What We Learned: Manchester City


Aguero goal secures FA Cup final berth for Mancini’s men as Rafael Benitez’s team lose for the first time in eight FA Cup matches at Wembley after being overwhelmed by their notably fresher opponents for the vast majority of the match. A match full of controversy as Chris Foy and his assistants failed to send Aguero off for the 2 footed stamp on David Luiz and didn’t give a penalty after Kompany tugged on Torres’ shirt.

Scorers :

What We Learned :

1. Torres and Ba should start together

2. Cheated (and not for the first time)

3. 4-2-2-2 should be the new formation

4. Oscar doesn’t deserve to start

5. Yaya Toure the complete midfielder

6. Mikel in a poor run of form

1. Torres and Ba should start together:

Demba Ba –  Had precious little service, with City controlling much of the match. Hustled up front on his own and was rewarded with a fine goal, acrobatically firing the ball past Pantilimon. (Goal.com)

Torres – Came on in place of Mikel and had an instant impact, making a nuisance of himself to create space for Ba. Offered a good outlet and came close to scoring, while perhaps should have been awarded a penalty. (Goal.com)

Once Torres came on, the mood changed and Chelsea scored (3 seconds later) through a brilliant Ba strike. Chelsea were more of a threat with both Ba and Torres and the long balls that were useless before, were now a chance for Chelsea. We’ve been asking for this, for a while. It worked well against Brentford and now against City. One of the few positives we can take away is that Torres and Ba can work well together.

2. Cheated (and not for the first time):

Unbelievable and disgraceful refereeing from Chris Foy and his assistants. Zabaleta made 3 rugby challenges and Yaya Toure bullied the Chelsea players and wasn’t booked until late in the 2nd half. The most shocking moment is Aguero’s challenge on Luiz which everyone saw, but somehow the referee didn’t. Then a few minutes later, Torres was through on goal, but somehow didn’t a shot away. Why? Because Kompany had a handful of his shirt and wouldn’t let go. A stonewall red and penalty not given. Chris Foy hasn’t been the nicest guy to Chelsea – i.e. Chelsea v QPR last season at Loftus Road where everyone but Cech was booked for Chelsea, 2 penalties were denied and 2 reds were dished out. Should the red and penalty been given, the match would of gone in Chelsea’s favour.  Poor refereeing. Very poor and disgusting.

3. 4-2-2-2 should be the new formation:

Should Ba and Torres start together, the 4-2-3-1 would be ditched for the 4-2-2-2. Here’s how it’d look (for me) :


Azpilicueta Cahill Terry Cole

Mikel Luiz

Hazard Mata

Torres Ba

or using today’s lineup (slightly altered)

Cech Azpilicueta Luiz Ivanovic Bertrand

Mikel Ramires

Hazard Mata

Torres Ba

4. Oscar doesn’t deserve to start:

Hugely ineffective and penned back in his own half for much of the match by the forward thrust of City’s right flank. Didn’t offer enough support to Bertrand and was wasteful in the attacking third. (Goal.com) He scores the odd wonder goal, but he’s been very inconsistent and had few good performances for Chelsea. Today, he was below par trying to take on Zabaleta and Clichy quite often and failing to get past them. I’d prefer Marin and Moses to him on the right flank as they can beat a man and whip the ball in better. Oscar is more of a direct playmaker, he should play where Mata plays, but Mata is Mata and you can’t sacrifice Mata’s ability to attempt to get the best out of Oscar. I don’t like Oscar starting and today and past performances should why.

5. Yaya Toure the complete midfielder:

Frequently bulldozed his way forwards, charging through gaps in Chelsea’s midfield, and it was a typically powerful run that created the opening goal. A massive threat on the break in the dying embers of the match. (Goal.com) Juan Mata called him the complete midfielder and the biggest threat and he was right. Here’s what Mata said :

‘Yaya is one of the best midfielders in the world,’ Mata said in an interview with The Sun.

‘He is the complete player. He can defend, attack, score, dribble, he has great skills and he’s so tall and powerful.

‘It is so difficult to defend against him. We have very good midfielders too and will try to deal with him but not just him, all their team because City are a very, very good side.’

6. Mikel in a poor run of form: 

Let’s take the last 2 matches – City and Rubin Kazan.

City – A passive figure in central midfield, he was ill-equipped to deal with the pace and movement of City’s interchanging offence. Routinely bypassed in midfield, and was conservative in possession. Replaced as Chelsea attempted a fight back. (Goal.com)

Rubin Kazan – Came on for Ramires during the second-half and held things well in midfield after Rubin’s third. Not his best display in Europe, however. (Goal.com)

While I do see him as our best available holding midfielder, he hasn’t been at his best as of late. He’s been very poor and it’s cost us. Mikel is supposed to cement the midfield and hold it down while stopping many of City’s threat along with Ramires’ attacking and defensive mobility. Mikel was bullied by Barry and Yaya Toure throughout the match and when Chelsea needed him to stop Yaya Toure, he couldn’t. I love John Obi Mikel, but he’s been very poor as of late and there’s no arguing against that.

Other Points :

1. Where is Marko Marin?

2. Why didn’t Terry/Lampard start or at least 1 of them?


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