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. 

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Match Reflection: Manchester City 2 - 1 West Ham

Superb Yaya Toure goal secures three points

By Aaron Leggott

Despite it being almost a whole calendar year since we beat Queens Park Rangers in the final game of last season, the team named by Roberto Mancini to play West Ham was identical to the XI that won the title in dramatic fashion.

Think of this what you will, but it is a bold statement from the Italian to show just how little we strengthened last summer and despite the capture of teenage sensation Matija Nastasic - a lot of the purchases by the club were clearly inadequate for a successful title challenge.

Yaya Toure celebrates scoring City's second goal against West Ham
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However, this City team, who have only dropped seven points at the Etihad Stadium this season, produced a performance similar to those deserving of them becoming league champions last season.

Friday, 26 April 2013

Match Preview: Manchester City vs West Ham

Emotional day ahead as Foe set to be remembered

By Aaron Leggott

With the Premier League title race being wrapped up on Monday night, this game doesn't really have anything hanging on the line with West Ham having comfortably consolidated themselves as a Premier League club thanks to some good form in the past few weeks - whilst the hosts have second place all but secured.

However, perhaps the stand out moment tomorrow will be the remembrance of Marc Vivien Foe, who tragically passed away 10 years ago. The campaign was started from a City fan on Twitter and he is set to be properly remembered as both a wonderful person and an asset when he played for both City and West Ham.

A truly brilliant person and footballer. We will all remember him tomorrow. RIP Marc
Official MCFC Facebook

The Hammers have recently grabbed a point at Anfield as well as holding Manchester United to a draw at Upton Park to complete a run of five unbeaten games which has topped off a good few months for the club as they successfully won the battle to the call the Olympic Stadium their home from the start of the 2016/17 season.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Tottenham 3 - 1 Manchester City: Thoughts and Ratings

By Aaron Leggott

My thoughts

It was probably a good idea to leave this post to today because I was extremely frustrated at some individuals yesterday following the defeat.

I shall not name anybody but I was extremely disappointed to see some of the overreactions from Manchester City fans. Of course, everybody is allowed their opinion but when I am seeing people who are supposedly willing to create "hate societies" for certain members of our squad then I am incredibly bemused.

One person who was targetted specifically yesterday was a certain Bosnian named Edin Dzeko. Now, let me get this straight - I am not his biggest fan at all. In fact, I have been one of his biggest critics this season for his inability to win headers consistently.

Carlos Tevez was my City MoTM, click "Read More" underneath to see why
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Match Reflection: Tottenham 3 - 1 Manchester City

Tottenham comeback all but ends title race

By Aaron Leggott

Three goals in seven minutes from Tottenham Hotspur all but ended City's league campaign for this season as Spurs strengthened their Champions League hopes with an emphatic win against the Champions. 

Manchester United can secure their 20th league title with a win at home to relegation candidates Aston Villa tonight and it is a disappointing way to concede defeat to our rivals with five games yet to play.

City, who were without both Sergio Aguero and David Silva through hamstring injuries, started off the better side and took the lead inside the first five minutes thanks to a Samir Nasri goal.

Samir Nasri opens the scoring
Official MCFC Facebook

The Frenchman finished off a brilliant counter attacking move originating from the individual brilliance of Carlos Tevez, as he wriggled away from Jan Vertonghen before finding James Milner with a reverse pass as the English winger's cross found Nasri unmarked. 

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Match Preview: Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester City

City travel to London in hope of securing second place

By Aaron Leggott

Manchester City travel to North London for the second consecutive weekend - but this time it is Premier League duty for the English Champions as Tottenham entertain the Blues at White Hart Lane.

Attacking duo David Silva and Sergio Aguero are expected to miss the game through hamstring injuries whilst Spurs will be handed with a big boost with Gareth Bale, Aaron Lennon and Jermain Defoe all set to feature after recovering from injuries.

Edin Dzeko celebrates after scoring the winner against Tottenham last November.
Official MCFC Facebook

City come into the game as arguably the league's form team after eight wins in their last nine games and they will be hoping to grab another victory to reduce the gap at the top to 10 points for at least 24 hours.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Manchester City 1 - 0 Wigan: Thoughts and Ratings

By Aaron Leggott

My thoughts

We were far from our best yesterday and I think we were extremely fortunate to finish the game with a win. Wigan really impressed me last night and Roberto Martinez has proven that if used correctly the 3-5-2 formation is one of the best in the business.

In truth, as soon as I saw the starting line-up I was sceptical as to how easy this game was going to be. With Javi Garcia and Gareth Barry playing in holding midfield roles, I knew that we were going to be run over by Jordi Gomez, James McCarthy and Shaun Maloney and I was proven right.

Edin Dzeko tussles with the Wigan defence
Photo: Official MCFC Facebook

I don't know why Mancini persists with picking Barry and Garcia in the same team because it just doesn't work. They are both too slow and you need some pace and energy, especially against a team like Wigan. For this reason, I'd have started James Milner alongside either Barry or Garcia.

