City earned a hard fought victory over Hull City yesterday lunch time thanks to goals from Alvaro Negredo and Yaya Toure. Here’s a look at the main talking points.
Defensive Concerns Continue
City’s defensive frailty was exposed again yesterday as Hull took the game to City in the early stages. Matija Nastasic made a welcome return from injury to partner Joleon Lescott at the back but City could well have been 2 goals down on another day. First, Sone Aluko breezed past a stumbling Lescott for a glorious chance to score only to fluff his shot, partly thanks to the advancing Joe Hart. Secondly, Danny Graham did find the back of the net all too easily but was correctly ruled offside. The warning signs were there.
Though City did improve in the second half the disorganisation in defence is a concern. Nastasic can be forgiven for being a little rusty at first given that he has just returned from injury but Aleks Kolarov and Yaya Toure’s lack of urgency to help defend was alarming at times. Had City been up against a more clinical opposition they would have been picked off. The sooner Vincent Kompany is back the better.
On Match of the Day former Strictly Come Dancing star, Robbie Savage, remarked that had Hull taken their chances (i.e. the one clear cut chance from Aluko) they would have won (City scored twice). He gets paid for insight like this everyone!
Alvaro Negredo made his third consecutive substitute appearance and scored his third consecutive goal (although his first against Newcastle was wrongly disallowed for offside). The Spaniard has surely done enough to earn a starting place ahead of Edin Dzeko after a display of pace, power and panache. The headed finish for his goal rounded off an excellent attacking move. Moments earlier he could have scored another after Silva delivered a beautiful chip into the box. When it looked for all the world that he would score he someone managed head wide. Nevertheless, Negredo demonstrated all of the attributes of a good old fashioned number 9 and had the Hull defense on the back foot.
Toure Adds Gloss to Nervous Win
When the final whistle blew the sense of relief was palpable. City never quite looked settled and it was only after Yaya Toure scored his wonderful freekick in the ninetieth minute that City played with any sort of freedom. Prior to that, City were hanging on and almost every Hull counter-attack was greeted by anxious expletives from City supporters. Whether there was nervousness amongst the players’ thanks to the Cardiff result I am not too sure but the performance was far from convincing. Having said that, a clean sheet and three points was the objective before kick-off and that was achieved, albeit somewhat laboriously.
Man City 2 (Negredo, Toure)
Hull City 0
Written by Robert Toole