Match Report v Man City

#61
Neil is spot in highlighting yesterdays game as a reason why we shouldn't fear relegation...my biggest fear when we came into this league is that we would become just another bottom half team desperately trying to keep the score down against these elite teams....yesterday we became one of those teams.....personally i never feel any shame in getting thumped 5-1 or whatever if we try our best and are just beaten by a much better side as we were on Wednesday...thats what sport is about .....yesterday i felt shame....i never wanted us to become one of those 'we only got beat 1-0 teams'....it may have only been 1-0 but in many ways it was our biggest defeat since we've been in this league.....total surrender.
Incorrect. Wilson, Lerma, Steve and Lewis Cook and Stanislas would have all potentially started yesterday. We didn’t concede against the most threatening defence in the league for 55 minutes.

I don’t think there is any need to feel any ‘shame’.
 

Neil Dawson

Fans' Favourite
#63
Who cares about the stats? We played well but struggled to catch them on the break like we were able to do against Chelsea.. because City were brilliant. Even then we still managed to keep in the game all the way until the end.

It was the right set up and tactics - we did one part right (pretty much) yet weren't able to execute the second part of the plan well enough. Do the same against spurs and we could turn them over.
As post above. We struggled to catch them on the break like Chelsea not because they were brilliant but because we played very differently to we did v Chelsea.

No side in stats history has had 17.5% possession at home...including Newcastle who beat City this year playing the way we did yesterday.
 

SlowDownDerek

Fans' Favourite
#65
As post above. We struggled to catch them on the break like Chelsea not because they were brilliant but because we played very differently to we did v Chelsea.

No side in stats history has had 17.5% possession at home...including Newcastle who beat City this year playing the way we did yesterday.
You're welcome to your stats - I just watch the games and make my mind up based on the performance. Like I've said I've not seen anyone who was at Arsenal who thought EH got it wrong - even you seem to suggest he got it right.

I watched Newcastle beat them and they got decisions in their favour in the final third, they were able to take a chance (because they had their first choice strike force) and then City lost their way a bit. Unfortunately City were bang on it yesterday yet even then they weren't able to take the game away from us.

Against us City were brilliant (funny how you're happy to accept what opposition managers and pundits say when it supports your view btw) and Chelsea weren't.
 
#66
As post above. We struggled to catch them on the break like Chelsea not because they were brilliant but because we played very differently to we did v Chelsea.

No side in stats history has had 17.5% possession at home...including Newcastle who beat City this year playing the way we did yesterday.
"Not because they were brilliant"...

You really do have a problem recognising that other influences might have been an important factor don't you. We played differently against Chelea yes. We had different players out there and City ARE better than Chelsea.

I can't be arsed to look a a result where we beat a team but Wolves (for example) didn't because its a fairly redundant exercise. We could trade examples all day.

We lost but didn't get thumped. We tried to go forward near the end but it didn't work.
 
#67
Boruc 7 - Excellent saves throughout, poor for the goal, poor distribution.

Clyne 5 - Quite poor in possession and not exactly watertight at the back.

Mepham 8 - Excellent performance after having a torrid time at Arsenal. Didn’t really make any mistakes at all.

Simpson 8 - Is good enough to start for us more regularly, feel a bit sorry for him tbh. One poor header but was excellent as the middle CB. Unfortunately we couldn’t see how dangerous he can be from corners.

Ake 8 MOM - At the heart of the defensive performance; seemed to just appear out of nowhere whenever there was a hint of danger. Starting to put in some world class individual defensive displays again.

Daniels 6 - Did quite well overall marshalling Silva, but was poor with the goal. Didn’t really have the opportunity to get forward.

Smith 6 - Attempted to drive forward with the ball, but there was never an outlet. Didn’t add too much defensively considering he’s a fullback.

Surman 6 - Might be generous, but he didn’t really do anything wrong. Hard to impress with just 18% possession. Tidy on the ball.

Fraser 4 - Put more effort into winning free kicks than he did trying to attack or successfully complete pass. A failure of a performance. Needs a rest; we’ve been far too reliant on him and King with all these injuries for goals and it’s starting to show.

King 4 - One or two powerful runs, but similarly poor on the ball and constantly looking for fouls. If this was EHs main tactic, it was a s*** one. We needed these two to be at their best to carry any threat, and we finished with no shots. Really poor.

