Manchester City suffered a rare home defeat on Tuesday night, in what is now named the Capital One Cup. Although technically a draw in ninety minutes, a mix and match Man City side could not contain Villa in the extra time periods and were knocked out of the only domestic cup competition that Roberto Mancini has failed to win in his tenure. Disappointing, but only mildly so.
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Well, there isn't one. Let's get that out of the way straight away! The rare combination of the lack of a live stream for the fixture and none of the writers being able to attend the game due to travel or lack of funds after the excellent trip myself and Harkiano enjoyed in Madrid, meant we were unable to cover this fixture.
So, I shall propose this: Anyone who saw the game live, or has had access to an extended highlights package post your thoughts and reactions in the comments sections. I for one would like some more info on the game that didn't seem to exist.
Things We Know
The weather was terrible up in Manchester on Tuesday. The met office had forecast biblical rain (even by Manchester's standards) and rain it did. Poor weather conditions are the great equalizer of talent levels in sports contests and so it proved.
The attendance was very poor (28k) for this competition, which indicates a general lack of interest in the Capital One Cup. My proposal for an increase in interest in the League cup would go along the lines of changing the format to include all Welsh and particularly Scottish teams and re-branding the competition as the British Cup. The TV men and the organizers of the League Cup may aswell try something. Better to try and fail than watch the competition fade into irrelevancy, as it has now done.
Still, a defeat and the exit from this competition is disappointing; take nothing away from Aston Villa, who treated this game with more respect and played with a greater urgency, or so the accounts of people who saw the game testify.
The defeat is mildly upsetting as it now denies us any future chances to give youth players like Suarez, Razak, Helan or Rekik some game time. These boys now lose out on minutes in the first team and we are deprived of knowing just how far these players are at in terms of cracking the PL squad for Man City. If we use the scoreline as short hand, some of these boys are a ways away still.
Kolarov scored another beauty of a freekick, Tevez nearly matched that effort, only to be denied by the crossbar. Gareth Barry scored for Villa, Costel Pantilimon played like a fan who had won a pre-game raffle to play in goal for the game. He was that bad. Costel faced 4 shots on target, spilled one of them for the 2-3 goal and conceded the other three for Aston Villa goals.
Just wait for these highlights and judge Costel for yourselves. I know the weather was poor, but even in a February Buffalo-esque blizzard or a London pea soup fog I would have expected a better goal keeping performance than last nights. I don't believe I am about to say these words but; Richard Wright, opportunity knocks for the #2 position.
Oh, Costel. Oh no.
Readers, any thoughts or forgettable memories to share from last night's game? If so comment away.