Long suffering City fans can look forward with hope today against their nemesis, Man Utd. The Red Devils are limping in with Wayne Rooney missing, a suspended Cristiano Ronaldo, and Carlos Tevez, who has had to be force fed into the attack. Man Utd has only managed two draws.
Meanwhile, City's stingy defense just got infinitely better with new signings Vedran Corluka and Javier Garrido and their attack received much needed heft with Elano, Martin Petrov, Geovanni, and Rodolfo Bianchi. All the new signings got to see action against West Ham and Bianchi and then Geovanni scoring goals in the win. Man City also won against Derby and are now on top of the table. Sven's boys are riding a high.
With Rooney and Ronaldo out, Utd have lost a lot of speed up front. Nani has looked good and appears to be goal scoring threat every time he penetrates the box but his accuracy has been off. He will partner Tevez. Owen Hargreaves makes his debut behind Scholes and Giggs. City builds its attacks through Elano and Petrov.
The adjustment that the tireless Elano needs to make is that he often anticipates City players to be in position for his first time passes and they do not necessarily pan out. But the creative catalyst comes from the left in Martin Petrov who relishes taking on defenders one on one a la Ronaldo minus the petulance . City tends to give up quite a bit of possession this way to make way for the suddenly free flowing soccer that they are playing.
25 minutes into the game and it is 0-0 with Man Utd almost having a 3:1 advantage in possession. Makes you wonder about those Arsenal Man Utd matches which should be a ball hogging tasty treat.
A closer look at Elano >>