Hull City 0-2 Manchester City: “Hull City: An Unexpected Journey”
Pardon the pun, but I’m sure that you’ll all agree that Hull City really did take us on “An Unexpected Journey”!
10 minutes gone, and 1 man down, I for one thought the game was over. But then, a few minutes later, as if by magic – Merlin, or in this case Gandalf, decided it was time to cast a thunder bolt of his own, right into the top corner! The usually hesitant-in-front-of-goal David Silva took matters into is own hands on Saturday, just when City needed it most. The goal completely changed the momentum of the game in a split second.
It just goes to show that when it matters most, the “big guns” always decide to turn it on. At Wembley it was Yaya Toure, and against QPR 2 years ago it was Sergio, but with a performance like that, Saturday should be renamed to “Silvaday”, because that is exactly what it was. His vision, position and precision were what made his performance an 11 out of 10, and in the end he proved too hot to handle for Steve Bruce’s side.
However, as much as I thought the little Spaniard was brilliant, I thought that the whole team were brilliant. They showed great spirit and ability to be able to maintain the lead for the rest of the match, despite going down to 10 men and losing their captain, so they should all give themselves a huge pat on the back.
I thought the way in which Zabaleta, Demichelis, Clichy and make-shift centre-back Javi Garica managed to maintain an almost-perfect defensive line throughout the match, even after losing Kompany, was nothing short of amazing. They caught Shane Long and Nikica Jelavic offside an unbelievable amount of times, and you could tell how frustrated the Tigers were.
I must admit, Javi Garcia is starting to win me over. I was one of many of his doubters earlier in the season, but I think that he is finally starting to adapt to English football, and the high expectations of the fans. He played an important role at the weekend, as the solidity of his performance meant that Manuel Pellegrini did not have to use up one of his subs when Kompany was sent off earlier in the game, and this allowed the Chilean to have more flexibility later on in the match.
Fernandinho put in another great shift in the middle of the park. He intercepted the ball at multiple crucial points in the game and picked out several inch-perfect passes, he’s starting to make the £30 million that we paid for him at the start of the season look a lot more justifiable.
It was somewhat of a relief to see Edin Dzeko on the scoresheet again. City’s strikers have gone through a drought of goals in recent weeks, and as a result Liverpool are catching us up on goal difference (which could be important come the end of the season). Hopefully this will give him back his usual confidence in front of goal, and we can begin to increase our goal difference to what it was earlier in the season.
On the whole, I thought that that performance, and result, was just what the fans and players needed. Obviously it wasn’t ideal to lose Kompany, but the fight and self-belief that the team showed to win the game away from home with 10 men, no Sergio, and no Kompany (for most of the match), was quite remarkable.
And after a few disappointing defeats to Chelsea, Barcelona and Wigan in recent weeks, I’m sure that this game will have given everyone at the club a massive boost, and has hopefully kick-started the race for the title!
– Daniel Cheeseman
P.S. It’s worth noting that the next film after “An Unexpected Journey” in the “Hobbit” film trilogy is called “The Desolation of Smaug”, so don’t be surprised if you see the name “Smaug” replaced with the name of a team in another pun-filled blog in the future – especially with games against United and Arsenal coming up! 🙂