Sunday, 3 April 2016

Cherries hit the self-destruct button against City 0-4

Match Report
AFCB 0 V 4 Man City
2 April 2016
Attendance 11,192
AFCB and Man City players at the end of a pretty one-sided game.
There is no easy way to describe the events of this match as the level of optimism and desire that AFCB fans had to see their side do well was swallowed up in a quick 20 minute burst when Man City plundered every little error that the red and black shirts made. The first corner kick ended up in the back of the net as Fernando volleyed home on seven minutes, before Charlie Daniels was pressed just outside his box and Kevin de Bruyne made it two-nil. The third quickly followed with Jesus Navas causing mayhem up the right and pulling back a ball from the byline for Sergio Aguero to head past Boruc. It was frustrating as it was painful, and while a change in shape and a stronger second half restored some pride even in the last added minute of time, Aleksandar Kolarov flashed a beautifully struck left footed shot into AFCB's left hand top corner to make it an emphatic 0-4 win for Man City.
All the flag waving of the Premier League.
There was no Harry Artur powerhouse in midfield for the Cherries as he was still struggling with his achilles and calf problem, while Benik Afobe was also withdrawn from the squad after picking up a hamstring injury during the international week. Eunan O'Kane won a starting place in midfield and Lewis Grabban joined the strike force.
Simon Francis greets Pablo Zabaleta in the middle.

Jason Tindal and Kelly Somers reveal the team news

There are more photographs on Match Day Gallery.

Cherry Chimes talks to King of the King of the Kippax Fanzine editor Dave. 

City were chasing the three points knowing that a win would keep them in the top four but for the Cherries it was all about trying to get over the 40 point mark. This resulted in a bright start with Adam Smith seeing the ball early on and Max Gradel snapping in tackles at the heels of David Silva. 

While playing from the back Francis and King combined before Ritchie sent a delightful ball through for Grabban to run on to. Lewis then broke over half way and had to decide whether to play the ball left to Gradel or right to King. He chose King but Josh hit his shot across and wide of the goal. 

The warning signs started ringing when Steve Cook had a ball charged down by Kevin De Bruyne when trying to clear. A following corner was fought for at the near post but flew back to Fernando who steered his shot, roundhouse style, high into the net to give City the lead - 0-1. Exuberant celebrations followed for the number six as he praised the heavens, but it was a sloppy start by the Cherries and a soft goal to concede. Daniels will be disappointed he did not get a challenge in on Fernando when he sees that played back again.

The smile returned to some fans' faces when Aguero hit a shot that spooned out so far wide that it went for a throw. The Cherries were getting back on their game and while Zebaleta held up Gradel for a while the Ivory Coast man put in a deep cross that just passed Grabban.

Man City were not letting the Cherries have time on the ball though and their pressing was causing problems, so much so that Silva found Kevin De Bruyne in space and he hit a shot from some 25 yards that was low but still tested Boruc down to his right.

The next segment of play was just maddening to watch. Cook, Boruc and Daniels were playing keep ball at the back and Boruc's touch was far from controlled while Daniels found himself quickly surrounded and headed in field only to lose the ball to Silva. Then Aguero who slipped a pass back to David Silva, who with his back to goal, saw De Bruyne running free and passed into his stride for the young Belgian to beat Brouc for precision and pace with a low, side-step, volley to make it two-nil on 12 minutes. 

AFCB will never boot it long from the back while Howe is in charge and the Cherries usually play from the back well, but on this day they were slow and ponderous and City took full advantage. Agureo soon saw another attempt fly over the bar from a central position before Kevin de Bruyne did the same. Keeping the ball was proving too difficult for more than three passes for the Cherries and a break on 19 minutes had Navas racing to the byline to retrieve De Bruyne's pass. He made a chipped cross for Aguero who stood towering over Adam Smith at the far post, heading back across Boruc and putting City 0-3 up!

It was all too easy and these were soft goals going in as had happened before when the Cherries had played City up at the Etihad. There was some rearrangement as Ritchie moved into the centre of midfield, O'Kane played in the number 10 role and Josh King moved out to the right. It was still City that were making strides forward though with Fernandinho crashing his shot against the bar on 25 minutes!

This was becoming a project of damage limitation. While Man City's front three looked comfortable on the ball in exposing gaps and finding their teammates, AFCB seemed to be rushed into everything and only Gradel seemed to have any luck in winning back possession off of the opposition. When the Cherries did get up the other end they did not have much success. Gradel's ball in was almost scissor kicked by Grabban but not quite met. The resulting corner saw Surman and Cook go for a header which Caballero saved excellently down to his right. That was the closest that the Cherries came to scoring in the first 45 minutes.

While Silva and De Bruyne made patterns to baffle AFCB's back four and Aguero stood ready to play in killer passes it was good to know that even Silva could volley over on occasion.

Adam Smith was still getting up the right wing and he delivered a good cross for King who leaning back put a looping header just wide of Caballero's right upright. That was followed by a Lewis Grabban header that went just over the top right corner of the goal. AFCB were creating chances but were not getting many attempts on target.

Meanwhile, Aguero was bemusing defenders and had them all snaking in a line as he turned one way and then the other in the box, before shooting wide of Boruc's right post. A sudden salvo from Ritchie was looking goal bound but was blocked as we approached half time. 0-3 down.
Even Cherry Bear is getting used to picking the ball out of the back of the net.
Marc Pugh comes on for the second half.
Second Half
Marc Pugh came on for a struggling Josh King at the start of the second half, but there was no change in the control of the game. De Bruyne early on made Boruc make a save to his left. Then Aguero shot and hit the side netting.

