Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Manchester City 2 - 1 West Ham: Thoughts and Ratings

By Aaron Leggott

My thoughts

Superb goals from Sergio Aguero and Yaya Toure gave us a comfortable 2-1 victory on Saturday against West Ham and in truth, we were rarely tested throughout the 90 minutes.

The first half started as I expected, with City having the majority of the ball - whilst West Ham seemingly employed a formation of damage limitation. Their season is all but over and Sam Allardyce knows that his team were extremely unlikely of getting a result, so why didn't they just go for it?

Obviously against the Blues you need to find a sensible formation which allows you to attack and defend otherwise we'd just rip you on the counter attack - but the Hammers just sat back and let us play, which I think is the worst thing you can do.

Carlos Tevez in action against his former club. See what rating I gave him below.
Official MCFC Facebook

Just look at the teams who have given us problems this season. Dortmund, Southampton, Liverpool - all three employed a system of high pressure and quick counter attacking football, and it worked. 
Allardyce realised this was the way to play and to an extent, their second half performance reminded me of how Wigan pushed us 10 days earlier, albeit through different ways of playing. The Latics, for example, used swift passing and quick movement to try and get the ball through our defence. It worked to an extent, but they never really tested Joe Hart enough to cause problems and get a result.

West Ham were similar in that they troubled City, but never really created any chances before their injury time consolation. In honesty, I can only remember two clear chances they had; Mohamed Diame with a low struck effort in the first half, and James Collins hitting a shot just wide after the break.

Joleon Lescott was drafted in to deal with the aerial threat of Andy Carroll and he performed well. I hope Roberto Mancini keeps him, mainly down to the fact that he is a solid player against these type of strikers. 

An interesting stat I came across the other day was that Lescott has never lost a Premier League game at the Etihad Stadium; winning 40 and drawing nine. What an absolutely impressive stat that is. I think it proves why Mancini should seriously look at keeping him - even as a back up. I think we all know that Nastasic is well on his way to becoming one of the world's best centre backs and the world is starting to notice the young Serbian (finally). 

Anyway, the win against the Hammers was brilliant preparation for the FA Cup final and I hope that our next two fixtures against Swansea City and West Brom provide similar outcomes to take us into the best form possible for the biggest game this season.

Player ratings

HART: Was rarely tested during the game and despite his glaring error for the consolation goal I think his back injury can be blamed for that mistake. 

TSBV rating: 6/10

ZABALETA: Dealt with the threat of Jarvis well throughout the game and rarely put a foot wrong, another solid display. 

TSBV rating: 7/10

KOMPANY: A typical display by the Belgian and like Zabaleta, who never put a foot wrong. Dealt with the aerial threat posed by West Ham very well 

TSBV rating: 7/10

LESCOTT: Was seemingly brought in to deal with the threat that Carroll brings and apart from the goal, Carroll rarely got a sniff. 

TSBV rating: 7/10

CLICHY: I bet if I told you all that Ricardo Vaz Te played on Saturday, half of you watching wouldn't have realised. Clichy was solid and Vaz Te couldn't get into the game at all.

TSBV rating: 7/10

BARRY: Solid first half but there was a period during the second half where he couldn't keep the ball and seemed incapable of finding a blue shirt to pass to. He'll have better days at the office. 

TSBV rating: 6/10

YAYA TOURE: Played in a deeper role than what most would like but his influence was still there for all to see. He dealt with Nolan well throughout the game and wrapped his performance off with an curling effort from 20 yards. 

TSBV rating: 8/10

NASRI: Samir would definitely be my Player of the Month for April. Ever since Mancini gave him some "gentle" encouragement after the win at home to Newcastle, he has been on fire and this is proven with scoring two in his last four. We are starting to see the best of Nasri and he was a massive influence in this game - topped with assisting Aguero for the first goal to finish off a wonderful move. 

TSBV rating: 9/10

SILVA: Could tell he wasn't 100% match fit but his passing and movement caused problems all afternoon for the Hammers. He will be key for the FA Cup final!

TSBV rating: 7/10

AGUERO: Was unlucky not to grab a goal early in the game after hitting the post but scored his first not long after. He is an absolute nightmare for defenders and just seems to always be in the right place at the right time. Hopefully will avoid injury next season as he is absolutely key to any title hopes we hold next season. 

TSBV rating: 8/10

TEVEZ: Wasn't too clinical in front of goal but it was a typical hard working performance from the Argentinian. Helped to keep City's attacks flowing with some swift passing and quick movement against his former team. 

TSBV rating: 7/10


MILNER: Came on for David Silva in the 78th minute to help steady the ship and provided a threat going forward whilst also helping to protect the back line. 

TSBV rating: 6/10

GARCIA: Replaced Tevez in the 83rd minute but never really had time to influence proceedings. 

No rating

KOLO TOURE: Came on a few minutes after Garcia as he replaced Barry but wasn't really to blame for Carroll's goal and didn't have time to influence the game sufficiently. 

No rating

Note: All pictures above from MCFC Official Facebook page

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(c) The Sky Blue View 2013

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