City went to Upton Park this evening buoyed by Chelsea dropping points to Swansea after their 1-1 draw. After dominating the possession – 61% over the 90 minutes – we were toothless in front of goal, failing to really test Jaaskelainen at any point. Here, I look at some of the main talking points to emerge from the game.
1 – Dzeko was appalling
Dzeko’s recent run of scoring from the bench has created a ‘super sub’ tag for the Bosnian. This poor performance after starting will have done that reputation no favours whatsoever. His touch was shocking, and he seems incapable of playing the quick one-touch interplay stuff that the likes of Tevez, Aguero and Nasri thrive on. Too many times – and we have, of course, seen this in the past – the ball was played in to Dzeko and we lost possession. He offered next to nothing all game but somehow managed to last the full 90.
It seems Dzeko is better left on the bench with the option of bringing him on for the last 15 minutes.
2 – Nasri, Tevez and Nastasic were excellent
Nasri and Tevez were bright and inventive, and their touch was excellent. Both seemed to offer our best chance of doing something positive in an attacking sense (taking Tevez off was inexplicable in my eyes). Their willingness to create and invent was a real positive on a disappointing evening.
As for Nastasic, he just continues to take life at City in his stride. At 19 years of age, he looks assured defensively, and brilliant on the ball. His decision-making also looks very good: he’ll hoof it when needed but looks to play it if he has the chance. He seems like a real prospect and an excellent signing.
3 – Poor result
It was staggering to see so many City fans take to Twitter to claim what a good point this was. Their theory suggested a clean sheet away from home against a tricky side represented a good result. Not for me. We kicked their arse in terms of playing the game in the right way and dominating possession, but overplayed in front of goal and lacked killer instinct – something not lost on Mancini. We should have won this match and took 3 points. Chelsea dropping points only accentuates my misery.
4 – Odd substitutions from Mancini
For Dzeko to complete the full match after such a lacklustre display is beyond comprehension for me. And to take Balotelli and Tevez off made it even worse because they looked good. Mancini has a habit of making odd substitutions that end up working. not this time. It was just odd.
5 – Rare goalless draw for City
This was our first goalless since Boxing Day 2011. Let’s hope we have to wait at least as long for the next. I really don’t like them.