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From My Seat: Manchester City (H)

By Ken Buckley   ::  16/03/2013

We all turned up at our alehouse HQ and the conversation was of the doings of last week and the possible consequences. Today's game was a secondary thought for some time and then when discussed was simply if improvement in play and attitude was not forthcoming then we may suffer yet again. The alehouse filled up which is usually a sign of a good gate and indeed today was no exception as thirty six and a half thousand filled Goodison. The walk up was subdued today and there was even a manageable queue at the Blue Dragon. Strange to see the state of the Winslow, I guess a sign of the times.

Teams announced and Neville replaced by Gibson and Jelavic by Anichebe; Mucha continued in goal.

The game started at a bit of a pace and only a few minutes in we had Dzeko go down in an ariel challenge with Distin and when the ref gave no foul he went into a deep sulk that the ref spent at least two minutes trying to get the City man to come to him without much success, eventually he reluctantly came to the ref after the intervention of his captain.

Surely a yellow for such behaviour, no just a finger pointing telling off that took but twenty seconds and we got the game back. It does make you wonder. The next action saw Fellaini give Milner a hefty nudge as he went down the wing which resulted in a very early Yellow which takes him to ten and a two game ban, he needs a Pienaar style T-Shirt proclaiming 'Why does everybody keep picking on me'

Everton were looking the better side as we attacked the Park end, Coleman won a corner that Mirallas swung in and Distin failed with a free header. This superiority was almost rewarded when Mirallas got in and thumped a fierce left footer home only to be blown up for offside. A pity that it was a great effort and a goal would have been just reward for our play to that point.

Coleman was marauding down the right in good fashion but his crosses let his effort down a little none more than a comic episode when he left City for dead and got in a great crossing position and you could actually see him in about three minds and he floated the ball harmlessly over the bar.

City had sporadic attacks but neither Tevez or Dzeko could worry Mucha with their efforts. City were getting rattled and tackles were starting to fly in but the first to be booked in this spell was Pienaar for a foul on Barry giving City a free kick which was fired into the wall much to the delight of those assembled. Next Barry fouled Distin but no card which infuriated the home faithful, from here on in both sets of fans sussed a weak ref and started calling for everything and the ref very often obliged.

The half hour mark and our pressure paid off when the excellent Coleman found his way passed a couple of defenders, looked up and laid the ball to Osman who smashed it left footed into the top corner leaving England's finest rooted to the spot. The roar from L4 could be heard in L1 as we all celebrated the wonder strike.

Mancini came to the edge of the pitch waving his arms to change his system in response to our goal and did get a bit of joy as Tevez flashed one wide' It was the Blues on top though as Coleman got forward and put a cross deep to the far post that Hart scrambled to palm it away but straight to Mirallas who had an empty net to aim at but his header hit a fast recovering defender and went for a corner. Good attack-- good defending.

Silva booked for illegally stopping Coleman once to often as the half ended with todays Everton one up and playing in such a manner that left most further bemused regarding last weeks pathetic first half.

H/T and the chat was first about our non trip to Wembley and then the manager and his contract decision. Most I spoke to and heard seemed of the opinion he will stay. When it comes to football I never predict, wait and see that's me.

As you would expect City came out fired up and looked a tad dangerous but we soon got the measure of the situation and the game became end to end. City were dangerous on a couple of attacks and we replied by forcing corners and having a foul by big Vic on the keeper from a corner when minimal contact seemed to occur. Modern refs and rules, eh...

The next moment of note was when Pienaar was clearly fouled but the ref gave nothing more than 'play on' which infuriated Pienaar and the next chance he got he launched himself at Garcia and got a second yellow and a one game ban as red followed. Stupid really but spur and heat of the moment I suppose. The faithful did not agree with the ref and chanted loudly that he sexually abused himself.

10 men, one up, a baying crowd just what a Goodison bear pit sounds and looks like. Players and fans united, backs to the wall so the last half hour would be fast and furious and so it was. We defended with some accomplishment as we moved as a unit from side to side making City play in front of us and best of all leaving someone up for the out ball as we tried to counter whenever we could and did indeed force a few set pieces that City had some difficulty in repelling.

City had their moments of serious threat, step forward Mr Mucha who thwarted both Tevez and Milner with a fine save then a brave block to which the crowd rose. He punched them, he kicked them he held them. They shall not pass was the byword of all those in Royal Blue.

Mancini was animated and started throwing his subs on. Our manager replaced the tiring Mirallas with Naismith which brought a few gasps as if we are truthful many of us feared a City breakthrough and in one City raid the ball struck Fellaini who was in the box the City players claimed pen as one man, the ref blew, oh no we thought but to our eternal relief he gave the kick on the edge of the box. The kick hit the wall and we broke and Big Vic headed for the corner with City players scampering back. City had all their subs on and were going for it as 90mins approached and with Vic looking visibly knackered the manager replaced him with Jelavic, a very wise move as it would turn out.

