City beat bogey side Everton 3-1 this afternoon to earn a valuable three points in the Premier League before the forthcoming international break. Here is a look at the main talking points from the game.
David Silva is undoubtedly City’s finest attacking player. He demonstrated it in his brief cameo against Bayern Munich on Wednesday and today showed exactly what City have been missing during his month out with a thigh injury. His movement, his passing and his ability to retain possession under pressure meant City were able to press Everton high up the pitch. Silva was at the centre of everything City did well. His assist for Sergio Aguero’s crucial second goal just before half time was beautiful. He completed 75 passes with 87% accuracy, made 5 key passes and won 2 tackles today. The below heat map courtesy of Squawka Football demonstrates the influence he had on today’s game.
He is a joy to watch and an invaluable member of the team.
Quite where Manuel Pellegrini plucked his decision to start Edin Dzeko ahead of Alvaro Negredo against Bayern Munich on Wednesday night is beyond me, however, normality was today restored, with The Beast back in the starting XI. Negredo has, so far, proven City’s best summer signing, finding the transition from La Liga to the Premiership a simple one. He gives defenders 90 minutes of problems and he’s scoring goals whenever he’s on the pitch.
Surely after this performance he has cemented himself as City first-choice focal point in attack.
Injury Prone Kompany
It’s fair to say that Vincent Kompany has become an injury prone player. His tendency to over-commit in certain challenges means he often risks muscle strains, and once again today he left the field early.
Pellegrini couldn’t say for sure what the extent of the injury was in his post-match press conference, but he looked in serious pain when he was substituted. The problem is, of course, that City rely on him heavily. He is our best defender by quite some distance and our points total with and without him tells its own story. Last season, City lost 25% of the matches he was absent for, whereas with him we lost 11.5%.
It looked like it was all going wrong again when Romelu Lukaku put the visitors in front. Alvaro Negredo’s instantaneous equaliser and City’s subsequent victory spared City even more blushes after defeats to Bayern Munich and Aston Villa. That said, Manuel Pellegrini and City supporters alike will be concerned at the sight of another extremely soft goal conceded. A long ball over the top should not really be troubling a back-four consisting of Vincent Kompany and Joleon Lescott. Joe Hart could have done better with his attempted save but he should have never been put in that position in the first place. Pellegrini has his work cut out to address the increasingly frequent moments of madness at the back.
Important Win Ahead of International Break
On the back of two defeats it was vital that City won today, especially bearing in mind the upcoming international break. A defeat would have meant three straight defeats, something which City have not done since October 2010, and relentless media scrutiny without the opportunity to make amends until City play West Ham in two weeks time. Thankfully, City go into the international break in buoyant mood on the back of a good, but not perfect, performance and a vital three points. With three consecutive away games coming up against West Ham, CSKA Moscow and Chelsea, today’s result takes on even more importance given that City have struggled on their travels this season.
Written by Robert Toole and Robert Pollard