Newsletter #1944

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Well that’s torn it!

Two games, two very different performances and two undeserved results.

Undeserved?

Well, defeat at Liverpool was a tough pill considering our domination for the final hour of the game. The performance against Sunderland so pitiful it didn’t deserve a point. As they say, these things even out…

The combined impact of both results leaves our title ambitions hanging by a thread and, most importantly, out of our hands with both Liverpool and Chelsea.

Some interesting thought pieces in this edition and a recollection of events 25 years ago from a Blue perspective.

Enjoy the read more than the results!

Next Game: 21 April, West Bromwich Albion, Etihad Stadium, 20:00 GMT

MANCHESTER CITY 2 SUNDERLAND 2 (HT 1-0)

City barely deserved this draw against bottom club Sunderland and it will now be very difficult to win the title. It was supposed to be one of those two games in hand that we were expected to win, but City fell far short of the standards required. We didn’t move the ball quickly enough and lacked guile. The visitors tackled harder and worked harder. It was a very complacent selection by Pellegrini and a complacent show from too many players (like the Wigan game). We didn’t do enough or fight hard enough. Our midfield should not be overrun by a team like Sunderland but that is what happened for too long in this game. Title winning sides win games like this and do not lose to Cardiff, Villa and Sunderland.

Yet City had the dream start, taking the lead after two minutes. Agüero played a diagonal pass in front of the Sunderland box, Negredo dummied and Fernandinho swept the ball inside the right hand post.

However, we failed to build on it and Sunderland, fighting for their top flight lives, took the game to us. They got at us far too easily and we found ourselves on the back foot for long periods. Twice John O’Shea was allowed free headers at corners but thankfully he headed over.

Our passing was rather laboured and we surrendered possession too easily at times. Adam Johnson was allowed to run unchecked across the front of our defence without being tracked and he thankfully hadn’t brought his shooting boots.

City had another warning when Borini latched onto a lofted diagonal ball into the box and was clean through, only to fire wide before a very late offside flag was raised.

Some of Sunderland’s players had been prepared to mix it and two should have seen red. Both Zabaleta and Agüero were lucky not to be seriously injured by a couple of shocking, brutal tackles. First Wes Brown kicked Agüero just under the shin pad and stamped on his toe, then in a fifty-fifty Marcos Alonso went over the ball and left Zabaleta writhing in agony. Like with his compatriot it was impossible not to fear the worst as these are not players who stay down or feign injury. It was a nasty, potential leg-breaker of a tackle. In both cases, after a fair amount of treatment they eventually got up and hobbled before eventually returning, much to our relief.

City should have had a penalty when Agüero was bundled over by Wickham but referee Atkinson assertively waved it away.

“Did you cry when Nasri/Yaya scored?” enquired the singing section cruelly.

Most of the second half was a repeat of the first, with Sunderland playing like a team that was fighting for its life. City chased shadows. Poyet threw on Giaccherini and Skoko for Larsson and Borini and it soon paid dividends when in the 72nd minute an almost forgotten young striker started to make an indelible stamp on the game. Giaccherini crossed from the left and Connor Wickham fired in at the far post. It had been coming.

Sunderland hearts have been broken since Wembley and they have failed to win a game since, and their urgency to end that was apparent here. City were trying to regain the lead and were over committed when a move broke down and Sunderland broke away at pace in a crisp move, which Wickham finished with a powerful shot that beat Hart at his near post. The thousand or so travellers from Wearside went delirious with delight. It was a brilliant goal (if you’re not a City fan, that is!). Cue the exit for some. Why? Why leave a match early? What’s the point of paying all that money? What was the point of leaving early when it was £1.80 to get into the Kippax?

Things were now desperate for City. Here we were again, staring down the barrel. Was it to be another QPR style comeback or would we run out of time as against Wigan in the FA Cup? Jovetic, who had been brought on to play on the left side of midfield was at least trying something different. With Nasri pushed up alongside Dzeko, at least we were trying something different. Jovetic started to combine with Nasri, was intelligent in possession and in his movement, and was prepared to shoot on sight.