An O'Kane clearance that was fired against Francis had the City fans yelling penalty but Francis was not even looking at the ball when it hit him unexpectedly.

A bit of hesitancy and uncertainty travelled all the way up to Man City's box then when Clichy found the ball at his feet and expected Caballero to come, but he quickly found his feet just in time to get the ball out of the six yard area before Pugh arrived.

City subbed De Bruyne on 57 minutes and brought on Kolarov. While City put in a good free kick that Boruc flapped at it hurried out just for a corner. Even Zabaleta was getting forward and getting a cross in now. Francis had rolled his sleeves up in the sense of the phrase and was putting in challenge after challenge on Aguero and winning every time - a small victory but Franno was the best AFCB player on the day.

Nothing was really coming off for Eunan O'Kane  an his job was getting no easier as Samir Nasri replaced Silva on 66 minutes. Tommy Elphick also came on for Adam Smith who had a groin strain on 68 minutes. This saw Francis move to right back and the old Championship back four were back together.

Moments later O'Kane's big chance came as he saw the ball rebound back to him in the box but under pressure he forced his shot wide with his instep rather than going with the outside of his foot and he shot a couple of metres wide!  Pugh was seeing more of the ball and started to beat some of the Man City players although not in dangerous areas.

Boruc had to make another save from guess who? Yes, Aguero. Referee Robert Madley had been rather generous to the big named team, but eventually started to give a few free kicks AFCB's way even if he would not let any quick kicks be taken. 

Aguero played Kolarov in for what looked like another certain goal on the left, but Boruc narrowed the angle to save well with his legs on 75 minutes. Ritchie then shot wide with 14 minutes to go and there was a bit of inevitability about the game fading out at this stage. 

Man City made a change with Aguero departing to allow Iheanachoon. Dan Gosling then came on for Max Gradel on 84 minutes and with three minutes of added time it looked like the game would soon be seen out quietly, until Ritchie had a shot from the edge of the box that Caballero fumbled. That was followed by a City surge up the other end and a throw to Kolarov may have seemed harmless enough but he turned, slipped between O'Kane and Ritchie, and headed towards the box from the left and unleashed a powerful shot that flew right into the top left corner - 0-4!
A hard day for Eddie, the team and the fans.
What can you say? Out played, short on power and presence and looking rather bewildered at how easy Man City had made this game look, AFCB's players will be watching this game back for some time. In short they are not yet at a level where they can play confidently at the back when pressed hard by the best teams. The movement of City's front three was excellent and created gaps that were not closed down quickly enough and their shooting was on target frequently enough to work Boruc far more than Eddie Howe would have liked. What really hurts though is a lack of marking for that opening corner and falling into the same traps as the team did only two weeks ago against Spurs by conceding early and putting pressure on themselves to do things that suddenly don't feel easy or right and land them in even more trouble. The players and fans no there is a big difference in the quality and cos of the players on the pitch, but City did not need such a helping hand from the Cherries. 
Simon Francis leas the lads off the pitch.
Boruc, Smith (Elphick 68), Francis, Cook, Daniels, Ritchie, O'Kane, Surman, Gradel (Gosling 84) Grabban, King (Pugh 46)

Cherries Subs
Federici, Gosling, Elphick, Pugh, Iturbe, Distin, Murray

Man City
Caballero, Zabaleta, Otamendi, Mangala, Clichy, Fernando, Fernandinho, Jesús Navas, Silva (Nasri 66) De Bruyne (Kolarov 57), Agüero (Iheanacho 79)

City Subs
Sagna, Nasri, Kolarov, Bony, Demichelis, Wright, Iheanacho

Rob Wells @afcbwellsworld predicted the correct score of 0-4 and wins the Dean Court fridge magnet. Congratulations Rob!
How hard will it be to get three more points?
Man City players go over to their fans.
AFCB Ratings
Boruc 5, Smith 5, Francis 7, Cook 5, Daniels 4, Ritchie 5, O'Kane 4, Surman 5, Gradel 6, Grabban 5, King 5

Referee Rating Robert Madley: 4/10 - one booking for Fernando in the 89th minute - Did he forget that he had some cards on him and why did it take him until City were out of site to award a few free kicks AFCB's way?

1 comment:

  1. Sorry to sound like an old playing record but I do not understand the transfer strategy of the club and how it may come to harm next season.

    Lets review you we bought and what has happened to them...

    Distin....warmed the bench
    Tomlin ....lasted five minutes
    Afobe.....short term solution for Wilson
    Gradel and Grabban...Eddie old boys
    Mings comment
    Iturbe.....a complete debacle..never given a chance

    Couple of youngsters from overseas club....never given a chance

    The big plus next season is Wilson will be back...will he be the same..if he is and we all hope so ...then who will play with out won't be you...will Ritchie talks....

    So going shopping overseas it might be very difficult to persuade players to come and play for us when they have little chance of playing...and thats the second season syndrome...the loyalty to certain players has to go as they are not Premiership standard and running and fitness will only go so far.

    Lets have some answers

    Are there any youngsters coming through..that can play Premiership football...its mighty difficult..or are we just going to be shipping them out to non league and the Yeovils of this world...

    Its a magnificent achievement to survive (?) BUT if we spend money in transfer market some have to succeed to improve otherwise we will be in big big trouble..and we have either bought badly and very the transfer strategy has to 70% succeed not 70% fail.

    In my rough estimation we have spent £40 million and recovered nothing and we could have saved £30m of that and there would have been no change in results...

    I wonder how the finances of the club are like?Hope backers have deep pockets