too many direct balls aimed at Vassell which we profited little from.

  • If Mark Hughes is looking to play one out and out striker (with Robinho as the support), it is clear that Benjani is not that player as he toiled for most of yesterday as the lone man. His best displays from last season were as part of a pairing and I think it is likely Hughes will be leaning towards a bid for Roque Santa-Cruz in January.

  • We have a chance to make amends to a degree when we face PSG this Wednesday and try to wrap up the group. Of more concern though is December's fixtures in the league, which are Fulham (a), Everton (h), West Brom (a), Hull (h) and Blackburn (a). If the recent signs (prior to yesterday) of a greater consistency are real, this run is one that we should be proving it.
Reports

AT least by the end of this tetchy, fragmented and sometimes downright average derby the Blues looked like they meant business. >>MEN.

Cristiano Ronaldo is clearly so determined to get his hands on the Ballon d'Or, the traditional prize awarded to the European Footballer of the Year, that he is now actively grabbing any spherical object that comes his way, regardless of the consequences. >>telegraph.co.uk

Cristiano Ronaldo may need to be convinced but, when the dust settles, Manchester United will cherish the day they reminded their nouveaux riches neighbours who should be known, in the words of the match-winner Wayne Rooney, as "the real kings of Manchester". >>guardian.co.uk

Wayne Rooney's 100th club goal was enough for Manchester United to confirm local supremacy over City at Eastlands - but Cristiano Ronaldo did not help much with a needless red card. >>independent.co.uk

It was with a dismissive, disdainful air that Sir Alex Ferguson, Wayne Rooney and others had shrugged off the idea of an uprising in the blue half of Manchester. To pour scorn on a highly mobilised underclass is to pour oil on the flames of revolution, but Manchester City are not yet in any kind of position to overthrow the establishment. >>times online

Basically Hughes got the side wrong, a false sense of confidence in a side that beat a demoralised and heavily weakened Arsenal and a win against a poor out of form schalke side, having real trouble in their own league. >>news of the blues.

After two good wins in a week, it was disappointing to see us sink into bad habits so quickly. All that was wrong with the Bolton, Boro and Spurs defeats was on show: the lack of bite in midfield, the lazy, sloppy defending, the poor forward play. >>tldorc.

vote it up!

1 comment:

Adam said...

I'm more encouraged than disappointed with the derby result.

We were comprehensively outplayed in the first half, but in the second half we were dominant even before ronaldo's michael jordan impression.

Moreover, the reason why we were outplayed in the first half was because of Hughes' team selection and tactics rather than being outclassed.

The selection of Hamann in the holding role was a huge mistake and that alone was the reason for such a poor performance in the first-half. With so many attacking midfielders, the defensive midfield position is absolutely crucial. Our holding player has to be exceptionally quick to close down the opposition otherwise they get a free run at the defence.

Hamann is not quick enough anymore to do that job on his own in the Premiership... especially not after playing 90 mins midweek.

As soon as Kompany moved into that position in the second-half, we began to dominate.

I feel that had Kompany played there from the start, it might have been a different story.

I was also impressed with Elano when he came on and I'd like to see him start instead of Vassell in the next game. I like Vassell, as he is strong, quick, wins a lot of balls and works extremely hard. For that reason, he is a great player to have away from home. But Elano looks like he has a point to prove and I'd like to see him prove it in the next few games.