Such combination play was rewarded in the 88th minute when Nasri shot powerfully goalwards from Jovetic’s cut back. It seemed like Mannone had saved it when the ball squirmed from his grasp and rolled agonisingly for the Mackems over the line. It must have been a desperate moment for the Italian ‘keeper and the Sunderland fans. For us it was fresh hope and in a sudden frenzied atmosphere (it had been rather quiet beforehand), we urged the Boys in Blue on in a vain attempt to save our title challenge. We should have equalised when an intricate move presented Nasri with a snap shot with a defender closing but he blazed over an empty goal with his left foot. The Frenchman beat the turf in frustration. The Etihad joined the Mackems in holding our heads in agony. A draw was no good for either side at this stage of the season.

We are now six points behind Liverpool and five behind Chelsea with one game in hand and five to play. It is very unlikely that both Chelsea and Liverpool will slip up enough, and besides, these players in this injury hit City squad are not currently looking capable of winning all our own matches. Time will tell.

Manuel Pellegrini said the players were still affected by the Liverpool defeat. Well we have to be stronger mentally and more professional. Whilst we have to learn the lessons of previous games, that game was in the past, we shouldn’t dwell on it and should be looking forward, not back. It is the manager’s job to pick the players up, and it was surprising to hear a good man manager like Pellegrini citing the defeat at Anfield as a factor.

Tactically Pellegrini might have done better. We started off with a flat 4-4-2 with not enough running between the lines – something Silva does brilliantly – and movement – another thing El Mago does brilliantly. Missing the injured Yaya Touré and David Silva, there were no partnerships until Jovetic entered the fray. Our best chance of such a partnership in the starting line up was Milner and Nasri, and they were starting on opposite flanks. It was only when we were behind, and with substitute Jovetic occupying the left hand side of midfield with Nasri moved to play up front, that we started to play with any real cohesion or urgency. We failed to impose ourselves and got what we deserved. Pellegrini might have been better served playing a fluid 4-3-3 (come might call it a 4-3-2-1) formation with Jovetic and Nasri behind Agüero, and this would have allowed Milner to play more tucked in centrally to drive the play with Fernandinho. Two City managers have hardly used Milner in his best position, i.e. central midfield, which begs the question: why?

Pellegrini will get another chance next season, and so he should, but he has to learn from his mistakes. Can he learn? There can be no excuses next time as he will have had the experience of a season in England. He has won the League Cup and qualified from the group phase of the Champions’ League (albeit from easier groups than Mancini had) in his first season. Both represent an improvement on last season. Tactically he has got it right and we have played the most entertaining football in a lifetime but in the big games he has been found wanting too often (the visits of Chelsea, Bayern and Barcelona spring to mind). Too many opportunities have been missed this season. Complacent selections have resulted in FA Cup exit and an effective surrender in this game, which have made it very difficult to win the League. We do not have the depth to rotate successfully. There is a lot to like about Pellegrini and the wonderful football that City have played but he and City must do must better than we have done in this campaign.

