BOLTON, ENGLAND - MAY 22: David Silva (C) of Manchester City takes on Matt Taylor (L) and Zat Knight (R) during the Barclays Premier League match between Bolton Wanderers and Manchester City at the Reebok Stadium on May 22, 2011 in Bolton, England. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
I was away most of yesterday so my only view of the game was the brief highlights on MoTD last night.
As a consequence I don't have much to add so I'll leave the post up as a bit of a thread to discuss the game.
A couple of brief points though on yesterdays win:
- It would have been a huge surprise had City not got the three points to guarantee third place, but it showed the character within the side to accomplish the job in the way they did. Ultimately, with Arsenal slipping up again, the win wasn't needed but there have been signs of late that the poor away form may have been overcome.
- What is particularly impressive is how the side has timed its run at the end of the season. Since the defeat at Liverpool, City have posted seven wins from eight games (Everton being the only defeat), keeping six clean sheets in eight games including in the FA Cup semi-final, FA Cup Final and the win over Tottenham to ensure a top finish.
- Another clean sheet then. Joe Hart not only took the Premier League 'Golden Gloves' award for most clean sheets but broke the club single season record too. Testament not only to him, but the defence (and Nigel de Jong) as a whole.
- Good to see Dedryck Boyata get some more minutes under his belt and it may be that he will spend 2011/12 out on loan. Reece Wabara - another Academy product - came on for his debut too. Hard to tell I know, but from his Twitter account he does come across as fairly level-headed and keen to succeed.
- Edin Dzeko got on the scoresheet. Yes, he has struggled for the most part since his arrival but he has netted a couple of improtant goals (at Notts County and away at Blackburn) and slowly looks more assimilated and comfortable in the side. A natural finisher, he could - depending on Carlos Tevez's future - be a key part next season, particularly with the addition of a Alexis Sanchez or Juan Mata type player in support.