Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Cardiff City 3 - 2 Manchester City: Thoughts and Ratings

By Archie Barnett

My thoughts

I think it's fair to say that despite losing to newly promoted Cardiff on Sunday, Manuel Pellegrini's team didn't necessarily play that badly. 

Of course, it is never encouraging when you get beaten by a much weaker side, but on the day we were just beaten by a more determined side and it was clear that they wanted the victory more than City did - sometimes these kind of results happen in football.

A bad day at the office defensively.
Photo: Official MCFC Facebook

The one thing which frustrated me with Sunday's performance in the Welsh capital was the way that Pellegrini's defence co-ordinated themselves. With injuries to Vincent Kompany and Micah Richards, as well as a clearly unfit Matija Nastasic - Pellegrini opted with Joleon Lescott and Javi Garcia as his centre back pairing.

The defence just looked completely lacklustre with Kompany holding it all together at the back, and although I don't want to single out any individuals, they looked lost and unorganised without the Belgian there. Once again, our main problem seems to be defending set pieces, and on Sunday it was through corners, with the players perhaps marking the wrong individuals.

The motivation just didn't seem to be there at all, and they need to come back stronger, more determined and use a plan B if nothing seems to be working. It was clear that Cardiff's game plan was to sit back and contain every attack, and we just didn't have an answer for it. Improvement is needed for this weekend's game at Hull.

Player ratings

HART: Had a fairly easy first half, making a good save from a Frazier Campbell however was partly at blame for the second Cardiff goal – letting down his performance. 

TSBV Rating: 5/10

ZABALETA: Didn’t have a game that you can usually rely on Pablo to have. Never did anything special throughout the game, and suffered an awful second half. Was partly to blame for both of Campbell’s goals – through bad marking from corners. 

TSBV Rating: 3/10

GARCIA: A position all City fans do not want to see Garcia in. Didn’t look comfortable at all, and was given the run around by Campbell – who used his pace to get behind the Spanish midfielder.

TSBV Rating: 5/10

LESCOTT: Caught in possession on a couple of occasions, didn’t look particularly comfortable at the back and didn’t have a great game. 

TSBV Rating: 5/10

CLICHY: Didn’t put a challenge in on Kim Bo-Kyung which eventually led to the equaliser for Cardiff. Didn’t really do much, and like I say was predominantly at fault for a lack of closing down.

TSBV Rating: 4/10

NAVAS: Seemed to be surrounded by around three Cardiff shirts whenever he got the ball. Obviously his Newcastle performance hadn’t gone unnoticed, and therefore he was kept out of the game – making him fairly ineffective.

TSBV Rating: 6/10

FERNANDINHO: A fairly average performance from the Brazilian, giving away unnecessary fouls and his touch was poor throughout.

TSBV Rating: 5/10

TOURE: Didn’t really have much involvement, helped start the move that led to Dzeko’s opener however other than that he didn’t do anything to make himself stand out.

TSBV Rating: 5/10

SILVA: Tried and failed on a few occasions to break down the Cardiff defence, however a sufficient amount of homework from the Bluebirds meant that his balls didn’t make it through. However, a good ball to Negredo recovered an otherwise lacklustre performance.

TSBV Rating: 6/10

DZEKO: Marked out of the game by the Cardiff City defence, with not much coming to the Bosnian up top. However, he was able to produce a thunderous strike just after half time before coming off.

TSBV Rating: 6/10

AGUERO: Didn’t really do much within the first half, a nice flick to Dzeko got him an assist, however didn’t really do much other than that. 

TSBV Rating: 5/10


NASRI: Replaced Navas after 55 minutes but didn't really do much to help City back into the game. Whilst there were no glaring errors, he needs to start looking to get the ball forward as quickly as possible if he wants a starting place in this team.

TSBV Rating: 5/10

NEGREDO: Came on for Dzeko with 20 minutes to play and looked sharp. Took his goal well.

TSBV Rating: 7/10

MILNER: Fernandinho had a poor game but Milner didn't really play much better. Little time to make much impact after coming on in the 77th minute.

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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