Goals:
MCFC: Fernandinho 2, Nasri 88
SAFC: Wickham 72, 83

Att: 47,046

Hart: Beaten at his near post by Wickham’s powerfully struck second. Distribution was variable: 5
Zabaleta: Cannot be faulted for effort or drive. If only everybody played with that attitude. He had to be tough and resolute, given his personal duel with Marcus Alonso. Despite being fully committed as ever, he came off worse off in a thundering 50-50 tackle when Alonso brutally caught him near the City box in the first half and Zaba was in a lot of pain as a result. It looked like his evening or indeed his season was over, but this is Zaba we’re talking about. “Ohhhhhh… Pablo Zabaleta…”: 7
Kompany: Twice allowed O’Shea free headers (which may suggest that his knee is not allowing him to jump as he normally can) but otherwise did well enough: 6
Demichelis: Looking the part now. Didn’t put a foot wrong again. He cannot be faulted for any of our goals: 7
Kolarov: Penned back by Adam Johnson for the entire game, he was nullified as an attacking threat. He wasn’t aware of Wickham quickly enough for Sunderland’s opener: 5
Milner: Not his best night but he never falls short when it comes to effort. He may have been playing to orders, but he was too rigidly out on the right in the first half when we could have done with him inside more: 6
Fernandinho: Took his goal well and might have had another but his energy levels dropped as the game went on and he was outpaced by Wickham for their second: 6
Garcia: Whether he was playing to orders or merely off the pace, he was stationed way too deep when we needed to press and get amongst Sunderland. He was outpaced by Sunderland’s midfield at times: 6
Nasri: He always sought to create and often came inside to do so but the way we were set up didn’t help him. His equaliser had too much power for Mannone but he should have scored the winner: 6
Agüero: Set up the first goal but is clearly in need of matches to regain sharpness. Didn’t look happy that he was being replaced as he walked off slowly with his head down, but he was fading in this game: 6
Negredo: Lovely, intelligent dummy for Fernandinho’s goal. Some good link play as he gingerly improves, but still a long way from his best: 6
Subs:
Jovetic (for Agüero 55): Bright and inventive even if he didn’t always choose the right option. Always prepared to shoot and set up our 2nd goal. He is a delicate injury-prone player, and with his glass ankles, he pulls out of tackles. Needs to watch how Mr Silva intelligently steals the ball so often from opponents without needing power. With players looking jaded and injuries kicking in, it is time that he had a run in the team: 7
Dzeko (for Negredo 67): No impact here: 5
Rodwell (for Fernandinho 86): n/a

Best oppo: Connor Wickham: Since a much-vaunted £8 million move from Ipswich in 2011, Wickham has stagnated at Sunderland without having many chances in a struggling team under a succession of managers. He has generally been thought of as a good Championship player and has been loaned out to clubs at that level. Most recently he has been delighting the good folk of Hillsborough before being farmed out to Leeds, before being called back to Wearside as an injury crisis kicked in. He didn’t do himself any harm here with two crisp finishes. The second was particularly impressive and powerful. He may have to ply his trade in the 2nd Division next season but it may give him a chance to rebuild his career: 7

Refwatch: Martin Atkinson: Failed to dismiss Sunderland players for two bad tackles and should have awarded City a penalty for a shove by Wickham: 2

Best thing about tonight other than City’s goals? Seeing the excellent young band Shakedown Stockholm in City Square. A six piece band from Winsford Cheshire (ED: birthplace of Alan Oakes!), featuring twin sisters with superb vocal powers and songs that took the breath away. Their powerful vocal style and sound are reminiscent of Siouxsie and the Banshees (I’d love to hear them cover Spellbound) amongst others. They literally stopped me in my tracks.

Phil Banerjee <phil.banerjee(at)orange.net>

MELTDOWN?

Just back from the Sunderland match. Very depressed and maybe a bit angry. Surely we are not going to lose all the remaining games and drop out of the top 4? I hope this is unimaginable.

It shows you just how important Yaya and David have been to us throughout the season. I feel for Sergio and Alvaro. They were forming such a fantastic partnership and then the injuries came along. By the way, on what planet is our correspondent who suggests we should sell Sergio because he has had some injuries? Does he think he contrived to get injured? Amazing!

I have a sneaking suspicion that Chelsea may end up snatching the title and then we will have to put up with the odious one smirking all through next season.

Ah well, that’s football and that’s City. Roll on next season and let’s get stuck in right from the start and avoid the unfortunate errors that lost us so many early points.

Chris Ryder <kathleenryd(at)icloud.com>

WE SAW IT COMING

Maybe after supporting City for over 50 years has made me overly cynical, but I really saw this situation coming. The defending is woeful, the front line almost non-existent and I have seen it so often over the years.

