Sunday, September 11, 2011

City vs. Wigan Recap

Another excellent win. I was surprised to see Tevez start, particularly as this might have been a chance to get Balotelli a game (he's suspended for the first few Champions League games). Tevez was probably the weak link in our lineup, he sat too deep and clogged the linkup play, and generally didn't play anywhere near the level Dzeko has over the past few games. And that's without mentioning his missed penalty.

It's interesting to contrast him with Aguero. In a lot of ways, they are similar. In particular, I love how they both have such quick releases on their shots. How many times do they get a shot between the defender's legs? The quick shot just after a dribble is a huge weapon for both of them. However, Tevez needs to be a focal point of the offense to be effective in a way that Aguero does not, hence Tevez's struggles today in this team.

Still, the team played well. Apart from the usual suspects (Silva, Aguero, Toure), I was very impressed with Clichy. When we signed him, I had heard concerns about his crossing, but it was excellent in this game. I much prefer him to Kolarov at this point.

At this point, it's very hard to see a weak link in City's play. Midfield has been solid, the defense has been excellent even without DeJong in front of them, and of course the attack has been overwhelming. The most important thing is that the rotation of the squad hasn't affected the level of performance.

Comparisons with United are inevitable of course, given that United are the only other team with maximum points. I still believe that City have played better though. The old adage "Form is temporary, class is permanent" springs to mind. United still have an incredibly high finish rate (44.7%) and an incredible low Opponents' Finish Rate (12%). It's the latter number that is clearly unsustainable and I expect United to start drawing some games once they play teams that sit back more. United's defense to date has been unimpressive, posting the league's second-worst Defensive Efficiency, or shots on goal allowed per time of possession. Bolton, despite only having the ball 42% of the time, had six shots on goal, none of which went in. That will not always happen. United are certainly in good form, but I don't think they have the class of City.

No comments:

Post a Comment