Tuesday, 27 December 2011

No need to worry as United catch us up!

A lot has been made of United closing the gap on us in the past 24 hours, after they demolished Wigan yesterday and we dropped two vital points at the Hawthorns.

However, we have to take everything into context and realise that the last couple of months have been tough ones for City, compared to United getting the easiest run that they could ask for. We have had to pit ourselves against the likes of Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal, two of which were away from the Etihad Stadium. In all three games, we probably deserved maximum points, but lady luck was not on our side.

At Liverpool, we took the lead after dominating the first half, but a fortunate Liverpool equaliser came minutes after to steal the lead from us, after a Charlie Adam shot saw a wild deflection, giving Joe Hart no chance. Fair play to Liverpool after that, as they came at us a bit more, but another moment of controversy occurred in that game as Mario Balotelli was given a very harsh second yellow card for supposedly elbowing Martin Skrtel. Skrtel's reaction was embarrassing to say the least, and the horde of Liverpool players surrounding the referee made his decision even easier.

Then the game against Chelsea. We took the lead within the first few minutes after some awful defending from the home side, but once again, we were robbed of a vital three points as David Silva was not given a penalty after Jose Bosingwa swiped at his legs. And then to top it all off, Raul Meireles was lucky to stay on the pitch after a nasty two footed challenge on Pablo Zabaleta.

Luckily we were able to avoid any sort of controversy at home to Arsenal and grabbed a vital three points at a time when it was needed.

This article isn't meant to be a moan or a dig at referee's, but more of a case that City have been very unfortunate in a number of games that could have easily gone the other way had decisions been correctly given. But they weren't, and fair play to both Liverpool and Chelsea, who deserved to take points off us.

Compare this to our neighbours Manchester United, who have been given the kindest of festive fixtures. Games against Wolves, Queens Park Rangers, Fulham, Wigan and Blackburn have ensured United have been given the best chance possible to try and grab first spot away from us. In defence of them, you can only beat what is put in front of you, which they have done very well, keeping clean sheets and putting plenty of goals past their opposition when they have defensive problems.

However, they have yet to really go away from home to any of the "Big boys". They have played us, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham all at Old Trafford, and played the two North London sides at a time when both were struggling. If United's defensive problems persist and they are forced to carry on playing Michael Carrick at the centre of defence, then the myth that they always come out stronger in the second half of the season will be proved wrong again, and it will be just four times in nine seasons where they have done better in the second half of the season.

Luckily for us, we have played all of those teams away from home, apart from Arsenal, and with our impressive record at the Etihad Stadium for the last two seasons, I class us as very big favourites to lift our first ever Premier League trophy in May. 

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