Newsletter #1866

Biggest game in the club’s history?

Well, biggest landmark game perhaps. The sad thing is qualification is remote. Remote but not impossible so, well, those band of us who saw us lose 4-1 at Lincoln will think anything is possible.

One thing for sure, it’s a game to be enjoyed.

Dad, give them a cheer from me!

Sadly I won’t be there but, one thing that did strike me tonight watching Juve, is there equivalent chant of our “Kolo, Kolo… Yaya, Yaya” No Limits chant… It was an amazing sound in Madrid, I’d love to hear it reverberating around the Etihad.

Next Game: Real Madrid, Etihad Stadium, 21 November 2012, 19.45


“I never felt more like singing the Blues, when City win, United lose,
Oh City, you’ve got me singing the Blues”

Manchester City rose to the top of the English League again with this brilliant display of attacking football. We were back at our best with some smooth as silk passing and interplay that really delighted us.

City took the initiative early on and Tévez had a cheeky overhead attempt but it was cleared off the line.

Yet City had to work hard in the first half to stay level at times, as Aston Villa proved to be dangerous on the break. City had to be wary given the defeat that we sustained against the visitors in the League Cup. Kompany was so anxious to prevent Lowton’s cross from reaching his fellow Belgian Benteke, that his interception tested Hart’s reflexes to the full. If his toe poke had gone a yard either side of Joe then it would have been some own goal for Sir Vincent! In another Villa breakaway, Steven’s searching cross was headed downwards and goalwards by the muscular Benteke but Hart was on hand again to make another important save.

In the 19th minute the score board flashed up a “get well” message for Villa’s captain Stiliyan Petrov who is in remission after battling against leukaemia. It was a lovely gesture by our club and it was applauded by every Villa fan who recognised the significance of the 19th minute (Stiliyan Petrov’s squad number is 19). Very best wishes to Stiliyan in his recovery.

City started to take a grip of the game, which was never relinquished. The chances started to come, and Samir Nasri was at the centre of most of our best work in the first half. Yaya went on one of those exciting runs and squared to Nasri who in turn played in Clichy, whose fierce drive was well saved by Brad Guzan in the Villa goal. Nasri turned provider again when his corner was headed over by Nastasic. Agüero fired wide, before Maicon’s cross was deflected into the path of Nasri who forced another save from the increasingly busy Guzan. Another Nasri corner was headed wide by Yaya. Then, just before the break, Tévez cut in from the left and forced Guzan to make a really good low save. It was to be only a temporary stay of execution for Villa.

Nasri fired in the resulting corner, it was only half cleared and Kompany’s shot bounced into the ground, Tévez sliced goalwards and David Silva bundled the ball into the net amongst a sea of lime green Villa away shirts. It was the sort of goal that a goal poacher would be delighted with, and Silva showed his own delight by running along the by-line in front of a cheering South Stand.

It was nearly 2-0 but Silva’s angled shot from Tévez’s inviting cut back was well saved by the impressive Guzan at his near post.

The second half was one way traffic as City moved through the gears and totally dominated. Nastasic headed a Nasri corner over and Tévez fired wide soon after. Then a lovely move was started by Nasri and Silva played in Agüero who took a touch too many when he should have shot. At that point it looked like it wasn’t Sergio’s day (he’d had not been able to get into the game in the first half). Our second goal, though, was very fortunate indeed as Silva’s right wing corner bounced high and Yaya headed it over the goal. The linesman on the far (Kippax) side flagged and a penalty was given for handball. No one appealed for the penalty, the referee saw nothing and replays showed there was no obvious offence. Agüero drilled home the penalty low to Guzan’s left: “Sergio! Sergio!” chanted the crowd.

Whilst Villa can count themselves very unfortunate to have conceded that penalty, there was no doubt about the second as Bannan handled as Silva tricked his way past him on the bye line. This time Tévez grabbed the ball and coolly rolled the ball in, sending Guzan the wrong way. Up went another huge cheer then Tévez proceeded to sit on the turf in front of us in the Colin Bell Stand, and pretend to drive a car (his car was towed away last week, or was it a golf buggy?) with a cheeky grin on his face!

Paul Lambert cannot legitimately make excuses despite the lucky first penalty because there was inevitability about City’s goals in the second half, as City turned on the style and visitors crumbled.

Tévez played as pass to Agüero in the inside left position, and he cut inside a defender and his angled drive beat Guzan at the near post for 4-0 via a deflection off the Villa left back.

