Villa 0-2 Man City; Beaten, but not disgraced.

I detest the way Sky have messed about with the kickoff times, but for once I was actually very grateful that we had a 5.30pm kickoff.
Work commitments have meant I have missed the last three games, but today, I managed to get in the house two minutes before kickoff, which meant I found a stream just in time.

Missing those three games has also given me a slightly different insight into what our aims are. A new pair of eyes, if you like.
I was pleasantly surprised by what I saw.

Ok, so we lost 2-0, but look at that Man City side.
They have an absolute embarrassment of riches and although they’ve had a sluggish start, we all know they’ll be up there challenging for the title, come the end of the season.

So losing at home before we even kicked off was no disgrace , in my opinion.
Don’t agree?
Well, I’ll just say they are unbeaten in their last seventeen away games. Just to keep things in perspective.

Just as we expected, they came out all guns blazing, with their forward movement a different world from what we can muster. No surprise with Aguero up top and Sylva lurking.

But I thought we held out incredibly well for the first half.
Ok, you might say Citeh weren’t firing on all cylinders, but at the same time, it takes a decent defence to make it look like that.
Here, I thought Senderos, while not perfect, was extremely good. Baker looked decent too.
Quite simply, I thought the whole defence worked their backsides off.

That said, Man City always looked the stronger side and more likely to score.

Onto the second half then and it struck me that the Villa management had actually read the game quite well.
It was our turn to shine and we actually took the game to City.
Indeed, for around fifteen minutes, we looked the more dangerous side.

Of course, it wasn’t to last and the class quite simply told in the end, with a good strike from Toure and an even better one from Aguero.

So, the result aside, do you know the one thing that really impressed me?
We showed ambition in the way we played.
Ok, you might think we defended too much, but you have too against this sort of quality.

As much as I dislike Lambert for his pragmatic approach, I believe he called this game correctly today.
I can’t even fault his substitutions, for once.
Benteke needs minutes and I was hoping Grealish might be able to win fouls from their physically massive players.
The latter didn’t happen, but it was good experience for him.

If you can seriously worry Man City for 15 minutes, you aren’t doing too bad.
We’d have lost this one by a boatload a couple of seasons back.

I’m beginning to see the flickers of progression, but have a feeling that some won’t agree.
Whatever, we’ve lost 3 on the trot and are still seventh in the league.

Which just goes to show how good our start to the season was.
I think I’m going to get a nosebleed, with these dizzying heights.

Everton next, where we might get something.
Then some games where we’d expect points.


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    MR_CHEESE October 4, 2014 at 8:24 pm . Reply

    Good read and good comments. I believe the scoreline doesn’t reflect the game and it is an incredible shame that it ended the way it did in those final minutes.

  2. nath
    nath October 4, 2014 at 8:50 pm . Reply

    well no shame in that 2nd half performance wished we could av held out, but last 10 minutes villa were spent. positives well benteke grabbed some game time, he will do more work in the break, which will benefit him loads. also baker can hold his head up high, like oohahhaha already pointed out he was the better of the defenders, by a distance, cissokho worries me (for 1 i can spell him) but he gives the ball away, when its easier to keep it. which brings me 2 the negatives ball retention has 2b, better villa got through loads of work, mainly pressing after losing the ball, need 2 work more on this side and maybe then they won’t av 2 work so hard to regain the ball.

    does anyone know if badger is offering the money for correct prediction, i got two in a row chelsea and city so if i get 3 in a row i receive a bonus yeah 🙂

    1. Hitchens 60
      Hitchens 60 October 4, 2014 at 8:53 pm . Reply

      Not if it’s another defeat you won’t 🙂

  3. Andrew
    Andrew October 4, 2014 at 8:58 pm . Reply

    I have 2 problems with today:

    The players at the end were dead, but they should’ve been able to close down Toure and Cleverley or Delph could’ve closed down Milner quicker.

    Lambert’s subs were poor, Grealish and Bacuna can’t be brought on to get a draw, they’re not those kind of players. Bring off N’Zogbia and Richardson, fine, but bring on Grealish and Sanchez then. Grealish as an outlet and Sanchez to shore things up in midfield as our midfielders looked dead tired, and the big trouble with the first part, which was messed up by Lambert.

