Monday, September 23, 2013

Man City Report - City 4-1 United

The first Manchester Derby with new managers for each side since 1947 will go down as a memorable one.  City, lead by manager Manuel Pellegrini, absolutely dominated the first half with Sergio Aguero opening the score line and Yaya Toure adding a goal as well as City managed 13 shots (2 on goal) while United could only muster 2 shots (0 on goal).  Newly appointed United manager David Moyes clearly did not get United organized at halftime because a few minutes into the second half City already doubled their advantage thanks to another goal by Aguero and a goal Samir Nasri to take a 4-0 lead.  United strike Wayne Rooney notched a free kick goal with a few minutes left in the match to give United a consolation goal.  City's 4-1 win over United at the Etihad Stadium was the first Manchester Derby that did not involve "Sir" Alex Ferguson since the mid-1980's.

Here are my updated player rankings following City's last three matches (tied Stoke 0-0 on the road in the EPL, beat Viktoria Plzen 3-0 on the road in the Champions League, and beat United 4-1 at home in the EPL):

Player Rankings
1. Yaya Toure (M, LW 1)
2. Sergio Aguero (F, LW 3)
3. Vincent Kompany (D, LW 4)
4. David Silva (M, LW 2)
5. Fernandinho (M, LW 5)
6. Jesus Navas (M, LW 10)
7. Matija Nastasic (D, LW 6)
8. Joe Hart (GK, LW 11)
9. Alvaro Negredo (F, LW 7) 
10. Edin Dzeko (F, LW 9)
11. Pablo Zabaleta (D, LW 12) 
12. Samir Nasri (M, LW 13)
13. Aleksandar Kolarov (D, LW 17)
14. Gael Clichy (D, LW 8)
15. James Milner (M, LW 15)
16. Stevan Jovetic (F, LW 16)
17. Javi Garcia (M, LW 18)
18. Joleon Lescott (D, LW 14)
19. Micah Richards (D, LW 19) 
20. Costel Pantilimon (GK, LW 23)
21. Jack Rodwell (M, LW 20)
22. Dedryck Boyata (D, LW 21)
23. John Guidetti (F, LW 24)
24. Richard Wright (GK, LW 25)
25. Alex Nimely (F, LW 26)
26. Erik Johansen (GK, LW 27)
27. Martin Demichelis (D, LW 22)
2. Sergio Aguero (F, LW 3):  Despite scoring a brace against United, Aguero still could not knock Toure out of the top spot.  Trust me,
I thought long and hard about moving Aguero ahead of Toure but with how well Toure continues to patrol the midfield I could not move him out of the top spot.  Both Toure and Aguero are essentially untouchable.  The only argument for putting Aguero ahead of Toure is that Aguero would demand a larger transfer fee since he is five years younger than Toure.  Even factoring that into the equation, Toure continues to be the engine that powers this impressive City side.  Aguero deserves mention for scoring twice against United to show that City was clearly the much better half of Manchester in this incarnation of Manchester Derby.

6. Jersus Navas (M, LW 10): When City purchased Navas this summer that gave City three wingers (Silva, Navas, and Nasri) for just two spots.  Silva is clearly the best of the three, which meant I thought Navas and Nasri would battle weekly for the other spot.  Given his pace and ingenuity, Navas quickly showed that he is worthy of a spot in the starting 11 ahead of Nasri though, which might make him the most cost effective signing of the summer for City.  For some reason, Pellegrini subbed out Navas for Milner with 20 minutes remaining.  Milner should make the best of his opportunities given that he is nominally the 4th best winger on the roster.

8. Joe Hart (GK, LW 11): After conceding three goals on the road to Cardiff City in a 3-2 loss, there were whispers that Hart's spot as the starting goal keeper for England might be in jeopardy.  Hart followed that up with three clean sheets in all competitions heading into the Manchester Derby.  Hart is back in form.  Despite conceding a goal on a quality free kick by United striker Wayne Rooney, Hart should have solidified his spot in goal for City and England based on his current form.

13. Aleksandar Kolarov (D, LW 17): Against United, Kolarov was instrumental in the buildup to the first goal providing a perfect cross for Aguero's spectacular finish. Given the quality that City have at left (Clichy and Kolarov) and right (Zabaleta and Richards) back, health will most likely dictate the outsider defenders in the starting 11.

Check back for more City coverage over the next few weeks as their 2013-14 Champions League and EPL campaigns kick into high gear over the next month.

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