Sunday, 9 January 2011

FA Cup Third Round: Conclusions from Man City

Leicester2-2Manchester City
(HT 2-2)
Bamba 1
King 64
Milner 23
Tevez 45

Special occasion: Andy King leads out the teams alongside Carlos Tevez

  • It's probably safe to say we've sorted the 'getting started' problem. For a debutant to score with his first touch is a rare and special thing. To do it in front of a full house, in the FA Cup, against one of the biggest teams in the country in the opening minute of that game is remarkable. Leicester have now started positively for three successive games, and having waited for so long to score from a corner it seems we can't stop. Long may it continue. 
  • Kyle Naughton needs longer studs. Ed Mow clearly has a tactic whereby the half the opponents will be attacking is watered more heavily that the half the Foxes will be attacking. This seems to be a problem for Naughton, who seemed to be slipping over far more than he should have been.
  • We can hold our own. The good news keeps coming. The result wasn't the one we'd dreamed about, but we were certainly not made to look foolish for our undeniably ballsy approach to the game. Yes, City looked like they were going to score every time they went forwards, but so did we. The pace of Lloyd Dyer and Darius Vassell caused mayhem for Kolorov, the aerial ability of Sol Bamba was a constant threat at set pieces and the skill of Richie Wellens, Andy King and Yuki Abe in the middle caused problems for the visitors - so much so that it could have been the Foxes and not City who went in at half time in the lead. As it was, the class of the team who earn more in a month than the entire Leicester squad earn in a year ultimately shone through. 
  • The attendance was fantastic. To see the Walkers full once more was a fantastic sight with an atmosphere to match, 31,200 packed-in with virtually the only empty seats being those covered on the grounds of segregation.

Leicester City
An incredible effort from the whole team saw this end not even with the Foxes holding their heads high, but absolutely beaming. Only the daft would have bet on Leicester coming back to level the game after City went ahead. A brilliant, brilliant day for the football club.

Richie Wellens and Paul Gallagher
Wellens put in Andy King late in the first half with a delightful diagonal ball, whilst Gallagher lofted in some dangerous balls from set pieces again and again. These players proved this afternoon that there is real class at Leicester City and indeed that Championship clubs can hold their own against Premier League high-fliers (Ipswich, unfortunately, the exception to prove this somewhat dodgy rule today).

Sol Bamba
What a start from the Ivorian international. His first touch in his first minute in his first game in English football and for Leicester City saw him score a crucial goal that could be worth far more than his reported £250,000 transfer fee. He was undone by James Milner who skipped past him to score City's first, but this was nonetheless an unbelievable start for Bamba, who was twice more denied by Joe Hart in the City goal later in the half before james Milner headed off the line deep in the second half. Get the lad playing centre forward!

Dream d├ębut: Sol Bamba scored within a minute 

Yuki Abe
Abe looked, once again, commanding in midfield and promising going forward. He did, however, fail to make crucial moves for both of City's first half goals as firstly he was undone by Milner before he defended poorly for Carlos Tevez's classy second. Abe will not - and should not - be blamed for these goals, but his defending today was certainly not as stand-out as it previously has been.
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