Tévez completed the scoring in the 74th minute. Substitute Dzeko played Nasri in down the inside left channel and his perfect low cross was stroked home by Tévez at the far post. He couldn’t have asked for an easier goal.

There was still time for Holman to fire a rare shot over for Villa, and for Scott Sinclair to have a run out. He had an effort tipped over and he missed from under the bar. A miss it may have been but he positive news is that he showed an opportunist instinct and didn’t look like his confidence had suffered for not being involved in much first team football.

So beautiful was our football that you find yourself pinching yourself just to check this is still not a wonderful dream. Every player performed well without exception, making it an afternoon to savour. Like so many games here last season, you just didn’t want the game to end.

Thanks Sheikh Mansour, Roberto, coaches and players.

Silva (42)
Agüero (54 pen)
Tévez (65 pen)
Agüero (67)
Tévez (75)

Attendance: 47,072

Hart: two brilliant saves in the first half were the bedrock of this win. What a ‘keeper: 8
Maicon: An absolute delight to watch all afternoon and he defended well when he had to. His highlight was a lovely pass from wide: 9
Kompany: A tenacious display from the captain that kept Villa’s pacey attack at bay: 7
Nastasic: Powerful and read the game very well indeed. Got the necessary blocks and interceptions in, he is clearly growing into the job with a very assertive showing: 8
Clichy: Such a good, unfussy full back, he deserves the plaudits that he gets from our knowledgeable fans: 7
Nasri: This was a highly impressive performance in which he created so many chances: 9 (Man of the Match)
Yaya Touré: Good skill and strength on the ball and plenty of work off it: 7
Barry: Always there to tidy up and used the ball very well. Truly accomplished from start to finish: 8
Silva: Back to his best with another very pleasing show. It was a very sharp finish for his goal: 8
Agüero: Overcame a quiet first half to dazzle in the second: 8
Tévez: Initially a little out of sorts but his strong character and desire to win: 8
Dzeko (for Agüero 69): Used the ball intelligently: 6
Kolarov (for Clichy 73): Steady in defence. One lovely cross deserved a finish: 7
Sinclair: (for Silva 75) Looked lively, but should have opened up his account: 6

Best oppo: Brad Guzan: But for him we would have been talking about a double figure haul: 8

Refwatch: Jon Moss (or was it Boy George?): I was warned about his lack of competence by a friend so expectations were low, but he didn’t manage to spoil this game. Showed his officiousness by denying Villa one advantage, but otherwise did ok. 6


With Chelsea also losing (at West Brom), it was a good day all round. Watching the Villa game again on Match of the Day and Football First was a real pleasure, and Vincent Kompany, as one would expect, was a total credit to himself and Manchester City on Match of the Day. Of course Norwich’s win over United was also very enjoyable too!

It was good to see ex-City left back Javier Garrido playing a crucial role in Norwich’s goal, his perfect cross being headed in by Pilkington for Naarge’s winner and it wasn’t the only cracking cross that Javi put in for the Canaries. Javi is a good professional who served us well, but he might have extra motivation to do well against United being an ex-City player, and also for the fact that he was hit by a coin that was aimed for Carlos Tévez at Old Trafford. It was good to see Rag classless behaviour being overcome by Javi’s class.

Phil Banerjee <philban65(at)>


I thought I’d send a reply regarding Calvin’s post last week and the half time boos.

I don’t think City fans are so fickle as to boo the team at half time and chant Bobby’s song in the 2nd half. From what I know, the boos were aimed at the appalling refereeing and linemen’s decisions (apologies, referees inept assistant).

City were being extremely hard done by with the refereeing and offside decisions and I think this is where the frustrations were born – even down to Bobby’s body language in the dugout.

James Talbot <jtalbot9(at)>


I spent a pleasant Saturday afternoon reading the latest issue of McV while listening to City’s comfortable victory against Villa on the radio. Last week marked six months since the 13th May and those last few minutes of terror and joy for Blue fans everywhere. I never tire of watching the final moments of that game – from QPR’s throw-in as the seconds count down. Joleon Lescott’s clever little nudge on Boothroyd to win the header and set up Nigel de Jong for one final attack.

The 9 QPR outfield players retreating into their own half like a tidal wave… Sergio comes short to take the pass, then turns and plays a clever little ball into Mario with the outside of his right boot and goes for the return.