Subs:
Mousset 5
- He sort of “pressed” when he came on, won a few headers. Was gifted the ball near the City box, farted around for a few seconds and lost it with a whimper. Desperately poor.

Rico 5 - Injected a bit of spice into the last 10 minutes, pressed the defence quite effectively but not great on the ball.

Ibe 5 - Don’t remember him doing anything other than a decent run that ended in a goal kick. Still more of a threat than Fraser.


The main problem I had with the setup, was that I think EH should have started another attacker over Daniels and pushed Smith back to LB, but that’s it really. The defensive performance was almost faultless.

There was never enough there in attack for us to do anything at all though- and the stats prove this. The only attackers we had on the pitch were a possibly not fit Brooks, Fraser and King. The latter two were frankly awful.

If we employ the same tactics, but with Wilson + King up top, a competent Fraser, Lerma, and prime Brooks, then there’s something too it. Ultimately what we got was a valiantly adherent display to a game plan that was slightly off and a little bit embarrassing at times, given the stats. I didn’t hate it, I didn’t love it, and I’m glad it’s over :grinning:. Time to bully Huddersfield.
 

Neil Dawson

Fans' Favourite
#69
You're welcome to your stats - I just watch the games and make my mind up based on the performance. Like I've said I've not seen anyone who was at Arsenal who thought EH got it wrong - even you seem to suggest he got it right.

I watched Newcastle beat them and they got decisions in their favour in the final third, they were able to take a chance (because they had their first choice strike force) and then City lost their way a bit. Unfortunately City were bang on it yesterday yet even then they weren't able to take the game away from us.

Against us City were brilliant (funny how you're happy to accept what opposition managers and pundits say when it supports your view btw) and Chelsea weren't.
Fair enough, leave the stats out of it. One team tried to win the game yesterday and one didn’t.

I totally understand why we did it and as I have said in my match Report and since it was the correct thing to do in the circumstances post Arsenal. So we are in total agreement SDD.

What I can’t accept though is people saying we have found an effective plan b. I can’t believe anyone would want to see that again.
 

DJ

Moderator
#70
As post above. We struggled to catch them on the break like Chelsea not because they were brilliant but because we played very differently to we did v Chelsea.

No side in stats history has had 17.5% possession at home...including Newcastle who beat City this year playing the way we did yesterday.
No but Burnley beat Liverpool 2-0 a couple of years back with less than 20% possession.
 

SlowDownDerek

Fans' Favourite
#71
Fair enough, leave the stats out of it. One team tried to win the game yesterday and one didn’t.

I totally understand why we did it and as I have said in my match Report and since it was the correct thing to do in the circumstances post Arsenal. So we are in total agreement SDD.

What I can’t accept though is people saying we have found an effective plan b. I can’t believe anyone would want to see that again.
No maybe not a plan b but I for one was happy to treat the game as a training ground defensive workout against the world's best players and in my view we came out of it unscathed. We had kids in there and they passed with flying colours.

The Arsenal performance was the disgraceful embarrassment not this one. I've seen AFCB get spanked many times on the road but none as bad as that, where 5-1 flattered us. Credit to Howe and the players for putting it behind them. Now to prove they can perform on the road and take three points at Huddersfield.
 
#72
From the walls of Vitals Towers : -

If a consensus on a thread looks unlikely, break glass and use emergency statement A.

"Yeah but if we had a decent goalkeeping coach, goalkeeper X would have saved it and we would have had at least a point"

Ps do not use on "non" threads, it cannot cure Brexit splits : )
 

AFCBade

Fans' Favourite
#74
Fair enough, leave the stats out of it. One team tried to win the game yesterday and one didn’t.

I totally understand why we did it and as I have said in my match Report and since it was the correct thing to do in the circumstances post Arsenal. So we are in total agreement SDD.

What I can’t accept though is people saying we have found an effective plan b. I can’t believe anyone would want to see that again.
I think I both teams wanted to win but one had the means to do so and one didn’t. I think Eddie’s Tactic was to hold them and look for a counter attack to win but it didn’t work for a few reasons, one of which was how good city were.
 
#75
I dont want to see that system again this season, given the fixtures we have remaining. And I doubt we will.

But come Man City next season? Hypothetically upgraded with Lerma or L.Cook in the midfield for better ball retention/counter attack release, and Wilson for better hold up play - absolutely fine by me.
One thing that I kept thinking during the game was "Man! If only we had Callum Wilson fit this could actually work!"
 
