Sunday, April 27, 2008

City 2 Fulham 3

The phrase 'typical City' has not been uttered too often (if at all) this season, such is the manner of progress that has been made of late but contriving to throw away a 2-0 half time lead against a side with one foot in the Championship bore the hallmarks of the days of old.

Perhaps it was not too surprising given a defence that lined up as Elano-Corluka-Ball-Sun Jihai, but each of the goals we allowed was as a result of either poor defensive positioning or a seeming lack of commitment in the challenge.

All a far cry of course to the first half when we carved Fulham apart and were well worth our lead, despite Joe Hart making a couple of smart saves to enhance his growing reputation. Both the goals we scored were excellent, with Ireland's a fine individual finish and Benjani scoring the type of goal many think he is not capable of - sliding home from Vassell's good work and Elano's precision pass.

To allow Fulham back in at the stage was terrible, and as Sven alluded to in the post match interview a sign of how far we have to go by (correctly) stating a 'big, big side' would not have lost the game, meaning that a side with real conviction and a desire to get into the European positions and challenge for titles would have not have surrendered the lead.

The biggest concern was perhaps the way in which we lost the game, with the side seemingly switching off in the second half and allowing Fulham to get back into the game with desire and spirit we did not show, with Sven also saying:

"We lost a game we should have won. We controlled most of it, and we thought it was done. If you don't defend, you lose the ball and you give them chances. They fought until the end, but we stopped fighting. We can't blame anyone but ourselves for losing a game like this."
Inevitably, the defeat (with a watching Thaksin looking on) has re-ignited the Sven out theories, and now Thaksin is back at the club he needs to quash these immediately and announce his commitment to his original plan, and Sven himself.

After all, although there are two games left to play this season is all but done and dusted.

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