Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Reaction, stats & ratings: City 0 Everton 2

Shades of Frank Clark about this performance - an early burst of neat passing (yet toothless) football followed by sucker-punch and ending in disarray.

Hard to say whether this was a tactical problem, poor individual performances or that Everton were simply a lot better. Though I suspect a lot of it was just us showing our age.

Against an Everton side that has been carefully matured over the last six years, we really did look the hastily assembled and incomplete team we are. Aside from Dunne, the ten other players that finished the game had only started 180 league games for City between them (details lower down).

I'm really not sure whether the tactics were wrong for this match, but it did leave me wondering what the correct tactics would be to break down a side as organised and well-disciplined as Everton.

City have been advertising for an opposition analyst this month (as well as a post-match and recruitment analyst) so maybe the new appointments can help figure it out. But right now my hunch is that the most effective way to approach the likes of Everton at home is to try to beat them at their own counter-attacking game.

As that would lead to some extremely tedious encounters at Eastlands, it's not exactly a thought I relish.

So maybe Sven's approach is the right one. It just needs a few more skillful acquisitions, more bite, more movement - and a lot more time to develop.

~ Match highlights
~ Sven's post-match interview
~ Photos from rtfract.com; Getty Images
~ Latest Premiership table

~ Here are the number of league games each player had started for City: Hart (16), Onuoha (41), Dunne (246), Richards (63), Ball (22), Vassell (76), Gelson (10), Hamann (35), Ireland (48), Petrov (26), Benjani (1). Subs: Elano (20), Caicedo (0), Castillo (1).


And here are the remaining fixtures:

Sat 01 Mar 17:15 Wigan (H)
Sat 08 Mar 15:00 Reading (A)
Sun 16 Mar 16:00 Tottenham (H)
Sat 22 Mar 15:00 Bolton (A)
Sat 29 Mar 15:00 Birmingham (A)
Sat 05 Apr 15:00 Chelsea (H)
Sat 12 Apr 15:00 Sunderland (A)
Sun 20 Apr 16:00 Portsmouth (H)
Sat 26 Apr 15:00 Fulham (H)
Sat 03 May 15:00 Liverpool (A)
Sun 11 May 15:00 Middlesbrough (A)


Player ratings

Ratings come from (in order): Manchester Evening News; Mattyc55, Gwil, gman07, rhysonaldinho, Bob Sponge, Meddler, Humlannitton, bert38, Father Dougal MaGuire, DAZ_11, alib (Bluemoon), Grob, Wooders, King Kev, irblinx, miss-mancity, DTeacher (Mancityfans), Setanta, Sky and the BBC.

Hart: 6.2 average
(5, 7, 6, 6, 6, 7, 7, 7, 6, 6, 7, 6, 7, 6, 6, 6, 4, 6, 7, 5, 6.2)

Onuoha: 5.1
(5, 6, 3, 4, 5, 5, 6, 6, 6, 6, 5, 4, 5, 5, 5, 4, 6, 5, 6, 4, 5.4)

Richards: 5.1
(5, 5, 3, 4, 4, 4, 6, 5, 6, 5, 6, 5, 5, 6, 6, 5, 6, 6, 6.5, 4, 5.5)

Dunne: 4.8
(5, 6, 3, 4, 4, 4, 6, 5, 6, 5, 4, 4, 5, 4, 5, 6, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5.8)

Ball: 6.0
(6, 7, 5, 5, 6, 6, 7, 6, 6, 5, 6, 6, 7, 6, 6, 7, 7, 6, 6, 5, 5.4)

Vassell (Castillo 75): 4.6
(6, 5, 3, 3, 4, 4, 5, 5, 4, 4, 5, 3, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 6, 5, 5.2)

Gelson: 6.9
(5, 7, 7, 7, 7, 5, 7, 7, 8, 5, 8, 7, 8, 8, 7, 8, 7, 8, 6.5, 6, 5.4)

Hamann (Elano 45): 5.1
(5, 6, 4, 4, 6, 5, 5, 5, 5, 4, 5, 5, 4, 5, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 4, 5.0)

Ireland (Caicedo 68): 3.9
(5, 4, 3, 3, 3, 1, 4, 4, 6, 4, 4, 1, 4, 4, 1, 4, 6, 5, 5.5, 5, 5.1)

Petrov: 5.3
(4, 5, 5, 5, 6, 4, 5, 7, 7, 5, 6, 3, 4, 6, 7, 7, 7, 6, 5, 3, 5.2)