Yes I know it’s a new regime but we do seem to be fated to disappoint with a single exception. Ah well, roll on next season. Keeping the faith is so very hard.

Paul Ardern <citizenpaul947(at)gmail.com>

LIVERPOOL 3 CITY 2 (HT 2-0)

City lost a match we should have at least drawn. It’s gut-wrenching, hugely disappointing and very frustrating to see a very good City side beaten by an inferior team at such a crucial point of the season. We are now relying on results elsewhere to go our way as Liverpool have it in their hands to win the League, sitting top, seven points ahead of us, with Chelsea 3 ahead of us, both having played two games more.

Vincent Kompany had sustained a bang on his knee in a heavy fall after going up for header in training on the Saturday and City social media was swamped with fretting Blues, speculating on the great man’s fitness, but to our relief he made the starting line-up, which had only one change from the defeat of Southampton, with Clichy’s greater pace and defensive capabilities being preferred to the attacking thrust of Kolarov.

We were totally outrun for the first half hour as we could not cope with Liverpool’s ferocious pace. We just couldn’t live with the darting runs and intricacy of Sterling, Sturridge and Suarez early on and we were behind after 6 minutes. Sterling took Suarez’s incisive pass and turned Kompany inside out and shot into an unguarded net. Hart and Kompany were so bamboozled that they were stood in a straight line. It could not have been a worse start for us.

We didn’t play with enough conviction or belief and were second to the ball too often. Under pressure, we gave the ball away. One would hope the City players weren’t affected by the hostility of deafening howls and boos that greeted our every touch.

We may well have seen the last of Yaya Touré this season after he sustained a groin injury as he tried to shoot from distance. He tried to carry on but to no avail. Anfield was fast becoming a pit of despair for us. The Liverpool fans shamefully cheered when Yaya went down injured a few minutes later. To be fair some clapped him off the pitch as he hobbled off, but too many had already exposed themselves for what they are. The myth of Liverpool about sportsmanship is, as most football fans have known for years, just that: a myth.

City were really struggling to get our game going and looking vulnerable to Liverpool’s pace and ingenuity. They were also a danger at set pieces. We had not reorganised properly after Yaya’s injury and it showed when Gerrard was given the freedom of the penalty box to head a corner goalwards. Thankfully Joe Hart made a superb reflex save. Sadly it was only a temporary stay of execution. Skrtel and Kompany vied for space from the next corner, up went Skrtel’s forearm to push himself free and he glanced in an unstoppable near post header for 2-0. Replays later revealed it was a foul by Skrtel, but no City player demonstrably complained. Had there been a man on each post we may have stopped that goal.

It took a full half hour to get into the game but we dominated the last fifteen minutes of the first period and most of the second half.

We should have had a penalty when Sakho brought down Dzeko, but referees rarely have the guts to give the opposition penalties at Anfield. Mark Clattenburg was well positioned and has no excuse for not giving the spot kick.

Silva glanced a header from a Navas cross and Sakho got the merest touch to ensure it went wide. Then, from a Silva corner, Sterling headed a Kompany header off the line and Liverpool eventually cleared the danger after a scramble.

It was our bad luck that Fernandinho slipped as he hit Navas’s cross goalwards as Mignolet would have had no chance. As it was, the Belgian shot stopper was grateful to make the save.

The City team continued where we left off after the break. David Silva was running the game and Liverpool, particularly the increasingly peripheral Suarez, got desperate. The Uruguayan dived when Demichelis made no contact yet Clattenburg issued neither a foul against us nor a card for clear cheating (the current buzzword being “simulation”). Surely it is one or the other?

Pellegrini introduced Milner for Navas just four minutes after the break and City became stronger, our play carried more conviction and Silva had someone else tuned directly into his wavelength. Within 8 minutes the change paid dividends when Milner played a lovely, incisive one-two with Fernandinho down the right and crossed from the by-line for Silva who steered the ball home at the Kop End. The Liverpool fans were silenced.

