Thursday, 27 October 2011

Manchester City v Wolverhampton Wanderers

City will face Wolves for the second time this week on Saturday after last night's Carling Cup game. Although it doesn't really have much bearing on Saturday's game, I can't do this pre-match review without having praise for the job the lads did last night. Mick McCarthy's men gave no less than 100% all game but City had too much for them to contain.

Yes there were some school boy errors from the 2 in the centre of defence which I suppose can be down to lack of game time together and over exuberance, maybe. Well a couple of the mistakes can be attributed to that. But as with the Demolition Derby last weekend it's the attacking players that will take the plaudits from last night.

After going 1-0 down in the 19th minute, and with Wolves having the better of the game to that point, the team didn't panic, plugged away, kept the ball and found the goal they needed to get back in the game as the clock ticked past 36 minutes. And what a sweet one it was from Adam Johnson! That was the first of 3 City goals in 3 minutes 42 seconds.

Despite AJ's contribution with a goal and an even better assist, Mancini was still right in saying there are areas where Johnson can still improve. His failure to track back for Wolve's 2nd goal was one point that Mancini pointed out.

"Sometimes [Johnson] thinks 'Okay, in this game I scored one goal, I did an assist, that is enough."

Without a shadow of a doubt, Mancini is right in saying Adam can indeed become one of the best wingers in Europe, he just has to apply himself more throughout the 90 minutes and concentrate more to fulfill his potential. Mancini is a perfectionist and he knows when a player has potential and demands that they give 100% to try and reach it.

The best goal of the night has to be City's 5th. It had the commentators comparing the style of play to Barcelona saying that if Barca had scored a goal like it then 'we'd be waxing lyrical about it' and rightly so.

An ever more impressive Abdul Razak won the ball 18 yards into his own half before putting on a sprint and playing the ball to his right to Nasri. Then followed a lovely 1-2 between Nasri and Dzeko after the Frenchman roamed into the centre outside the 18 yard box before threading a pass to Scapuzzi stood in acres of space on the left of the box. The young Italian then plays the ball back across the goal onto the foot of the oncoming Dzeko. Beautiful stuff.

I've been increasingly impressed with Razak in the centre of the park when he's had his chances so far. Last season he made his debut as a winger and there's no doubt he has good technical ability and pace. He looks fantastic in the centre though, very well disciplined and has shown some great passing and awareness.

City's young players looked quite impressive during the time they were on the pitch. Karim Rekik (16), Denis Suarez (17), Luca Scapuzzi (20) and Stefan Savic (20) are players that have joined the club this summer with Abdult Razak (18) having been at the club over a year.

However, expect none of the starting 11 to feature in the lineup on Saturday. Mancini didn't make 11 changes last night for no reason, so expect a completely different squad at the weekend. That is the scary thing now, although Wolves made 9 changes of their own and were just as physical and demanding as always, City made 11 changes and could still field a squad that scored 5 goals and consisted of no less than 9 full internationals, 1 of which is a world cup finalist.

This is no disrespect to Wolves, as I expect them to be more resolute and physical on Saturday but you've got to look at the players that didn't feature last night and think "WOW".

Of course City can't be complacent in the slightest as although Wolves currently sit 16th in the table having lost 5 of their last 6 in the league, they always give as good as they get when the whistle goes and have players that can cause you problems. The likes of Matt Jarvis, Stephen Hunt and Jamie O'Hara are players who cause problems.

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