The Manchester City FC, even without Sergio Aguero, have multiple scoring threats for opponents to try to deal with. In their match on New Year’s Day against Swansea City FC, City showcased their depth and proved that they have no shortage of genuine scorers. Back to front, fullback to strikers, most everyone on the team has demonstrated the ability to find the net.
City does still show some vulnerability on the defensive side. With them often letting opponents back into games where their offensive efforts ought to have carried the day, football pundits have been bemoaning the club’s tendency to falter in their vigilance toward the end of halves. Swansea took advantage of this shortcoming on Wednesday, with Wilfried Bony scoring during stoppage time, both right before the half and just before the match ended. It has not hampered the Manchester City rise to second place on the table, but clearly it is something that manager Manuel Pellegrini will continue to work on. Inconsistent defense or no, there is no denying that across the league Manchester City is becoming synonymous with scoring.
Wednesday’s match saw goals from two midfielders and one defender. Fernandinho started off the scoring for Manchester City FC around 14 minutes into the match, the first of the threats from multiple directions that make the squad so difficult to defend against. After the half, with the score tied, Ivory Coast National Yaya Toure put Manchester City back into the lead with his 10th goal of the season. Yaya’s footwork and unselfish attitude has made him a source of assists on the City attack. This match gave him the opportunity to remind people that he has the potential to put a ball in the goal at any time. Pellegrini praised the midfielder in his post-match comments.
The final goal, which proved to be the game winner in light of Swansea’s late second score, came from a great solo effort from left fullback Aleksandar Kolarov. Kolarov is an excellent defender, anchoring the back four along with right back Pablo Zabaleta. In the case of both fullbacks, they have the speed and quick decision-making ability to turn stops into counter-attack scoring opportunities. The third goal of the match was a perfect example of this fast-breaking assault style from Manchester City defenders. Kolarov stopped Swansea attacker Wayne Routledge and changed directions quickly and took the ball all the way back to the home team’s end. The Swansea goalkeeper was caught flat-footed, and could not stop the shot that sealed the match for City.
Poised, and just waiting for Arsenal to falter and provide the opportunity to seize the Premier League lead, Manchester City has won seven straight matches and proven to everyone that they are real contenders for the championship. The biggest advantage they bring to the fight is their ability to get goals out of anyone on the roster. Almost every club in the Premier League has had to make adjustments to their lineups and game plans to compensate for players lost to injury. With the depth of the Manchester City FC squad, and their ability to present scoring threats from multiple players on the pitch, they are just a little bit further ahead of the game than most in the march toward the Premier League title.
By Jim Malone