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In m opinion, a much better performance in our efforts to beat opposition that set out to defend... on the whole.Of course, we will look at the three scoring opportunities which we gifted them (and from which Mr. Given bailed us out).A couple of notes on those (and defense, in general):1) One was a mistake by Kompany, and not something I worry myself about as he will make very few mistakes this season.2) Two were caused by Richards being out of position... once being too far up the pitch, the second due to incredibly poor marking in the box; this continues to concern me as I don't see his positional awareness yet improving by being moved to the right.3) Givens commanded his box in the air (something Hart has struggled with at times); obviously, his shot stopping was impeccable.4) Maybe going unnoticed is the quality of performances Onuoha has been putting in. This gives me much hope that we can cut the goals allowed down enough to continue to climb the table and reach for 7th position and a place in Europe.As I said, though, minus the three obvious defensive errors that could have cost us the game, the offensive performance and the consistent chances we created were a dramatic improvement.All in all, I thought we dominated and deserved the win, but it should have been more like 3-2 than 1-0.
For me, the game was crying out for more midfield creativity at half time. Had he brought Elano on, with the space he makes, we could have won it by 3 or 4. Instead we ground it out and were lucky to shade it in the end.Don't get me wrong - I'll take the 3 points, but its disheartening to think of the brilliant football we were playing early in the season and realising that grinding out results is the shape of things to come...
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