Liverpool and their crowd were as groggy as a boxer who had been hit by a haymaker. Once we’d got hold of the ball, playing our intelligent, intricate football, we were almost unplayable.

Inspired by El Mago, City were rampant, cutting Liverpool to ribbons with clever, intricate passing moves and intelligent bursts forward. Silva’s shot from the inside left position was blocked but he showed speed of thought and presence of mind to dart forward and his cross just evaded a lunging Dzeko. Tottering Liverpool were all over the place, the force was with us, and City equalised in the 64th minute. Silva showed lovely skill and poise to backheel to Nasri in the box and take the Frenchman’s precise return pass down the left and crossed only for Johnson to deflect the ball past Mignolet. Anfield could hardly believe it. A pregnant pause was followed by realisation, and delirium amongst every City supporter. Liverpool fans were totally silent.

City were pressing Liverpool into mistakes and Dzeko seized on Henderson’s loose pass, stinging Mignolet’s gloves with a power blaster.

David Silva was the best player on the park. What a great player he truly is. If he only he was two inches taller (longer?) he may have steered Sergio Agüero’s teasing cross in rather than wide, but he probably wouldn’t be quite the player he is if were (centres of gravity etc.).

City were on top, there was only going to be one winner at that stage and Liverpool were hanging on for dear life deep into the second half when they found some respite in our half.

There was no real hint of any danger when the decisive blow in this match, and possibly to our title hopes, was struck with 13 minutes to go. A Liverpool throw in resulted in the ball landing innocuously in our box but it was mis-hit by Vincent Kompany, whose clearance fell to Coutinho who buried it.

Apart from Mignolet making a fairly comfortable save from a Demichelis header at a corner, City didn’t really come close to scoring after that. Skrtel punched a free kick away but Clattenburg can be forgiven for not giving it as it was difficult to spot. There was time for Clattenburg to issue a straight red for a horror tackle by Henderson, but it wasn’t a hard decision to make. It may statistically make Clattenburg look like he was even handed but the truth was that he was not. His was at best a cowardly display, and at worst, partial.

It was such a shame that we didn’t win this game, let alone get the draw that would have effectively knocked Liverpool out of the race.

Once we’d got hold of the ball and played our game, we came back from 0-2 down to equalise. Our players showed immense character to make that comeback and there looked like there was only one winner at that point, and they didn’t play in red.

Lessons identified? The Silva-Milner partnership is one that Pellegrini would do well to utilise more, and James Milner is a big game player. Whilst Navas did ok in the first half once we got him into the game, maybe in hindsight the more durable qualities of Milner were what was required in a white hot atmosphere. Why he is not used as a central midfielder, a position he excelled at with his previous clubs – is the source of some mystery. Garcia would have been another option and he would possibly have helped offer some protection to a beleaguered back four, but even then he may well have struggled with Sterling’s pace though. To be fair to Pellegrini, Navas has done well and offers us pace, so his selection is understandable. Vincent Kompany did make mistakes at all three goals but he was brave enough to play with his injury, and besides, other mistakes were made by others in at least two of those goals. Could we have been set up better? For instance, if we’d had a player on each post for corners we may have stopped the second goal. Playing the blame game is not constructive but this defeat is not down to the manager or any one City player. There is some focus on Manuel Pellegrini. However, whilst this was another big match where he was beaten, he cannot be held accountable for unexpected individual mistakes that undid us. We win collectively and we lose collectively too. We just have to learn lessons and do better.

It would be churlish not to give credit to Liverpool even if they were fortunate to be presented with a chance to win in the end. Very few sides would have coped with the storm they served up in that first half hour when they played with great passion, verve, intelligence as well as pace. Brendan Rodgers has done an amazing job to get them from a 7th place finish to being top and in pole position with four games to play.

Is the title lost? No, not yet as there are still a few matches to play, and hopefully City will win all of them. Liverpool still have to play Chelsea at home though that is either side of the Londoners playing in the Champions’ League. If Liverpool win it they will have deserved it, but we can be forgiven for not applauding too loudly, or not applauding at all.

