Thursday, February 19, 2009

FC Copenhagen 2 City 2

How the complexity of a European tie can change.

There we were, sat on 2-1 lead - that could (should?) have been more - but nevertheless would have put us firmly in the box seat as far as qualifying for the next round. A late lapse in concentration however and our position looks far more precarious heading back to Eastlands for the second leg in a weeks time.

Of concern is that fact that FC Copenhagen look to have enough in attack to cause us serious problems, and although we hold the advantage of two away goals, perhaps trying to sit on a lead may not suit our approach.

What struck throughout yesterdays game as far as our perspective was how easily we managed to create opportunities against a back line that was lacking in pace against our quick moving attack. I still felt however we lacked a real presence in attack and this could have cost us the goals that would have put the tie out of sight.

I thought we were the better side and possessed more quality, but FC Copenhagen looked bright, were tidy going forward and comfortable in possession, as you would expect from a European side, but we timed both of our goals perfectly, just at the point where they were beginning to impose themselves on the game. Both goals took the sting out of their attack, and at both 1-0 and 2-1 we controlled the game well, adopting a very 'European' approach to our play.

Frustrating once again then that we contrived to let ourselves down in a game that we should have shown the wherewithal to close out, and individual mistakes and lapses in concentration have haunted us throughout the season and were our undoing tonight as we let victory slip from our grasp.

A worry for me was how isolated Robinho appeared throughout the game. I thought he worked hard, showed good touches but was unable to link in with Bellamy, Ireland or Wright-Phillips quite in the way he has done previously, but given recent criticism of his performance away from home I thought he turned in a good shift.

There is a real danger with the second leg now, but you feel an early strike for ourselves could alter the course of the tie tremendously, with the longer it remains at 0-0 the more likely we would be susceptible to nerves.

We have hardly done things the easy way so far in this ompetition, but to our credit have pulled through when it has mattered so far. I do think we have enough to go through next week, but should we progress, there won't be many more nights where we can afford to let opportunities like tonight slip.

vote it up!

1 comment:

Wigan Blue said...

A good showing from Dunne lifted the team, although how the whole defence consistently goes to sleep in the last ten minutes of every game is a source of constant frustration.

A fighting performance nevertheless, and fair play to MH for balancing his attack and midfield. VK is far more valuable playing like that. With two away goals we have to be in with a chance. If we'd tried to shut up shop we'd be two goals down now, so well done to everyone.