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Hello Sunshine - Man City Away Report


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Global warming - don't ya just love it?

The season is almost at an end, and in the north west of England today, the sun shone, warmed the bones and made promises of things to come.

But being northern dwellers, Jon, his Bro and myself protected our pasty winter complexions within the shelter of a packed boozer near piccadilly, watching the SKY telly game from Goodison. Can't be too careful, what with them ultra violent rays beating down from the heavens.

Anyway, after pleasant chat and pleasant beers, we trooped on up to the upside down space spider that is the COMS, home of low (should that be "No") scoring Manchester City. So did around 40,000 others. about 3000 of them Villans, the rest being of course the fans of the also rans of manchester. Their support is numerically excellent, but on todays evidence, sonically dire. Not as bad as their team though.

The game, which let's face it, was not one of the weekend's more important fixtures, kicked off lively enough. City were perhaps the brighter, early on, but truth be told, both sets of players looked a bit enervated.

Olly and Martin laursen seemed to be handling the efforts of Mpenza, Samaras and Vassel pretty comfortably. Neither goal really looked under much threat.

After this initial "getting to know you" period, Villa started to come much more into the game from an offensive viewpoint. But still to not much effect.

Then, in the calmness that is only present when the game means not so much, I knew we'd score, before we did. Ashley Young wriggled on the left, beat his man and put over a terrific cross. I was certain, even before seeing Carew head it superbly into the corner, that we'd score.

It all looked so pre-destined, in that moment. All those worries about bogey sides, Darius and poor records in Manchester rendered meaningless and groundless by a bloke taking on the defender, crossing, and a big lad heading in across the keeper. Simple game, Dunno why we get so tangled up.

In the end of season sunshine Gareth Barry was the one player on the pitch who really looked like it meant something to him. He had a top game this afternoon. Ran it, really. Others did good too, but GB was the stand out.

Nevertheless, with Halsey refereeing, you just can't take things for granted. Shortly before half time Tommy turned away a City shot for a corner, the corner was crossed in and Tommy, in coming for the ball, was either prevented from getting it by Vassel, merely didn't get there with no one being at fault, or if you're Mark Halsey, fouled Darius heinously and gave away a pen.

Joey "youse lot are all sh*te" Barton, showed his average team mates how to do it, by, er, tonking the pen miles over the bar. Diddums. :)

Half time.

Second half was much more one sided, Villa were well on top. Not as much so as at Boro a week or two ago, but nevertheless, we looked easily the more able side. Really I suppose, we should have made more of this superiority, but we never looked like letting one in....until Mpenza got clean through, following a foul on Carew, not given, City broke quickly, but Tommy saved excellently in a one on one.

Carew was subbed off, not long after, Shaun Maloney replacing him. You know your luck's in when a sub comes on and scores straight away. It happened at Boro with Luke. This time it was wee Shaun. A free kick maybe 28 yards out. Wall, keeper, etc. Easy. Ball over the wall and into the goal. Keeper static. It was the second time I knew we'd score before we did. Wierd.

City fans streamed, sullenly, to their exits, Villans stayed and enjoyed the last 15 or 20 minutes.

Game over. Job done.

It wasn't a classic, I doubt MoTD will be able to make much of it. It was all so end of season meaningless, in the wider context. For Villa though it wasn't meaningless. Apart from the duty of the players to damned well earn their devotion and their money, there was the issue of ending a "hoodoo", of keeping on the improvements so that next season starts on the right lines, of fighting to earn their places in the team. No game is truly meaningless to the fans, and nor should it be to the players.

Some marks

Tommy - 7 - Crucial saves,

Bardsley - 7 - Did well defensively, best game for a while from him.

Freddie Bouma - 7. You know the thing, without me saying.

Olly - 7

Crazy Horse - 7 - the pair of them were on top of their opponents throughout.

Craig Gardner - impressed again - 7

Stan - He had another good one. 7

Ashley Young - A lively 7

Gareth Barry - Didn't put a foot wrong, ran the game. 9

Big bad John Carew - 7 - looked a bit unfit, but effective. (wee shauny 7 - lovely free kick)

Gabby 7.

City were pants.

I haven't had a moan about the trains for a bit. SO here we go. Coming back tonight, and this is true, the train announcer (on the train) said "we're not stopping at [any of the stops] as we're running late" 4 minutes late, that's all! Consequently...well you can guess, but how daft is that? - People stood by platforms as the train howled past, having to wait another hour because the fecking driver must have been on a promise. Utter twunt. Grrrr.

It didn't detract from a good day all round, though. But North West trains are still ****s.

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nice report. good result, shame this result doesnt really mean anything for us in terms of the table.

and apparently, just after carew scored Joey Barton went running over to Pearce and started arguing with him, Distain and Dunne got involved aswell.

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Nice happy report! It feels so good to have beaten Man Citeh on their own turf and to see that Vasell never made it onto the scoresheet like he rarely did for us :winkold:

I'm really liking the Mellberg and Laursen partnership too, Laursen looks so confident you wouldn't think his knee is made of glass. Nah he's quality and I'm sure thats taken a bit of pressure off Mellberg too.

Just wanna say in the defense of your train driver who you seem to naively think made the decision not to stop the train. Come on its not like 'On the Buses' with Butler at the helm! There's no way he'd be allowed to do that, the blame lies on the shoulders of Network Rail who direct the trains, unless of course your train broke down earlier into its journey and missed its slot.

Come on the Villa!

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Well I reckon it was NW trains at fault - probably they did it to avoid paying some fine for the number of late trains, or something - cheaper to miss the fares of a few folk, than to pay a fine. But it really was only 4 minutes late. because it is the same train going up and down one line, people could eventually get off, but it made me 30 minutes late, and other people later than that. Not good.

It may not have been the driver's fault, but he was laughing about it with the next drivr at the end of the line, when they changed. Twunt.

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Nice report Pete - was good to met up again - decent boozer we came across to :-)

I agree with most of the ratings. Pretty much everyone deserved a 7 i'd say, with Barry, Laursen & Carew excelling so maybe going beyond this.

My ratings:

Tommy - excellnet display apart form the bizzare attack on Vass for the pen. Thought it was harsh at the time but in the cold light of MOTD, was clearly a pen - you can't run through a player to get to the ball i'm afraid - could have cost us a result - 6

Bardsley - OK defensively - 7

Boomer - ditto - 7

Mellberg - not the same player as a few years ago - not in same class as laursen - did reasonably well - 6

Laursen - excellent - nothing got past him - MOTM 8

Stan - got more & more into game - kept & passed well - 7

Barry - great display - shackled JB quite well & was everywhere 1st half - 8

Young - In & out of game - good cross for goal though - 7

TINA Gardner - hard working display as usual - augmented the midfield well - 7

Gabby - worked hard - 7

Carew - physically immense with some great touches - looked like he went off with a slight injury - 8

All in all a great display & great day - Citeh were largely sh*t though.

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Sweet, the Blandy report.

No pies described in this one, and I'm afraid I must require the exact beers you have pre-game from the bars you go to :P do love to hear about the different trains, though.

Thanks for the report...and get a tan, my friend :winkold:

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No pie , Chris, I had an organic cheese burger outside the ground. I kid you not (with cheese, onions and an inferior brand brown sauce).

Beer was 2 pints of GMT in Wetherspoons, a Deuchar's and 2 Timmy Taylors Landlord in the Waldorf (plastic glasses in there, mind).

Mmm Beer. Dipsomania is not an illness....is it?

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