Thursday, 19 September 2013

Viktoria Plzeň 0 - 3 Manchester City: Thoughts and Ratings

By Aaron Leggott

My thoughts

I'll be honest with you all - after last weekend's rather abject performance against Stoke City, I was starting to wonder how long it'd take for Manuel Pellegrini to bed in and implement his ideas properly. 

I was also worried about the forthcoming week, which saw us play the Czech champions and of course, United on Sunday.

But, the players put in a truly brilliant European performance and put themselves in a strong position to build upon that result, and in turn qualify for the knockout phases in the new year. 

I was particularly impressed with Samir Nasri. After some recently deserved criticism, he bounced back against Plzeň and delivered what we all came to expect of the Frenchman when he joined for £25 million in 2011.

Photo: Official MCFC Facebook

Many will argue that he was only playing a side way below our quality, but nonetheless, he proved to us that not only does he have the strength, but also the agility to weave past defences - a trait often on show on Tuesday night.

In truth, there wasn't any bad performances from our whole team. Perhaps Edin Džeko could have had taken a few of his chances better, but I felt he led the line brilliantly and unlike many of his critics, I didn't see much wrong in his performance.

Of course, United also won on Tuesday, beating Leverkusen 4-2 at Old Trafford. After watching the highlights, I think there defence looks very shaky at the moment, and if we can defend properly ourselves on Sunday, we could very well be (hopefully) leaving the Etihad with all three points!

Player ratings

HART: Solid game and wasn't really called into action apart from reacting well to Kompany's poor back pass in the first half.

TSBV rating: 7/10

ZABALETA: Like Hart, he rarely did anything wrong and was there to deflect Kovařík's shot in the second half. 

TSBV rating: 6/10

KOMPANY: You can tell his presence alone makes the defence look more secure and he delivered a solid performance at the heart of the backline. 

TSBV rating: 8/10

NASTASIC: He looks more at ease when alongside Kompany and also played well, comfortable performance.

TSBV rating: 7/10

KOLAROV: A lot of criticism has come his way recently but I felt he played well. Made good use of the left hand side of the pitch and often caused their full back's problems 

TSBV rating: 7/10

YAYA TOURE: This was a performance that summed up how crucial he is to City. Controlled the midfield all game and his goal was just incredible - the Plzeň players couldn't get close to him all game. 

TSBV rating: 9/10

FERNANDINHO: You get the feeling he's still trying to settle in alongside Yaya in midfield, but played well.

TSBV rating: 7/10

NAVAS: He still seems to want to drift inside on far too many occasions when he has the ability to cause damage on the wings. Was unlucky not to grab his first City goal 

TSBV rating: 6/10

NASRI: One of his best performances in a blue shirt and my MoTM. Looked strong all game and wanted to be involved in the play as much as possible. More of the same from now on please Samir!

TSBV rating: 9/10

AGUERO: Like Toure, this was a game which summed up Aguero's abilities. He just seems to breed enthusiasm and it rubs off on all his teammates. Looked sharp and finished the game with one goal and one assist.

TSBV rating: 8/10

DZEKO: Squandered a few glorious chances but kept his composure to put City ahead and ease any worries on the bench.

TSBV rating: 7/10


MILNER: Replaced Navas on 67 minutes and delivered his usual energetic performance. 

TSBV rating: 6/10

GARCIA: Came on to give Toure a break ahead of Sunday and didn't have much to do.

TSBV rating: 6/10

NEGREDO: Replaced Dzeko with ten minutes to play but the game was already won and had little influence.

TSBV rating: 6/10

Note: All pictures above from MCFC Official Facebook page

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(c) The Sky Blue View 2013

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