#76
I think Saturday's game was for the purists, who love the skill and beauty of our lovely game.

I thoroughly enjoyed admiring the skill of every Man City player who had instant control of the ball, however it came to them. Loved watching how City players off the ball, kept running into spaces and how the player on the ball knew exactly where his team mate would be to weight his pass perfectly.

I loved watching the discipline and determination of our players to counter everything City could throw at us to try and break us down.

I wouldn’t want to watch this type of game every week, but as a one-off, I was thoroughly entertained.
 

Neil Dawson

Fans' Favourite
#77
I think Saturday's game was for the purists, who love the skill and beauty of our lovely game.

I thoroughly enjoyed admiring the skill of every Man City player who had instant control of the ball, however it came to them. Loved watching how City players off the ball, kept running into spaces and how the player on the ball knew exactly where his team mate would be to weight his pass perfectly.

I loved watching the discipline and determination of our players to counter everything City could throw at us to try and break us down.

I wouldn’t want to watch this type of game every week, but as a one-off, I was thoroughly entertained.

That’s a fair comment. Nobody can tell people what to enjoy or not...else I wouldn’t let anyone enjoy Country and Western music.:) Or Milli Vanilli.

Personally I like to see us attack in every game we play, although understand there will be games where this is more reserved than others and would rather see us have a good go at City and lose 4-1 than that on Saturday.

I respect what others like to see though. Each to their own!
 

AFCBade

Fans' Favourite
#78
That’s a fair comment. Nobody can tell people what to enjoy or not...else I wouldn’t let anyone enjoy Country and Western music.:) Or Milli Vanilli.

Personally I like to see us attack in every game we play, although understand there will be games where this is more reserved than others and would rather see us have a good go at City and lose 4-1 than that on Saturday.

I respect what others like to see though. Each to their own!
Did you go to Arsenal Neil? I normally share your view but Wednesday but was awful. Really terrible. I didn’t want another repeat of that.
 
#79
Who cares about the stats? We played well but struggled to catch them on the break like we were able to do against Chelsea.. because City were brilliant. Even then we still managed to keep in the game all the way until the end.

It was the right set up and tactics - we did one part right (pretty much) yet weren't able to execute the second part of the plan well enough. Do the same against spurs and we could turn them over.
Exactly. Some people here seem to be implying that we set up to draw 0-0 when we were obviously set up to keep the score down and maybe get a decisive goal with a rapid counterattack. On paper, with Fraser and King we had the players to do that. Nothing wrong with that plan against a team of such quality, giving it all to try to win the title. The fact that we had no shots on goal was more to do with how hard City worked to break up every counterattack before it really got going. That and a few poor first touches and an over-eagerness to get forward quickly when we had a chance which often resulted in an immediate loss of possession.
Pep obviously realised how hard his team worked for that win and part of that was pressing us as soon as they lost the ball to get it straight back. We lacked a bit of calmness and quality in those moments when we had the ball but if we play a similar system more often ( and with our more creative players back fit ) I could see us winning games that way ( used sparingly and against the teams where it is our best chance of keeping the game alive for as long as possible, obviously ).

Like you I think it could work well against Spurs and I'd like to see us do something similar again.
If our attacking players can keep their cool when they get the ball and they get some support when we turn possession over it could be very effective. Not many teams will have the energy and motivation that City had on Saturday. I think we'd still be able to create enough chances to win the game despite a predominantly defensive setup.

I understand that many don't like to see us parking the bus but I don't think we did it because we were desperate for a 0-0 ( like many teams have done in the past ). It seems to me that the plan was to hit them on the counter, like we did to Chelsea, but for various reasons on the day our counterattacks were ineffective. Some credit for that goes to City for their high energy pressing and unfortunately Fraser and King didn't have their best day.

If nothing else I'm sure Eddie will have learnt something about his squad on Saturday and I think it's good to have this option in our quiver, should we need it. Also as already mentioned, we needed a bit of confidence going into the final games of the season, so avoiding another thrashing was psychologically important.
 
#80
Good analysis gazzy.
Pep's comments about that being the best they have ever played was a compliment to both teams in my view and not just flannel. He was obviously concerned about our counter attacking threat and was delighted with the way his players stopped us doing it as you mention.
It was interesting to compare those comments with what he said after the Schalke game where he was hinting that just being great at attacking and never giving up are not the only things that top teams need to do to become the best.