After a winless August we moved in to September with the thankless task of a trip to the Etihad.
Getting stuck on the M62 in a massive jam for an hour kind of set the tone for the usual painful day.
Pre match beers at our chosen pub nearly didn’t happen. “Man City Only” stuck on the windows after being full of Mags last season. However, being with the other half and no colours on we sneaked in, along with a couple of local ish Mags we knew. The day was picking up!
A pointer for this is a bit like banning away fans from drinking on Gateshead High Street pre game given the distance we were from the ground. Pathetic. This pub runs its own bus to the ground for a couple of quid a head. Champion. Rafa made the expected changes after the Forest debacle. The skipper returned, as did the likes of Dummett, Diame and Rondon.
Still a back 5 though. Damage limitation understandably the aim. Man City were just the usual array of expensive talent. So many players to admire. David Silva and Aguero always thorns in our side. Quality we can only dream of.
Just a shame their fans don’t appreciate it. 7k empty seats. Disgraceful.
The games barely 7 minutes old, we’ve been in the rack and Lascelles uncharacteristically gives the ball away. Sterling bends it in for the opener. Flood gates opening? Lascelles is having a tough evening. Nobody really on it for us, but nobody bit fighting for the team. City pepper the goal, Dubravka excellent and keeps them at bay. First real attack from us. Perez gets it, plays in Kenedy who finds Yedlin coming in at the back post. 1-1. Brilliant attack from us. More City attacks, more defending and good goalkeeping. We’re still in it at half time.
Major gripe of the day. We went for a beer at half time. (Well the Mrs did) She came back with a mars bar. No beer, no food, no soft drinks or fuck all. Water only. Yes, fucking water. I’m pissed off with the attitudes of some of these clubs and some tit for tat response would fettle them. Rant over.
Second half underway and just like the first we let them in after 7 minutes. Walker given the freedom of Manchester to pick his spot and beat Dubravka from outside the box. 2-1.
It was pretty much backs to the wall stuff for us. Some last ditch defending and goalkeeping preventing a hiding. One of their fans got a hiding mind, much to the amusement of the away contingent. Posturing at the Mags, as is a Manchester staple, one of his own fans decided to spark him out! Claret everywhere. Hilarious.
We managed to see the game out with no real drama’s. Fernandez did gift the ball to Aguero late on but he failed to find the net. Beaten and bruised but certainly not battered as we anticipated. I’d have taken that. City lauding their record of 10 straight wins in home soil against us on their advertising boards. Those wins all in the money laden era for them and the Ashley era for us. No great surprise.
Onwards and hopefully upwards then.
STEVE WALLWORK – Follow Steve on @stevewallwork