Thursday, March 12, 2009

City 2 Aalborg 0

A very comfortable evening overall, which would have been even more so had we managed to press home the two goal advanatage we held at the half.

Much more had been anticipated from an Aalborg side unbeaten in seventeen games but on the evidence of this game, it is difficult to see quite how they despatched Deportivo so convincingly in the last round, or even their bright showing at times in the Champions League group stage.

An early goal was crucial and Felipe Caicedo provided that with a smart first touch and neat turn to slot home to put us ahead within the first ten minutes. The goal did seem to spark Aalborg somewhat and they put a nice spell together and served notice with a couple of close calls on our goal. It was excellent timing then when Wright-Phillips added the second - a nice strike following a good run from the half way line.

With the absence of Kompany and de Jong, a lot rested on Pablo Zabaleta's shoulders and I thought he played an important role as the 'spoiler', allowing the more creative types to play to their strengths. Robinho in particular during the first half was afforded plenty of space and used this effectively to create a number of opportunities and we really did play some lovely football, some of the movement a real joy to watch.

We did appear to be a touch cautious in the second half, perhaps understandably so as we would have been wary of conceding what at that stage would have been a crucial away goal for Aalborg, and the latter stages of the game were not without a scare or two. Taking a 2-0 scoreline to Denmark next week does also leave an element of doubt in the tie and make the first half hour of the second leg crucial indeed.

I did predict beforehand though that a 2-0 scoreline would be something we would be happy to take with us into the second leg and given the space that will be available as Aalborg have to attack, it would have to be a very disappointing evening next Wednesday should we fail to progress from this position of strength.

vote it up!

1 comment:

Wigan Blue said...

Somebody gave Caicedo a confidence injection! He took his goal beautifully, and I hold my hands up to the guy. His goal steadied the team and enabled them to find a workable balance in the absence of Kompany (sterling work from Zabaleta in that respect). With six academy players putting in an appearance, I felt very proud. Who is the team supposed to be killing football?