This isn’t over yet. We have to continue to treat every game as it comes and we need three points against Sunderland on Wednesday.

We’re Man City, we’ll fight (in a football sense anyway) to the end…

Att: 44,601

Goals:
Liverpool: Sterling 6, Skrtel 26, Coutinho 77
Manchester City: Silva 57, Johnson o.g. 64

Ratings:
Hart: Made a great save to deny Gerrard, but his positioning directly behind Kompany was strange to say the least. Over-committed himself on one occasion in the first half, and got away with it: 6
Zabaleta: Uncharacteristically gave the ball away cheaply a couple of times early on, but rallied to give us the solid presence at right back that we come to expect: 6
Vincent Kompany: Is a Manchester City legend. One of the greatest players ever to wear the light Blue of Manchester City. On this occasion he admirably played in pain, having suffered a knock on his knee in Saturday’s free kick practice, and it probably affected his performance. He was turned inside out too easily for their first, fouled and outmuscled by Skrtel for their second and he made a mistake for their winner when normally he would normally have smashed a regulation clearance down the pitch. That doesn’t change one little bit what true Manchester City supporters think of him. We still hold him in the highest esteem as a player and as a man: 4
Demichelis: Another good, solid show from him, and he is looking like a player with 36 caps and 7 years at Bayern behind him. He managed not to be tricked by Suarez: 7
Clichy: Like his team mates, he suffered a slow start. He was outmuscled by Suarez in the build up for Liverpool’s opener and he wasted a good position when he delivered a poor cross into Mignolet’s arms. After the break, he improved immeasurably to be an important link player in attack, especially in the build up to our equaliser: 6
Navas: Provided two searching crosses in the last 15 minutes of the first half but like several others, he was missing in action before that. Replaced by the manager who went for the more muscular qualities of Milner: 5
Yaya: Overun and outpaced before his injury in the 19th minute: 5
Fernandinho: Once we got into the game he was already in a more advanced midfield role and he became a driving influence, especially in our first goal: 6
Nasri: Off the pace in that wretched first half but enjoyed some success when he got closer to Silva in the second half, especially when he provided the pass for the second goal. A quieter show from him, though, overall and he might benefit from a rest on Wednesday: 6
Silva: Great players change games, and Silva is one such player. Always intelligent, he invariably judges a pass perfectly and is always at least two moves ahead. Took his goal brilliantly well here, and his awareness and drive created the second: 8 (Man of the Match)
Dzeko: Held the ball well and always showed throughout the game. Unfortunate to be substituted but there was only going to be one striking berth available in this formation and Agüero was ready for action: 7
Subs:
Garcia (for Yaya 19): Assertive. Lent more muscle to midfield and Liverpool found it harder to get at us: 7
Milner (for Navas 49): An intelligent, driving, skilful performance in the second half, it was no coincidence that he played a part in both City goals. Must start more games, especially big games like this one: 8
Agüero (for Dzeko 67) almost set up a goal that might have won the game. The signs are encouraging: 7

Refwatch: Clattenburg: He didn’t have the courage to issue the second yellow card that was well merited by Suarez, and failed to award us a penalty in the first half which he could not have missed. Whether that was intentional or not, that means he ended up favouring Liverpool, because he allowed a player who should have been dismissed, to stay on the pitch. The Skrtel handball, whilst blatant was difficult to spot in real time, with heads and arms everywhere. Clattenburg’s refereeing was at best a cowardly, and at worst, biased.

Best Oppo: Philip Coutinho: A livewire and box of tricks, he worked very hard too. He adjusted well to changes of position. He started off on the left of Rodgers’ much vaunted “diamond” (stop laughing at the back), then revelled in his more advanced role after Sturridge went off injured and took his goal brilliantly (if you’re a Liverpool fan especially) and crushingly (for us): 8

Phil Banerjee <phil.banerjee(at)orange.net>

MODERN DAY LIVERPOOL LEAVE A SOUR TASTE

We lost this game but you know what, we’re City. We take it. Most of us behave ourselves watching City and there were no reported instances of trouble from City fans. We lost, but we lost with dignity. Thousands of Liverpool fans cannot say that, and their behaviour left a sour taste in the mouth.