Match Reflection: Manchester City 1 - 0 Wigan

City scrape past Wigan despite unconvincing performance

By Aaron Leggott

Game winner Carlos Tevez in action against Wigan
Photo: Official MCFC Facebook

A superb solo goal from Carlos Tevez ensured City grabbed their eighth win in nine and continued their impressive run against Wigan in recent years.

The Blues have now won seven games in a row without conceding, but this performance was probably the most unconvincing yet and the visitors will be wondering how they left the Etihad empty handed.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Match Preview: Manchester City vs Wigan

Dress rehearsal as Wigan take on the Champions

By Aaron Leggott

Following both teams FA Cup semi final victories at the weekend, Manchester City and Wigan face each other in different circumstances in the Premier League. 

Many have dubbed this game as a dress rehearsal for the FA Cup final on May 11, but those involved with both parties will put a lot more value upon this League clash. 

Aguero grabs the eventual winner in the FA Cup semi final
Official MCFC Facebook

City can further solidify their place in second whilst Wigan are still fighting for survival as they currently sit three points away from safety in 18th. 

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Match Preview: Manchester City vs Chelsea

Wembley awaits as City and Chelsea clash in FA Cup semi final

By Aaron Leggott

Two managers come up against one another with a heap of media pressure on their shoulders. Perhaps this game could either make or break Roberto Mancini's and Rafa Benitez's season. 

Of course, the circumstances surrounding the two managers couldn't be any different. Mancini, for example, has a future to fight for at City - with some commenting that tomorrow could be his final chance. 

Under pressure? Mancini doesn't look like he's feeling the heat
Official MCFC Facebook

Benitez on the other hand knows of his future at Chelsea and it isn't one that will last long. The Spaniard has even admitted that he will be out of the door come May but you can imagine that he would love to silence his critics and deliver a trophy back to Stamford Bridge.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Manchester Utd 1 - 2 Manchester City: Thoughts and Ratings

My thoughts

This performance reminded me of the City of last season. It was a committed and determined performance from the team and you could tell that they wanted this more than United. 

I was surprised at Ferguson's selection before the match as he opted with a midfield of Ryan Giggs, Michael Carrick and Ashley Young. He once again picked the wrong team for a big match and this was where the game was won on Monday. You'd have thought that United would have wanted to extend their gap to 18 points but they were just lethargic.

Their fans will argue that the league is all wrapped up now (which it probably is) but if the tables were turned and City put in a performance like that despite being 15 points ahead - I'd be extremely disappointed.

Match Reflection: Manchester United 1 - 2 Manchester City

"Aguerno?" Sergio silences Old Trafford crowd with superb winner

By Aaron Leggott

Magic - one of the many superlatives appropriate for the goal that closed the gap at the top of the Premier League to 12 points on Monday night.

David Silva, nicknamed Merlin, is more commonly seen by City fans as the magician in the team but Sergio Aguero's winner at Old Trafford created parallels to the goal which carved his name into the record books last May.

Agueeroooooooo: Sergio grabs the winner against United
MCFC Facebook page

In terms of significance, the goals' were polar opposites - but Aguero's sudden turn of pace had Phil Jones and co. scrambling, just like against QPR. 

Perhaps it was fitting that an Argentine scored the winner on the day Margaret Thatcher died - but I'll leave that judgement to you.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Match Preview: The Manchester Derby

Can City claim some pride despite all but losing title?

By Aaron Leggott

At the start of the season, people looked at the fixture calendar and eyed this clash as one that could decide where the title would be heading in May. Fast forward eight months and those same people are probably thinking differently. 

With eight games left to play, Manchester City find themselves a huge 15 points behind their cross city rivals and all connected with the club have all but given up any hope of retaining the title.

However, there is still the small matter of a Manchester Derby to play - and everyone knows that these fixtures always mean something, especially considering how City have improved over recent years.

Last season's Old Trafford Derby clash was a good day to be a City fan!

Roberto Mancini has declared that all his players (apart from Micah Richards, Jack Rodwell and Maicon) are ready for selection, with Sergio Aguero expected to make his first start since his injury. 

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Potential summer signings: Part 2

Marouane Fellaini: No. 10 on my list (see previous post) 

Who will join the likes of Sanchez and Reus on the list?

By Aaron Leggott

Yesterday saw me pick a number of European stars in the list of potential summer targets for Roberto Mancini and his backroom team, and I will now look at the top 5 targets who I believe will be the priority in Mancini's summer shopping list.  

So here we go... read on for numbers five to one!

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Potential summer signings: Part 1

The 10 who could be wearing Manchester City blue this summer

By Aaron Leggott

To put it lightly, last summer was a huge let down in terms of strengthening our squad, and we have paid for it as United close in on their 20th league title. Here is the first part of the ten players who I think could strengthen the squad and make their way to the Etihad Stadium this summer....