Friday, 25 October 2013

CSKA Moscow 1 - 2 Manchester City: Thoughts and Ratings

By Adam Bailey

My thoughts

In truth, I anticipated a rugged encounter in Moscow, but to my absolute delight, it turned out to be a relatively straightforward victory for the blues. The pitch was in terrible nick and the paint job only amplified the shoddiness of CSKA’s match preparation. As for the racist chants, well, it just shows you which countries are still insistent on living in the dark ages.

Photo: Official MCFC Facebook

Freezing conditions and an intimidating foreign crowd usually carry bad omens for City, but we dominated from the off. David Silva’s return to the team has ensured a return our normal style of play and unsurprisingly, the Spaniard bossed the midfield once again on Wednesday night. Fernandinho capitalised on his impressive display against West Ham last weekend and his effortless composure on the ball made City look like magicians on a beachy playing surface.

Sergio Agüero has evidently returned to his best and staying away from his parasitical injury troubles will only benefit the team. His second consecutive brace took him to 9 goals for the season and I can only see the Argentine adding to his sparkling tally. Defensively, we still have work to do. The back line had moderate trouble with a number of CSKA counter attacks but respect has to be given to the central partnership of Matija Nastasić and Javi Garcia considering they rarely line up together.

It was a crucial three points which makes us favourites to emerge from the group stages. It’s been a long time coming, but I think we’re finally ready to tackle some of Europe’s big boys in the latter rounds.

Player ratings

HART: Made a number of crucial stops to keep out the home side, especially his exquisite block to keep out Keisuke Honda in the 90th minute.

TSBV rating: 8/10

ZABALETA: A typical Zabaleta performance. Up and down the pitch like a gazelle but could have done better positionally for Tošić's opener.

TSBV rating: 7/10

GARCIA: Doumbia's pace troubled the Spaniard and he was at fault for CSKA's goal. However, as the game progressed he relaxed and looked steady.

TSBV rating: 6/10

NASTASIC: In Kompany's absence, he is the main man in the centre of defence and he disposed of Doumbia's threat with ease.

TSBV rating: 7/10

KOLAROV: He's getting better defensively and provided City with an attacking threat down the left flank.

TSBV rating: 7/10

FERNANDINHO: Cool, calm and classy. Passing and vision was unaffected by rough surfaces.

TSBV rating: 7/10

YAYA TOURE: Most of City's play went through the Ivorian although he was fairly quiet.

TSBV rating: 7/10

NAVAS: Defensive abilities were on show alongside his frightening pace. Troubled CSKA's back line throughout and put in a number of dangerous crosses.

TSBV rating: 7/10

SILVA: Brilliant yet again. Assisted Agüero's second and tested Akinfeev with a curling free kick.

TSBV rating: 8/10

 He's an intelligent player and he showed that intelligence yet again with a clever assist for Agüero's second. Unlucky not to score.

TSBV rating: 7/10

AGUERO: Another two goals for the Argentine who can't stop scoring. His bravery for the second was commendable and his passion for the team is a joy to see. 

TSBV rating: 8/10


DZEKO: Passed up a number of opportunities to add to City’s lead but the pitch may have been to blame in a few squandered chances.

TSBV rating: 5/10

NASRI: Wasn’t able to affect the game in such a short amount of time.

TSBV rating: 5/10

CLICHY: No time to make a mark.

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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