    I wasn’t unimpressed by today, and I’d blame Lambert for the poor subs for tonight. Not so much the tactics, but the subs.

    1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
      OohAhPaulMcGrath October 4, 2014 at 10:22 pm . Reply

      Only 2 problems ur being generous Andrew lol

    2. Colonius81
      Colonius81 October 4, 2014 at 11:40 pm . Reply

      I would agree with that too, they should have closed him down quicker, but there is only so much energy you can spend in a game and it was spent,
      disappointing yes, but probably inevitable, you can’t defend against that good of an attack for that period of time, eventually tiredness, luck weather whatever will get the best of you.
      its human nature.
      In that regard you could criticise us for trying to defend for so long, there is a counter argument to that being we are a team much changed and on the back of 3 seasons of relegation fights so baby steps but still there is no clear winner, I would accept both arguments as very valid.

      as for the subs .. no I don’t agree.
      Sanchez was so off the pace the last game it wasn’t funny.. on paper he was the perfect sub .. shore up that space that Silva found time and again .. but only if he was in the form and fitness and mentality of what his type of player could do… Lambert and co. are watching him in training and basing their decisions on far more information than we have.
      in the last game he was caught out by the speed of the game and the tempo.. we all seen that .. Lambert and co have had a week to judge if he could better that .. and it wouldn’t have been unreasonable to assume that through training and the day to day interaction he hasn’t corrected that yet.
      but even say he may have, We threw on two attacking players in an effort to win the game after defending quite well and showing real intent for 15 minutes..

      thats not a bad judgement call .. its just a shame it didn’t come off.

      I see enough positives in this game to not get too irate …
      but like many said .. the next 5/6 games should tell us a little more.

  4. BWS
    BWS October 5, 2014 at 12:57 am . Reply

    I can’t believe what I’m reading here,we were well and truly battered by Man City and 2 -0 flattered us! Ok we made a couple of half chances but there was only ever one team winning it.
    As for the substitutions woeful is the only word that springs to mind, N’Zogbia was having his best game in a Claret and Blue shirt, looked our biggest threat and he takes him off wtf? And Grealish the wonder kid, when he actually going to produce something in a game other than falling over?
    Mr Cheese time to put away those rose coloured glasses and take reality check.

    1. Colonius81
      Colonius81 October 5, 2014 at 1:40 am . Reply

      if we were well and truly battered then why weren’t we down more than 2-0? to say that much is to insult City for being hopeless in attack as much as to criticise Villa for being woeful as a team?
      how woeful are city for having spent a billion to batter us 1-0 until the 80th minute?
      in other words, life is not an absolute, its not black or white .. and sport is far more grey than life.
      its a bit tabloid to say we were battered, we lost to a better team there were at least 2 game plans deployed by both teams, a great tactical battle but City had the resources to come up with a win and in fairness deservedly so, We didn’t deserve to win that game.

      Nzogbia, has’n’t played in more than a year and hasn’t lasted 90 minutes yet this season? he like most were pretty spent by the 80th minute.
      as for grealish, .. how is a player expected to deliver if they are only given a chance to deliver if they have previously delivered?

      So Grealish has had 5 substitute appearances for villa aged 18 or 19 and he is supposed to have delivered already?
      Is the fact that we were playing the premier league champions not a factor in how we played?

      I want to hear more BWS about your take on that game.. not convinced that post is anything but frustration being typed out.

      1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
        OohAhPaulMcGrath October 5, 2014 at 2:39 am . Reply

        City will look at this game and think we lost last year but today we have won. The scoreline flattered us a 4-5.0 defeat would have been no surprise it was more a case of bad finishing by city and a bit if luck that kept score down rather than good defending. Though I thought baker was excellent today he’s a big positive this year. Dosnt matter how much you spend on a team dosnt mean your going to win 10.0 every week dosnt work like that. When we won tge league we had loads of games where we just grounded out a 1.0 or 2.1 win playing badly that’s what winning the league is all about.

      2. OohAhPaulMcGrath
        OohAhPaulMcGrath October 5, 2014 at 3:14 am . Reply

        Here’s an interesting stat slightly worse of than this time last year no improvementVilla have the same points tally – and results record – as the same stage last season.

