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PL Recap: Manchester City 1-0 Chelsea

Yeah, it was that kind of day at Eastlands ...


What you need to know
• We've now lost consecutive matches.
• We weren't as poor as some are suggesting.
• City were outstanding defensively. Nigel De Jong, in particular, was a carbonite wall in front of a makeshift back four that shone.
• Andre Marriner was poor.
• We missed a creativity axle in midfield (i.e. Frank Lampard).
• Our lack of squad depth is already being exposed.

More to know
• Arsenal 2-3 WBA
• Bolton 2-2 Manchester United
• Liverpool 2-2 Sunderland
• There are no easy fixtures in this league.

Of course there is plenty more to discuss regarding this defeat - tactics, the lack of adaptability, the plight of Ramires, how we were half-unlucky, etc. - but there's never any time. NO TIME!

One point to present before I refer to Jessie Spano, Yossi Benayoun would have been an excellent option. I reckon his ability to move the ball quickly as well as get into a forward position would have resulted in much more success for us in the trenches, the mine field that was the midfield. It's funny how an injury always seems to deny us such an option in matches against powerful sides (i.e. Deco v. Internazionale).

Hot Sundae. I would've copped that album on release day, no doubt. But I digress.

On to the player ratings.

Hint: This guy is amongst our best on the day. Does he warrant a start on Wednesday? Maybe so.


Player Ratings
Petr Cech

Commanded his area well. Made a quality save on Silva. Perhaps could have positioned himself better on the goal? Nah, no way. 7

Branislav Ivanovic (CO MOTM)
Off the pace in the early stages, but it did not take long for our Serbian to make the step up. Denied by both the bar, and then Hart, with headers. Unlucky. 7

Rarely tested - like most of the back four. Easily turned when Silva forced Cech to save at the near post; other than that, solid. 7

Solid as well. Dealt with a very active Tevez as well as could be asked. Unconvincing only in non-threatening positions where his pace - or lack thereof - could be exposed. 7

Ashley Cole
Clearly not at his best. Failed to get forward with usual regularity - either tactical or by choice. Either way, it wasn't a benefit. Had some nut with his meg on the goal, this after providing Tevez with far much space going forward. 6

John Obi Mikel
Comfortable again, in what was a midfield stand-off. Not exactly who I expected to be substituted, though we should've seen it come. The Nigerian is usually the man sacrificed when we are chasing a game. To be fair to Carlo, Mikel was on a yellow. 7

Welcome to life in the Premier League. Promising without the ball; egregious with it. Suffered a torrid time against Yaya and the like. While many are taking aim at the Brazilian, but, let's be fair, it is far too early for that. Remember Flo. 4.5

Michael Essien
Note to the Bison: Shooting practice extended by six hours this week. Thanks, Carlo. 6.5

Nicolas Anelka
Industrious, and his trademark movement was on display, but found it to be a frustrating afternoon. Forced a nice save from Hart, but that was about it in regard to chances. 7

Florent Malouda
Disappointing. How our in-form Frenchman failed to test Boyata is shocking. Far too narrow, whether it was of his design or Ancelotti's. We've grown to expect more, much more. 5.5

Didier Drogba
Not in attendance. Quelled like we haven't seen in months. 5

Yuri Zhirkov
Was bright for once. Of course, it helped that he was employed in a more forward positions. Linked well with Malouda and Cole. 6.5

Daniel Sturridge
Again was sloppy. His directness is beginning to have a negative effect on his overall contribution. Trying entirely too hard.5.5

Josh McEachran (Readers' MOTM)
A fine encore to his outstanding display against Newcastle. His introduction, that of a creative fulcrum, saw the side instantly look far more fluid though the threat was never there. 7

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