Benjani: 5.5
(6, 6, 5, 5, 5, 4, 6, 6, 5, 4, 5, 4, 6, 7, 7, 7, 7, 6, 6, 6, 6, 4, 5.8)


Subs:

Elano (Hamann 45): 4.4
(5, 4, 2, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 6, 5, 5, 2, 5, 5, - , 6, 3, 5, 6, 5, 4.7

Caicedo (Ireland 68): 5.0
(5, 6, 5, 5, 6, 4, 5, 5, 6, 6, 5, 4, 5, 6, - , 4, 3, 5, 6, 4, 4.7)

Castillo (Vassell 75): 6.4
(5, 7, 6, 6, 6.5, 8, 6, 7, 7, 6, 7, 7, 6, 7, - , 7, 6, 7, 6.5, 5, 5.2)

Subs not used:
Isaksson, Corluka


Match stats

I'm really starting to dislike these match stats. Looking at this latest set you'd think that City had been unlucky, while last week's gave the impression that United had been robbed.

The stats at Setanta seem equally unrepresentative of this game, revealing that we had 63.2% of the possession (the BBC claimed it was 53%) and a tackle success rate of 71.8% compared to Everton's 62.5%.

You can find more detailed stats, including details of each player’s passes and tackles the Daily Telegraph.





Match reports



City 0 Everton 2


Yakubu powers Everton's bid for Champions League place (Ian Herbert)
David Moyes never fails to remind those who will listen that his side has been built while those like Sven Goran Eriksson's have been bought. But Everton demonstrated the gulf between the clubs' respective European ambitions last night with a win which means that a repeat of that all-Merseyside tussle for a Champions League place of three years ago is most certainly on. And no Everton fan needs reminding who won that one.


Everton show stamina in race for fourth place (Oliver Kay)
Their supporters have spent much of the season telling anyone who will listen that they are “going to City twice” and, if their performance last night is a sign of things to come, there is no reason why Everton’s ambitions need stop there. Their destruction of Manchester City was far more comprehensive than an impressive scoreline suggests and, on this evidence, they will not only be back here for the Uefa Cup final on May 14, but are increasingly strong favourites to beat Liverpool to fourth place in the Barclays Premier League.
It was City who were flattered by the winning margin, with Everton unfortunate not to have several more goals to add to those scored by Yakubu Ayegbeni, his fourteenth in his past 17 appearances, and Joleon Lescott in the first half. With Yakubu offering a masterclass in attack, they had two shots cleared off the line by Richard Dunne, forced two fine saves from Joe Hart and could have had as many as three penalties.


Lescott sinks City as Everton climb back into fourth (Daniel Taylor)
David Moyes's team were quicker to the ball, stronger in the tackle and played with an urgency that was strangely missing from the home side. All of which spares Styles another inquest into his officiating because the visitors also had a clear penalty turned down in the seventh minute when Richards, losing his balance as he charged down Tim Cahill's shot, tried to retrieve the situation by jabbing out his right arm to deflect the ball away.
The sense of injustice seemed to spur on the visitors. Their passing was crisp, they played with width and penetration and they looked particularly incisive when attacking down the left. City, in contrast, looked unrecognisable from the side that had beaten Manchester United in their last game - which was strange because Eriksson had chosen exactly the same team.


Everton stroll it as Man City surrender (Tim Rich)
"Tell me ma, me ma, to put the champagne on ice. We're going to City twice." Throughout their increasingly impressive Uefa Cup campaign, Everton's supporters have made this chant their own and if Everton reach the Uefa Cup final at Eastlands on May 14 and play like this, they will be lifting their first piece of silverware since Dave Watson caressed the FA Cup in 1995.
You would, however, have to search the very furthest corners of Europe to find a potential opponent who might perform as incompetently as Manchester City did last night. Had Micah Richards been punished for two blatant handballs - in the second half he almost attempted to catch the ball in the area - Everton would have been awarded two penalties as well as two goals.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

We need to revert back to our earler season defensive line-up of Corluka,Dunne,Richards & Garrido and a midfield of Hamann, Johnson, Fernandes & Vassell with two strikers from Benjani, Caicedo, Castillo Sturridge & Bojinov. Use Elano, Petrov and Geovanni as bit players especially on the winter pitches.

Anonymous said...

Sven is clueless, get rid and bring Peter Reid back!