        This season and last season we won three, lost three and drew one of their first seven games – accumulating 10 points in the process.

        After seven Premier League games in the 2013-14 campaign, we had beaten Arsenal (a), Norwich (a) and Manchester City (h), drew against Hull (a), and lost to Chelsea (a), Liverpool (h) and Newcastle (h).

        They had scored nine goals and conceded eight with a goal difference of plus one.

        So far this season they have scored four and conceded nine, with a goal difference of minus five.

        1. saddened
          saddened October 5, 2014 at 9:05 am . Reply

          Bloody hell Oohah, thats a tad worrying, I think the next 4-5 games will define our season though!

          1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
            OohAhPaulMcGrath October 5, 2014 at 10:55 am . Reply

            I know saddened wondering what’s the point of keane as well he dosnt seem to have added anything. 2 main positives this season is baker and Hutton tbf. But yet again we are just standing still and slightly worse of. Agree next 4 games will tell us a lot. To give lamberk a new contract had to be arguably the worst decision by a villa chairman in the clubs history. He should of been sacked years ago

        2. Bum Bum
          Bum Bum October 7, 2014 at 7:43 am . Reply

          That is a worry.

      3. BWS
        BWS October 6, 2014 at 3:28 pm . Reply

        C81 the ‘Woeful’ is referring to PL’s substitutions. N’Zogbia was the only player that held any threat to Man C and I’d have him at 80% than Baccuna at 100% who imo offers nothing.

        Grealish, I’ve seen the video of the wonder goal in Honk Kong Soccer Sevens tournament but what is the standard of the opposition?
        For the ballyhoo surrounding the lad I’ve yet to see him produce anything, at any time in any game.
        Admittedly he’s only 18 and has been given just bit parts in the last quarter of games but it’d be a refreshing change to see him do something other than fall over and with the silly haircut and the socks rolled down he seems to me at the moment he’s believing his own press and he appears to be a case of style over substance.
        Who knows perhaps he’ll turn out be the next Gareth Bale and I’m miles wide of the mark but at the moment the lad simply underwhelms me given the hype.

        1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
          OohAhPaulMcGrath October 6, 2014 at 5:46 pm . Reply

          Agree about zog I feel he’s never really had a fair crack at the club IMO though injuries havnt helped. He was def our best fwd v city. As for Grealish he could be anothe Gardner who everyone raved about a few yrs ago or he could be a world class superstar. He def needs to beef up though. But I can’t judge Grealish till he’s played in the team for a period of time.

          1. BWS
            BWS October 6, 2014 at 7:12 pm . Reply

            Lets face it if he was pulling up trees at BMH he’d be in.

    2. OohAhPaulMcGrath
      OohAhPaulMcGrath October 5, 2014 at 2:34 am . Reply

      Mr cheeses is the antithesis of me lol. Fair point we were well beaten in the end and it irks me too that people come on here today and last week saying we only lost 2.0 or 3.0 etc to a good team. We collapsed v arsenal, Chelsea we never turned up yes we knew we would lose but there’s a way of losing. Today we didn’t even try and win which is the saddest bit. We went out there today as a damage limitation exercise at home. We sat back as game went on desperate to get a 0.0 nothing wrong with that but you still have to look at getting at them as well. I know gabby was out but it not like we were missing Messi he’d of made a bit of difference but not that much.

      1. MR_CHEESE
        MR_CHEESE October 5, 2014 at 9:21 am . Reply

        Needless to say that you are in for a treat when my review goes live today hahaha. Good to see you posting again!

        1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
          OohAhPaulMcGrath October 5, 2014 at 10:50 am . Reply

          Thanks Lol lets have a bit of negativity

    3. Bill Pearson
      Bill Pearson October 5, 2014 at 9:15 am . Reply

      I totally agree B W S you can now see fans are talking with their feet, why have we not seen that we lack midfielders that can open doors, you take Jelovic goal for Hull given that chance by brains in the game, in our game I could see 6 defenders in a straight line ,all the attacking player had to do was lift that ball over and a goal was got. I’m sorry but we still have players that don’t think in the game.

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