City forced to defend early in the first half
A well-deserved one-nil victory (City Official Match Report) but an expensive three points for my wallet! The foundations of my goal-fest prediction were all there. But when I turned up and realised we were to be playing in white I thought the entire strategy might be undone. I’m a strong believer in third kits being a bad omen.
I’ll exchange a dent in the wallet for three points any day. City dominated for a lot of the game but it's fair to say Pompey gave us some cause for concern in various areas. It was a great atmosphere and we roll on unbeaten in the league, unbeaten away from home, the only side to have not conceded a goal. As one fan bellowed out in reply to Pompey’s cheating chant aimed at Adebayor, “Same old City, always winning!” Yeah, steady on...
Any fans who weren’t at the game will know better as it was televised on Sky, but I hear the disallowed goal should have stood on the grounds that Barry was offside and not Richards. Was Barry interfering with play? There were also two big penalty shouts. I thought both were penalties, but the Tevez penalty shout was probably the most blatant I have ever seen. Again Sky may have already proven me wrong. Either way, had a couple of all of those chances gone in the 3-0 correct score and total goals call might have looked a little more sensible. I hope readers didn’t wager too much on similar outcomes. I heard one fan on the way out say he had Adebayor to score first and City 3-0. Gutted.
Adebayor's goal brought about rapturous scenes in the City end with Adebayor's newly adapted song being bellowed out to a silent Pompey crowd (see home page for video). If Adebayor can keep up the steady trickle of goals then our away form might just continue.
As it was many City fans were sweating like Aussies in a spelling test for a period during the second half when Pompey pressed for an equaliser. Shay Given’s call for composure in seeing games out was not entirely heeded, as the gut instinct for many City players is still to rampage up the pitch in search of another goal late on. But the 1-0 held and City fans celebrated to avoid the riot that would have unfolded had Pompey equalised after the Tevez penalty shout.
City fans celebrate the final whistle...let the good times roll!
With readers having watched the game on television it leaves me to point out a few subtle nuances picked up in the terrace. Firstly, the terrace banter is getting better and better. The production line of imaginative and humorous songs that used to be the reserve of standing in the Kippax is on its’ way back. If you’ve not been to an away game yet this season then I can highly recommend it.
On the player front Tevez looked a bit tired as the game neared the end. More match fitness is required. I guess I have to break my protective silence on Wayne Bridge as well. He must close down potential crosses quicker than he does, or at all. If we’re vulnerable anywhere it is down the flanks. Finally, an observation on Petrov. I spotted it at the Blackburn game and noticed it again at half-time at Portsmouth. His body language seems to be saying, “what am I doing here,” like he would be more interested staying at home pairing his socks up. Head down and no enthusiasm. I hope I’m wrong and he wins a place to prove his attacking worth.
After the international break, City have two huge games in the form of Arsenal at home and United away. The Chairman’s recent interview with the official site suggested the Sheikh could be in town soon. Arsenal at home would represent a fine way to greet an adoring and grateful City faithful.
Bring ‘em on!