A fantastic assist by Mario who while on the deck still manages to somehow caress the ball into a pocket of space for Agüero to run on to. Our little hero takes a deft touch to beat a desperate lunge of a tackle. And in a blur the ball’s in the back of the net! Aguerrrroooooooooooooooooooooo!

That moment in time as Kun’s about to pull the trigger is saved as the ‘desktop wallpaper’ on my computer, and I don’t intend to change it any time soon! Then the crazy celebrations – Joe Hart and Gael Clichy, Roberto Mancini running around like a dervish, checking his jacket pockets in case his Rowntree fruit pastilles are bouncing out?!

Perhaps it’s taken the club this long to come to terms with their status of Premier League Champions, but it seems the players are now gradually getting back to the standards set last season. Despite this we’re the only unbeaten team and now top of the league too, so it can hardly be called a crisis.

Twelve months before the title was won I was lucky enough to be at Wembley to see City win the FA Cup. I’d hastily entered a Manchester Evening News comp online to try to get a ticket for the final. The question was: who scored City’s first goal in that season’s FA Cup run? Mistakenly I entered the answer as Dzeko (convinced that Notts County was the 3rd round game) – when in fact the correct scorer was Milner against Leicester City of course.

Nevertheless some guy from the MEN phoned me up in work the day before the final to tell me my name’s been picked out as one of the winners. I felt like Charlie Bucket when he won Willy Wonka’s last golden ticket for the chocolate factory!

Imagine my embarrassed surprise when I looked at the FA Cup Final Official Programme and realised I should never have been there! I guess if you hang with your team for over 40 years then you deserve the odd stroke of fortune. Whatever, Friday 13th May 2011 was not unlucky for me that day – just like it wasn’t for City on 13th May this year.

P.S. it was great to see captain Kompany invited on to the MOTD sofa, but isn’t it about time they binned Alan Hansen and his tired old clichés?

Regards to all you Blues out there – we kept the faith!

Jon Reese <jreese(at)>


Hmmm, a rather rancorous and in-fighting issue that last one.

I was starting to think we must have sunk into the relegation zone without my noticing. Hey folks, times are good, we even squeaked a narrow victory over the mighty Villa this afternoon.

It goes to show the difference in expectation levels from just a few years previous when mid-table mediocrity was something to aspire to rather than sleepless nights mulling over facing the drop.

Now that those bearing 666 on their foreheads finally got their just desserts against a Norwich team who outplayed them twice last season only to come away empty-handed on both occasions and we’re back atop for the moment – I’m hoping for a cheerier edition upcoming.


Speaking of which, another bang-up job is being done by the ever-smiley Mark “No Clues” Hughes, eh? What was he saying after last season about this never happening again under his watch?

Whilst I have nothing (much) against him personally I was still one who openly celebrated our getting rid of him – anyone who can’t organise a defence for toffee is doomed in the Premier League – but what drove me crackers was the way we were routinely derided by various pundits and so-called experts within the media for doing so.

At the same time as us undergoing this grilling as a club, so too was our new manager being ridiculed by a xenophobic section of said media. His accent, his sideline attire, his hair, his initial cautious approach (which was perfectly understandable given the way we invited the opposition to score against us under Hughes – did you see the Southampton players queuing up to put that first goal in today), were all pounced upon.

Well, he who laughs last…

Anyhow, am I alone in my thinking or not, in that our main focus in Europe right now should be avoiding at all costs getting into the Europa League? (ED – no you are not Steve!)

Steve O’Brien <bodsnvimto(at)>


Ref the comment from the City supporter from Hong Kong.

Yes, there were boos at half time at the Spurs game, but these were not directed towards the City players, they were directed towards the referee, Mr Oliver, who gave a most appalling display.

If I can remember correctly, 2 penalty claims were rejected, and he was conned numerous times by the Spurs players falling over.

Bad penalty decisions even out over a season, so they say. In our case they did on Saturday, thank you Jon Moss.

(ED – There were numerous responses to Calvin Chan’s article confirming the ‘boos’ were for the referee and not the team; thanks all for you explanation and thanks to Calvin for highlighting how such events are portrayed)

Peter Wilson <psw(at)>


Phil Banerjee raised a question: what are “Kick It Out” supposed to do other than campaign?

