Classy Blues dominate shot-shy Wolves

A well-organised City side this evening made light work of a potentially tricky fixture at Molineux. Despite early pressure from the home side we ran out extremely comfortable winners, 0-3 the final score, with Carlos Tevez taking his tally for the season to twelve in a commanding performance. Javier Garrido marked his return to the side with the other goal.

Mick McCarthy's side dominated the first twenty minutes without creating anything by way of clear-cut chances. Scotland forward Chris Iwelumo, preferred over United academy graduate Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, caused us real problems. In the sixth minute he beat makeshift left-back Pablo Zabaleta in the air, Vincent Kompany blocking the resultant Kevin Doyle strike. Shortly afterwards Andrew Surman blazed over after a good knockdown by the former Stoke man.

The early stages were fairly frustrating for us, a deflected Carlos Tevez free-kick forcing an easy save from Marcus Hahnemann about as close as we got. Wolves captain Karl Henry tested Given from outside of the box, a relatively tame low drive, but from then on, in part due to another tactical change from new boss Roberto Mancini, we went on to have the better of the half. With Craig Bellamy in attack and Petrov moved to his correct side, we held a better shape, and were looking increasingly dangerous on the break.

The first sign that we were becoming more dominant involved a nice move in the 25th minute, Zabaleta and Petrov combining superbly and the end cross just evading Carlos Tevez. Our next wave again involved play down our left; Petrov's deep cross falling to Tevez, the Argentine taking on his defender and crossing low, Bellamy miskicking his first effort and blazing his second skywards when he should have made it 0-1.

The opener was on its way, and arrived three minutes after that great chance. A quick free-kick was played to Petrov, spotting Bellamy's run down the left flank he played the pass, Craig gave Jody Craddock the shoulder and took him on down his outside, laying back a pass for Tevez to take fire. It was by no means a net-busting shot, but it caught a Wolves defender and trickled past the despairing Hahnemann.

That was that until the break, barring Zab being done for pace by Foley, and a corner or two resulting in headers from left-back George Elokobi. The second period, as with the first, saw the home side putting us under heavy pressure. Henry dispossessed a sloppy de Jong but skied over, and in between Bellamy putting a great chance wide of the far post after being released by Petrov, Iwelumo put another over following a superb interchange involving Doyle and Surman.

Ten minutes in to the second half Stevie Ireland was replaced by Javi Garrido, a decision that didn't initially make complete sense, but word that the midfielder has strained a hamstring, coupled with Zabaleta's late efforts to cover Micah Richards proved that the new manager perhaps knows more than us, who'da thunkit?

Doyle again went close, Micah losing the ball and the Irishman getting the better of Toure and forcing a good stop from his international colleague, Given. The game was put to bed in the 69th minute, Craddock's header clear playing Bellamy onside, the Welshman's involvement in the ensuing move puzzlingly questioned by the Wolves bench. Barry latched on to the second ball and was pulled down, forgotten man Garrido curling a delicious left-footed effort past the statue-like American goalie.

Tevez would go on to be booked for arguing with a silly decision, Barry penalised for being elbowed in the face, but it was to prove Wolves last real foray forward. From that point on we looked superb, the football was flowing, none more entertaining than a 40-pass move leading to cries of 'Ole' from the stands. We then almost bagged the Goal of the Season, a sublime break out of defence, Petrov at right-back, to Bellamy on the left wing, in to Tevez, but his dink ran just wide.

Even record buy Robinho, derided by most of the press of late, came on and played his part. Getting a five-minute run-out in place of Martin Petrov he laid a great cross in to Tevez, switching to his left peg the top scorer slammed home a third from the edge of the box. The Brazilian could have added a fourth, cutting in and firing a shot just over with his favoured right foot.

We can take great encouragement from tonight's performance. Who we were playing is irrelevant. Wolves are in form and all away games are tough in this league. We weathered patches of their possession at the start of both halves and went on to thoroughly deserve our win. The back four again looked more organised, Bellamy and Tevez were superb, and overall it was a textbook example of how to play on the counter.

It's ridiculously early to make sweeping statements about the side, but the very early signs are that we're already more organised, though early results under any manager can be taken with a pinch of salt. The most promising aspect is that Mancini again changed things from the bench, and even late on had the team working hard. He'll be judged over the season, even two or three, but no complaints so far.

Given, Richards, Zabaleta, Toure, Kompany, de Jong, Ireland (Garrido '56), Barry, Petrov (Robinho '86), Tevez (Sylvinho '89), Bellamy

No comments:

Post a Comment