SkySports: City have many different ways to hurt teams
- 08 May 2014 07:54
- Posted by @roline_mcfc
As I've said before, compiling the media round-up the day after a victory is always pleasant work. Today, it's simply wonderful.
Following City's 4-0 thrashing of Aston Villa last night, the Blues are now on the brink of securing their second Premier League title in three years and (for once) the press are full of praise for Manuel Pellegrini and his side.
Adam Bate of SkySports.com is perhaps the most complimentary, analysing City's performance before concluding the reason the Blues are enjoying success is due to the number of attacking options available to them.
He declares: "After all the talk about Liverpool and their free-flowing football, it was Manchester City that became the first team to score 100 goals in this season’s Premier League.
"They achieved the feat conceding 12 goals fewer than the Reds as well. After watching Manuel Pellegrini’s side score four second-half goals to put away Aston Villa and move towards a second title in three years, the conclusion is clear – City just have too many weapons with which to hurt their opponents.
"Star striker Sergio Aguero was unavailable for Wednesday night’s game through injury. But then the brilliant Argentine has not completed 90 minutes for his club in five months now. It hasn’t stopped City yet, although Aston Villa did prove to be surprisingly stubborn opponents at the Etihad Stadium.
"While Pablo Zabaleta provided the supply from the flank, it is worth noting that the penetration came from David Silva. The City playmaker has that ability to unlock a congested defence and the weight of pass on his delivery behind the Villa back-line for Zabaleta to race onto was perfect. He has so often been the architect for his side and it is revealing that City’s points-per-game record is 2.00 without him this season but 2.36 when Silva starts.
"Yaya Toure made the fewest number of high-intensity runs of any outfield starter on either side. He produced one in injury time though. He almost had to be coaxed into it too, glancing left and right before the realisation came that he should take it on himself – storming beyond the Villa defence to blast home a fourth.
"It was a superb goal that took Toure to the 20 mark for the Premier League season and made it a century of goals for his team. It is only the 11th day of the campaign that City find themselves top of the table, but it now seems inevitable that they’ll be there when the final whistle blows on Sunday… After all, Manchester City have just got too many different ways to hurt teams."
Well, as they say, variety is the spice of life and all that...
Moving on and over the last few weeks, there has been a lot said of the similarities this season shares with the Blues' previous title-winning campaign. According to the Manchester Evening News though, last night's two-goal hero Edin Dzeko would very much like to avoid a repeat of the final day drama of 2012.
"Dzeko scored City's crucial second goal against QPR on the final day in 2012 before Sergio Aguero's last-minute winner clinched the title," recalls Rob Dawson.
"But after scoring twice during the 4-0 win over Aston Villa on Wednesday night, the Bosnian striker admitted he could do without the drama - as long as City, who only need a point against West Ham, have already got the title wrapped up."
Dzeko is quoted in the article, stating: "Everything is possible. We experienced two years ago when everyone thought we would win easy against QPR.
"What happened happened. Now we will go in the game [against West Ham] differently and try to finish it early.
"We have to concentrate. We did our job today. It was tough, a hard game. Now we rest and take it more than seriously in the last game.
"We will do our best and I want to thank the fans. I hope they will be as good as today on Sunday."
I'm sure they will be, Edin. Here's hoping the same for you!
And finally, it's no surprise there's a lot of love out there for the pièce de résistance of last night's victory - Yaya Toure's incredible solo goal.
Oliver Holt of the Mirror is particularly appreciative, raving: "There are few finer sights in the Premier League than Toure in full flow. He is speed and grace and power personified. He ran and he ran and the Villa defenders could not get near him. He outstripped them all.
"When keeper Brad Guzan came out to meet him, Toure stroked the ball past him into the back of the net. It was City’s 100th league goal of the season and there could have been no finer way to reach the landmark."
101greatgoals.com also seemed to enjoy it, announcing: "The Yaya Toure Steam Engine arrived at the Aston Villa platform right on time this evening, as the Ivorian powerhouse burst through the Villa defence to score one of the goals of the season.
"Toure picked the ball up on the centre-circle, and with plenty of grass in front, charged his way down the pitch, composing himself to stroke past the keeper. In the 93rd minute!"
Pure poetry! By the way, you can watch all the goals from last night's game here.
That's all for today, folks. Check back to mcfc.co.uk at the same time tomorrow for another round-up of City-related stories in the media!