The sense of entitlement from Liverpool FC (over so called Financial Fair Play) and their fans and downright poor behaviour of too many Liverpool fans made sure of that. Thousands loudly cheered when Yaya went down injured, a minibus from the Eccles branch of City supporters was bricked near Anfield and City fans were abused and attacked on their way home. Nothing new there but many Liverpool fans didn’t need whipping up into a frenzy by their club. Brendan Rodgers probably didn’t want to encourage violence when he said they were going to “unleash” their fans but he may have chosen his words more carefully. He might have shown better, judgement, decency and self-awareness had he not tried to use Hillsborough to galvanise his men and their fans. Modern day Liverpool FC and too many of their small minded fans have besmirched the memories of the 96 with their behaviour on this occasion, which frankly should have been left in the 1980s. Not worthy of a club that everybody used to aspire to.

In contrast, our club, players and fans can hold our heads up high. We lost with dignity. We treated the occasion with the respect that it deserves to pay respects to the 96 who died on that horrible day 25 years ago. I am proud that our club took out an ad in the Liverpool programme to pay respects to the 96 with the crest of both clubs and “YNWA 96 Manchester City remembers the 96”. I am proud that our club acceded to the requests of City fans and had a banner with the crests of both clubs and “YNWA”. Hillsborough hit people outside of Merseyside. It could have been us if we’d had a better team.

Phil Banerjee <phil.banerjee(at)orange.net>

AND FINALLY… LIKE IT WAS YESTERDAY… BUT A LIFETIME AWAY

Twenty five years ago on April 15th 1989, I went to an away match at Ewood Park. I recall that I got half way to Glossop station and realised I’d forgot my ticket so I had to run back up a very steep hill to get it and I almost missed my train. It was a crucial away match in our promotion campaign but an injury hit (Paul Lake was out and left footed Gerry Taggart played right back, disastrously), jittery, gaffe prone City were 3-0 down to mid-table Blackburn.

I turned on my small radio (my tranny) to hear the scores at the FA Cup semi-finals. The horror unfolded as the hushed, sombre tone of the great commentator Peter Jones talked about the possibility of deaths. It was shocking. How could it be? Suddenly our match didn’t matter any more. It was impossible to focus on the second half as we toiled to a 4-0 defeat. Then it became clear there had been a crush. A crush on a terrace that we’d stood on several times before.

People should not die at football matches, and it should not take 25 years for justice to be served. Hopefully the victims’ families will finally get the justice they deserve.

Phil Banerjee <phil.banerjee(at)orange.net>

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There are a number available and direct links can be found at http://www.mcivta.com/players/

[11] Do any squad members have their own Twitter accounts?

A list of genuine player accounts is maintained at http://twitter.com/#!/MCFC/players

[12] Where can I find match statistics?

Statistics for the current season are available from the club site, but for a more in-depth historical analysis try http://www.mcfcstats.com/.


DISCLAIMER

The views expressed in MCIVTA are entirely those of the subscribers and there is no intention to represent these opinions as being those of Manchester City Football Club, nor of any of the companies and universities by whom the subscribers are employed. It is not in any way whatsoever connected to the club or any other related organisation and is simply a group of supporters using this medium as a means of disseminating news and exchanging opinions.

Any offers to buy, sell or exchange tickets are made at the risk of the parties involved. MCIVTA has no commercial or insurable interest in any offer and plays no part in any transaction or arrangement. Offers are detailed purely for the convenience of our subscribers only.


[Valid3.2]Philip Alcock, editor@mcivta.city-fan.org

Newsletter #1944

2014/04/19

Editor:


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