City had us pinned back but we were coping well when a minute in to added time Naismith won the ball in our box and brought it out as Fellaini made a run forward, Naismith fed him and the Belgian made ground with Jelavic racing up the right, at just the right moment he fed the Croat who cut inside, twisted from right foot to left foot let fly and the ball ballooned from a deflection and over Hart and into the Gwladys street net. The scenes were euphoric as fans and players celebrated together all four sides of the ground jumped up and down, hugged and probably kissed as the Away fans disappeared as fast as Blues v Wigan. Jelavic was booked for discarding his shirt, the game restarted and was then blown up. We had won, beaten the champions and prevailed against the odds. What is it about our games with City. It has certainly baffled one Italian gentleman we have heard of. 'If yer know yer 'Istery' rang out loudly again and again. Distin came to the street end to throw his shirt in, all the players clapped and waved to the fans except Fellaini who went straight down the tunnel. Perhaps missing two games is upsetting him or something else.

The crowd eventually left and the throngs in the sunshine heading away were up-beat and many singing and chanting as well as many of us wondering why the hell we could not play with that craft, guile, work rate and sheer stubbornness last week.

M.O.tM – Coleman plus I must say both Gibson and Heitinga had their best games for some time.

I don't know how the rest of our games will go but if we could bottle our form shown against City it could be interesting. I noticed today that we still have all back when defending corners and so do City. Must be the in thing with modern coaches.

No game now until Stoke in two weeks gives us a Saturday night out. No Pienaar or Fellaini, it don't get easier does it.
Hope it is as good as today and a night under the lights can throw up a stormer.

UP THE BLUES

Reader Comments

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Colin Wainwright
971 Posted 16/03/2013 at 21:22:12
Can't disagree with anything you say Ken. Great performance. Bring on the mighty Stoke.
Colin Cartwright
972 Posted 16/03/2013 at 21:19:49
Fellaini out against Stoke could be a good thing, bit of history Shawcross. Great game today though. When all hope has gone all that is left is faith. That's what we do at Everton. Keep the faith. COYB
Trevor Lynes
981 Posted 16/03/2013 at 21:44:20
Everyone played at their best and Distin won everything against Dzecko
Michael Boyle
989 Posted 16/03/2013 at 22:10:50
Great report Ken. Atmosphere was brilliant. Victor excelled, great goal by Osman and Brilliant reaction to Jelavic goal. A truly memorable game from my seat in the Upper Bullens Road Stand.
Peter Creer
002 Posted 16/03/2013 at 23:16:38
As always, I watched the game live in Canada and was very pleased to see a team performance from top to bottom. The nightmares from last week were replaced by an unrelenting tenacity along with a great goal by Osman and a man of the match performance by Coleman. Playing with 10 men for the last 30 minutes against the reigning league champions, and succeeding, was just what the doctor ordered.

With Fellaini and Pienaar out for the Stoke game it may be time to put Barkley in and give him a run out. The complaints about Moyes not giving the younger players a chance should just see how Coleman is developing and know that when the time is right he does get them in.....

The other bright spot....Jelavic came on and finished it off....long overdue but great to see.

Bring on Stoke.

Dick Fearon
003 Posted 16/03/2013 at 23:12:15
Hey Ken,

If it wasn't for the racket you lot made when Osman scored you might otherwise have heard a faint echo coming from downunderland where I shattered my neighbourhoods nocturnal slumber.

In all humility I hold up my hand to acknowledge a wonderful spirit lifting display and ask was I wrong to viciously slate everyone after the Wigan game?

Chris Lawlor
009 Posted 16/03/2013 at 23:21:45
Having just watched it all again on tv Coleman's blocking header at the back post vs Tevez was as stunning a piece of play as Ossie's belter. Brilliant performance from all today and the perfect reply to last week's debacle. The life of a Toffee eh....you wouldn't swap it for the world!
Steve Cotton
018 Posted 16/03/2013 at 23:40:45
Great result but I still thought the ref was a twat.

Same again next time, Blues, hey??

Ciaran Duff
045 Posted 17/03/2013 at 01:43:56
Geez, if you wanted the perfect antidote to last week, this was it. The players' efforts, the crowd, 10 men, Jela scores – you couldn't script it.

I thought the whole team were great and agree with above re Coleman, Gibson, Distin, Heitinga. I also thought Osman did really well. Special mentions to Anichebe who ran his bollocks off all day and did a lot of good work.

Finally, what about Mucha – his story is like "Roy of the Rovers" stuff. Stuck in reserves for years, drops international career, last year of contract, deputy to a keeper who hasn't missed a game in 20 years and finally gets a call up. I think he has been great. Even last week, he was one of the few players to come out of the game with any credit. Some of the saves today were top drawer and his distribution is far better than Howard's. To top it all, he looks like a psycho – I love him!

Mike Gaynes
054 Posted 17/03/2013 at 03:26:09
I practically had tears in my eyes, I was so proud of these guys today. They took their barracking for the Wigan game in the right spirit, stepped up and showed immense passion and resolve.

