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Season 2013/14

Papers dissect Cardiff defeat

  • 26 August 2013 09:26
  • Posted by @porter_mcfc

It may be August rather than April, but you can still find plenty of doom and gloom around this morning.

Following yesterday’s 3-2 loss against Cardiff, today’s City headlines focus on finding an explanation for an unexpected defeat in South Wales.

You can read David Clayton’s official take on the game here.

We begin with the Guardian’s Stuart James, who writes: “The fluidity and freedom that characterised their 4-0 win over Newcastle on Monday night was missing against a Cardiff side that worked tirelessly and got their tactics spot on.

“Mackay crowded the centre of the pitch with players when City had the ball, denying opponents that play narrow and with little natural width the chance to cut through them.”

Manuel Pellegrini believed his team’s defending was at fault, and Rob Dawson devoted column inches in the Manchester Evening News to the same issue.

He notes: “City struggled on their visits to promoted teams last year, drawing a blank at West Ham and losing to Southampton.

“But in the build-up to his first away game in England, manager Manuel Pellegrini insisted he would send his players out to do the same job they did against Newcastle at home - create chances and score goals.

“And he backed it up with his team sheet, again picking two strikers, Dzeko and Sergio Aguero, with Yaya Toure and Fernandinho in midfield. 

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“But Kompany's replacement, Javi Garcia, was under pressure inside the first 10 seconds, first heading away under pressure from Campbell then clearing Craig Bellamy's cross.

“Bellamy is still popular among City fans, but the ones tucked in the corner of the Cardiff City Stadium would have been nervous at how easily he went past David Silva and then Gael Clichy.”

Finally, the Telegraph’s Henry Winter preferred to concentrate on an excellent performance from the Cardiff players rather than searching for a scapegoat in sky blue.

“That collective hunger was seen in the way Mackay’s players set about Manchester City with particularly outstanding contributions coming from Gunnarsson, who was tireless in midfield at disrupting and creating, from the line-leading, two-goal Campbell and from the tall sentries Steven Caulker and Ben Turner,” he reports.  

“In truth, all of Mackay’s players deserve praise, and none left the field with shirts unstained by sweat. Craig Bellamy kept running. Gary Medel kept tackling and clearing.

“There was a tactical discipline about Mackay’s side, who defended deep which restricted Jesus Navas’ ability to get behind them. Cardiff kept showing Manuel Pellegrini’s wide players inside, into an ambush formed by Gunnarsson and Medel.”

You can read Manuel Pellegrini’s post-match thoughts here.

It's definitely worth remembering that the season is only two games old, and there are sure to be plenty of twists and turns ahead!

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