David Silva Shines for Man City, but Kompany's Injury Woes Continue
ETIHAD STADIUM, MANCHESTER
Manchester City 3-1 Everton
This was a much needed win for Manchester City. After two defeats on the bounce, albeit in very different circumstances, three points before the international break was vital. Everton, who arrived at the Etihad as the only unbeaten side left in the top flight, were comprehensively outplayed, and Manuel Pellegrini will be happy with his side’s offensive display.
It would have been easy, given the week City have had, to wilt after falling behind to Romelu Lukaku’s goal after 16 minutes, but they showed real character in coming back. Alvaro Negredo equalised almost immediately, then Sergio Aguero, who could have scored four but for some profligate finishing, put the home side ahead, before Aguero's penalty forced an own goal from Tim Howard to make it 3-1.
The relief inside the Etihad at full-time was palpable.
In David Silva, City have recovered their best attacking player. After spending a month on the sidelines with a thigh injury, he returned to the starting line up and showed again just what an important player he is—with his wonderful touch, vision and passing ability the catalyst for City’s best moments.
Everything good City do tends to go through Silva. He floats around beautifully, always wanting for the ball and looking to damage the opposition. There are very few players in the world who can play the attacking midfield role with as much guile as the Spaniard, and City will be delighted to have him back to full fitness.
However, another injury to Vincent Kompany, who is now quite rightly being labelled injury-prone, was the one major black spot for City. Pellegrini couldn’t confirm the seriousness of the injury in his press conference, but the Belgian looked incredibly frustrated coming off.
Perhaps more than any other player in their squad, his presence is vital, with City statistically far more likely to drop points without him in the side.
City’s defending has been poor at times this season and today was no exception. Some woeful defending from Joleon Lescott allowed Lukaku in behind to score with a low shot that Joe Hart will again feel he should have kept out. Once again, City just didn’t look comfortable at the back, and Pellegrini must begin to address the problem or risk it further undermining City’s chances of success.
Hart’s confidence is clearly lacking, with Pellegrini admitting after the match it wasn’t an easy decision to play him after his recent troubles, but he was given a fantastic reception from the City fans, and his long embrace with goalkeeping coach Xabier Mancisidor at full-time told its own story.
He has the attributes to be a brilliant goalkeeper, as he has shown in the past, but right now there are very few footballers struggling for form like he is.
"It was not a simple decision to keep Joe Hart in the team but I know that he needs all of our trust— the trust of me, the players and the fans.
"He has to play with England two games more and Joe is exactly the same as the other players, he showed great character today."
One player certainly not lacking confidence is Negredo, who continues to find the transition from La Liga to the Premier League a straightforward one. He scored another well-taken goal and put in an excellent all-round display. Phil Jagielka and Sylvain Distin will certainly be glad to see the back of him.
Negredo prides himself on giving defenders a torrid time, unlike Edin Dzeko, his direct competition for a place in the side, who often looks disinterested and unable to trouble centre-halves with any consistency. Surely Negredo has now established himself as City’s first-choice No. 9.
Although not the perfect performance from a side with ambitions of winning the title this season, City will see this as a much-needed and well-deserved three points.
Manchester City: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Lescott, Kolarov, Toure, Fernandinho, Milner, Aguero, Silva, Negredo.
Subs: Richards, Nasri, Dzeko, Jesus Navas, Clichy, Pantilimon, Nastasic.
Everton: Howard, Coleman, Jagielka, Distin, Baines, McCarthy, Osman, Mirallas, Barkley, Naismith, Lukaku.
Subs: Robles, Gibson, Heitinga, Jelavic, Kone, Deulofeu, Stones.
Referee: Jon Moss (W Yorkshire)
All quotes obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted.
Rob Pollard is Bleacher Report's lead Manchester City correspondent and will be following the club from a Manchester base throughout the 2013-14 season. Follow him on Twitter here @TypicalCity
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?