Osman's goal was an absolute screamer, as the Aussies would say, and full marks to Gibson and Heitinga for badly needed comeback performances. I heard the protests when Naismith came on for the excellent Mirallas, but Naismith won everything he went for.

Chris Lawlor, I also marveled at Coleman's defensive header on Tevez. I've been deeply pessimistic about Coleman's potential to be a Prem defender, and he was awful against Wigan, but his man-marking today against world-class attackers was outstanding, and that particular defensive play was the best of his career, bar none.

Christopher Timmins
110 Posted 17/03/2013 at 10:02:08
Ken, thanks for the report, spot on as alway. Yesterday was one of the few days during the season when I was able to attend myself, flew in from Dublin on Friday night. I thought things were very low key outside and inside the ground before kick off.

I count mysel as being one one of the lucky ones over the year as I saw the team of the mid eighties and again in 1995 I was there when we beat Spurs 4 - 1 in the cup semi final. However, yesterday afternoon matched anything I have ever witnessed. If Moyes leaves at the end of the season then yesterday's game will be one of the games that people will look back with great fondness when talking about his time at the club.

We went into the game on the back drop of Wigan, without our first choice keeper and our best defender during the course of the season. However, by 3.00 yesterday we had 13 heros. From 1 to 11 they gave it everything, playing with passion and with no little skill.

Tony Cheek
132 Posted 17/03/2013 at 11:25:34
Ciaran #045.... Agree totally about Mucha, and as I have always suspected he is a good keeper and just another one of Moyes mistakes in my mind. He should have been given a chance long ago, and Howard rested especially after his catalogue of blunders earlier in the season. I really hope he is given a chance to continue in goal, but suspect wobbly Tim will be back as soon as he is fit. He should really be given a chance until proven that he is second best to Howard, I for one don't think he is!
Anto Byrne
143 Posted 17/03/2013 at 11:24:24
Howard can take as long as he likes to recover from injury, a couple of years maybe.

What a terrific player Mirallas is. As for Coleman his final ball is still a work in progress but it doesn't help when you don't have anyone to cross to. Naismith is a very good defender and that's why he gets the nod although Bryan Oviedo must be wondering what the fuck he has done wrong not to get a run out.

Jojnny looked more composed and that comes from playing rather than bench warming. Ossie is still a lightweight in midfield, don't know how many times he was out muscled and left on his arse. Gibson was absolute class and his passing was at times pure joy.

Of course Stoke will be coming for a point or to nick one so it will be a very different game, perhaps 2 upfront for a change with Vic making space for Jelli.

Russ Quinlan
156 Posted 17/03/2013 at 12:12:19
Thats the REALLY frustrating thing, if we had played anything like that last week we could be on our way to a Final AND know we can beat the likes of City if we got there.
Its great seeing us play like that, but for me its a week too late !
Mike Powell
183 Posted 17/03/2013 at 13:15:58
I was in two minds to go the game after last week but am I glad I did. Why oh why could we not play like that last week? Still gutted.

Back to yesterday, so many great performances by the lads. Coleman was outstanding the best I have seen him play. Ossie had a good game; I slagged him off last week but well played Ossie, Distin, even Heitinga played well. Big Vic ran his bollocks off, got a standing ovation when he went off for Jelavic who, when he scored, the ground erupted.

Well done, Everton; keep it up and give us a performance like that at Anfield because you still owe us it. By the way, go on the City site Bluemoon have a look what they are saying... the horrible smug twats they sound like RS and Chelski fans tools. COYB

Thomas James
222 Posted 17/03/2013 at 15:54:06
Ken, decent review and it was just what we as fans wanted to see. I had no hope for the game myself but we did pretty well. Things were better than they have been for a long time. Was the best result including Jelavic getting one. Thought Mucha had a really good game and the defence seemed to settle once he'd showed his metal.

One thing missing — Mirallas had a goal disallowed when he was offside and it was 0-0.

Danny Kewley
386 Posted 18/03/2013 at 03:54:22
In my defence {not monsieur Neville) I readily admit I have not stopped celebrating since that fantastic result but the irony does not escape me we should at least be 3rd now!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Matthew Williams
444 Posted 18/03/2013 at 13:06:06
Great report, Ken, as always. I thought we'd get hammered by City... how wrong I was! Just a pity we couldn't produce that performance last week as Millwall are still owed!!!

Same again please lads verses Stoke because our away fixtures don't look too promising like. Keep Jan the Man in goal for the rest of the season & bring in some of the young lads to bolster the squad & who knows?,Win at Anfield & the Wigan game will be forgotten (almost).

Kev Clark
585 Posted 19/03/2013 at 11:01:27
Good as ever Ken!

Big mention on MotM should go to Mucha, some excellent saves from some of the best.

Can anyone tell me who our manager was for this game? He replaced Miralles with Naismith and then Vic for for Jelavic – like for like on both, no defenders and I'm sure I saw him at one point waving for the players to push forward and "go for it"!!

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