Well I would have thought that is exactly what they should be doing and “lobbying” the FA, UEFA and FIP organizations as often as they can till these organizations do something towards the problem. I state towards the problem because it is also up to the more reasoned spectators, hopefully peacefully, stating (of course being human beings that objecting may not be peacefully done regrettably) their objections to the comments being made during a game and maybe then it will help eradicate the problem of racism at matches!

Then we have the racism comments that may occur on the field, whether by players or officials! Here then the players particularly have a problem if one of their own team mates is using such language and if so then the clubs need to be more aware of what their own players are saying and fellow players and club management need to educate those who are making so called racist comments.

However, I do have a problem with this name calling because is any name calling not OK but only some that is not OK; e.g. “you cockney so and so do not do that again” and then in cricket such comments are called “sledging” and so is it time that we just got on with life knowing that boys will be boys no matter where they come from!

And so to the Aston Villa game… well Phil Banerjee have the match officials been reading your comments about refereeing in Man City matches and decided to try to right the position?

As I have to say I think that the first penalty in this latest match was a little fortuitous, particularly in normal play which the officials have to go by and if Mr. Lambert has some comments to make about the officiating then it just highlights how things come around given time.

However, we are fans of City and we will continue to complain until City win more regularly than they lose like the All Blacks (although if you listen to the AB’s fans here in NZ they can complain like the best of any fan group!): so all in all from my perspective here in New Zealand a very good Sunday of sport watching even if I had to wait to watch City’s match after Davis Cup tennis and the All Blacks events as I have to keep peace with the “manager”; oh yes, not all my wife’s fault as I also had a committee meeting to go to beforehand to do with my hobby but well worth the waiting as we won by 5.

Trevor Bevan <mate.bevan(at)>


I have 2 spare tickets (£35 each) for the City game in Dortmund. Do you know anybody who will be interested?

Thank you.

David Thornton <thorntons2010(at)>


My mates and I sit at the South end, a block or so from the away supporters in the middle tier.

We have noticed that in possibly 95% or more of the matches since moving to the stadium, City have played towards the South in the first half and obviously away from us the 2nd half. I assume that this is because the teams enter the field with City to the left and visitors to the right and at the toss up the only thing that is decided is who kicks off. In the good old days, it depended on the wind direction, the sun shining in the goalie’s eyes or the slope of the pitch or other obtuse decisions!

There is nothing amiss with any of this, but now we are champions and all teams seem to play with 11 men behind the ball as soon as we get possession, there is a pattern whereby we attack all the time and eventually score possibly late in the first half, which means that the opposition need to be a bit more open in the 2nd half. This means that all the action and goals are scored at the far end from us – remember that last day of the season? Last Saturday against Villa and the week before against Spurs are classic examples.

As 2 of us are now being rewarded by the government for being over 65, we maybe don’t have the benefit of eagle-eyed-ness as in the past.

So quite simply, how do I get Mr Kompany to elect to kick the other way in the first half from time to time so that the South end of the stadium can have a share of the action nearer to hand?

Chris Ryder <chrisryder62(at)>


19 November 2012

West Ham United       1 - 1  Stoke City            35,005

18 November 2012

Fulham                1 - 3  Sunderland            25,646

17 November 2012

Arsenal               5 - 2  Tottenham Hotspur     60,111
Liverpool             3 - 0  Wigan Athletic        44,913
Manchester City       5 - 0  Aston Villa           47,072
Newcastle United      1 - 2  Swansea City          49,403
Queens Park Rangers   1 - 3  Southampton           18,174
Reading               2 - 1  Everton               24,184
West Bromwich Albion  2 - 1  Chelsea               25,933
Norwich City          1 - 0  Manchester United     26,840

League table as at 20 November 2012

                    P  GD Pts
 1 Manchester City 12  15  28
 2 Manchester Utd  12  12  27
 3 Chelsea         12  11  24
 4 West Brom A.    12   6  23
 5 Everton         12   6  20
 6 Arsenal         12  10  19
 7 West Ham Utd    12   3  19
 8 Tottenham H.    12  -1  17
 9 Fulham          12   3  16
10 Swansea City    12   2  16
11 Liverpool       12   1  15
12 Newcastle Utd   12  -4  14
13 Norwich City    12  -9  14
14 Stoke City      12  -1  13
15 Sunderland      11  -2  12
16 Wigan Athletic  12  -9  11
17 Reading         11  -5   9
18 Aston Villa     12 -12   9
19 Southampton     12 -12   8
20 QPR             12 -14   4

With thanks to Football 365

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Newsletter #1866