Phew, what a game.
It had the lot really, a good first half from us, a good second half from them and plenty to get the emotions going.
It’s a shame there weren’t any goals, but I suppose you can’t have everything.
Villa lined up with the sort of side we all wanted, with Westwood, Gabby and Lescott all out for whatever reasons.
And we started well, with the team knocking the ball around quite nicely, but not really showing any penetration or desire to get the ball in the box.
It was possibly a sensible tactic, keeping the ball and it seemed that Man city weren’t expecting a confident, reassured approach, which I felt is what we presented the opposition with.
We were holding it and not gifting them the constant stupid balls that we have done up to now.
And we looked a lot better for it.
Sterling had a chance around the quarter-hour, but I don’t really remember many other chances being created on both sides.
The first half panned out then and there was plenty to show that we’d possibly edged it, albeit we hadn’t really caused any threat on goal.
0-0 at half time and I’d had the feeling that City hadn’t really got into the game and Villa were trying much harder.
And when the two teams came out for the second half, there was an immediate change in the game.
City started to show some desire and duly stepped the pace up, as you’d expect.
And as they started making space and runs, so our game got worse.
It’s no surprise, as City are a powerful team, but I have to say I find it quite strange that we still seem to be suffering from major fitness problems this far into the season.
Duverne’s come in as the fitness trainer and let’s hope he sorts this out somewhat in the international break.
I mean, why is Veretout going down with cramp after an hour or so?
It makes you wonder what they’ve been doing in training. Or at least make you wonder if my previous assertion that they’re all just a bit too puny, was correct.
Anyway, as the game went on, so City’s strength and fitness came into it more.
They started to push up and we fell back.
Subs were rightly made on our part and it was interesting to see that Charles N’Zogbia achieved more in a few minutes than the rest of the midfield did all game. What that says, I’m not sure.
And as the game progressed, so things got increasingly desperate.
They hit the bar and had a few other chances, that would probably be regarded as sitters for a side of City’s quality. But they ultimately failed to score, which is what it’s all about.
I should probably say that in my opinion, bringing Delph on proved to be a major mistake on Pellegrini’s part.
The manager probably thought it would be good for Delph’s character or something, but I think it backfired.
The crowd were galvanized and while giving the snake plenty, they also gave more support to the club/team.
Hence I think the 12th man definitely played a major part today.
While perhaps we shouldn’t be shouting from the rooftops about a 0-0 home draw, I think this was a fantastic point; one that I suspect most of us didn’t expect.
And more importantly, it demonstrated that Remi Garde does at first glance, look like he knows what he’s doing.
I’m much more encouraged than I was after Monday night.