Manchester City 2-0 Chelsea – “Silva, Samir and Stevan: Alliteration at its best!”
I’m sure that most of us would have expected City to go into the Chelsea game with a somewhat weakened team. The fact they have a midweek game against Barcelona on Tuesday, and knowing that Chelsea had a blank mid-week ahead so they could afford to play their best team – a lot of us were probably predicting another home loss. But boy, were we wrong!
David Silva and Stevan Jovetic were two of the ‘big guns’ that were included in the starting 11 (even though Jovetic is considered to be Pellegrini’s fourth choice striker!) and they did a good job of causing David Luiz & co. problems by playing “in between the lines”.
One of the main reasons why the likes of Silva, Jovetic and Yaya were more effective in that game, compared to last week, was because of the return of Javi Garcia. Despite finding it hard to settle in at the start of the season, it seems that the Spaniard has finally found his role within the team, which is to support Yaya defensively so that the Ivorian can be unleashed to attack the opposition’s defence – and it worked like a charm against Chelsea.
There’s no doubt that part of the win was down to the fact that Chelsea weren’t playing as well as they did on previous occasions, but the fact that they had no shots on target was mainly down to how well the Blues played.
The back four looked a lot more solid with the inclusion of Joleon Lescott in the team. To me it is obvious that when Kompany and Lescott play together, City look a lot better defensively, as they have worked alongside each other for quite a few seasons now and have formed a strong partnership over the years.
We shouldn’t forget that they both played a massive part in City’s title winning season, as well as Zabaleta and Clichy, who both played outstanding on Saturday as well.
To our surprise, Samir Nasri made his long-awaited return from injury 2 weeks earlier than planned an hour into the game when he replaced the first goalscorer Stevan Jovetic – who is improving week by week (despite that dive!). It took him just over 5 minutes to pick up where he left off when when he performed a great bit of link up play with David Silva, only to slot it home into an empty net moments later – talk about making an impact!
I am loving the fact that Manuel Pellegrini continues to stick to his philosophies even when he loses the occasional game or when the team don’t play particularly well, because it shows that he believes in his own managerial abilities and that he wants his team to play attractive football more than anything else.
And with Barcelona just a day away, it is a very promising sign in the hopes that we are going to get a game full of skills, goals and attacking flair for us to all remember for years and years to come!
– Daniel Cheeseman