The Blue Match Review
The brilliant start to the season has unfortunately come to an end, with the Blues losing 3-1 to Manchester City.
The game started off in a very impressive manner, with the inform Lukaku opening the scoring after just 16 minutes, unfortunately the lead didn’t last long with City reacting immediately and equalizing just over a minute later.
Disappointingly our big players just didn’t perform as well as they have been doing so far this season, Baines lacked creativity going forward, and Mirallas put in another poor performance. Barkley got caught out too many times, which will hopefully teach him a vital lesson. Few teams will give him as much space as he wanted today, with the top teams in particular closing the ball down quickly. Far too often he took too long to release it and was tackled or squandered possession.
I think Man City were just too strong in the middle of the park. Although we looked promising on the counter attack, when we did try to play the ball around in midfield, their stronger players like Yaya Toure were able to easily cut out the passes which put us on the back foot. City played most of the game between our defence and midfield, with Fernandinho getting a lot of time on the ball and had plenty of time to look for the killer pass through our defence to Negredo, who in all fairness was brilliant today, as was Aguero at times.
There were still a number of positives to take from the game, I thought McCarthy had a brilliant game, putting in some vital challenges and as he grows in confidence I think he will start to be a more positive player and look for the forward passes opposed to the sideways ones.
Unfortunately like a lot of the early games we were poor in the second half and on this occasion we sat back and invited pressure.
I think the referee had a disappointing game. The penalty was never a penalty and the Lukaku penalty claim was certainly debatable. It did look like the ball was going out of play anyway, however Lukaku got barged in the back, which would be a foul anywhere else on the pitch.
I don’t think this result should be taken as a massive negative, obviously three points or even one would have been nice but Man City deserved the three points; so apart from a few poor refereeing decisions there should be not bitter feelings towards this game.
At Everton, competition for places has been lacking for years, and now we have it, it’s a really exiting thing to see. To be able to replace Gareth Barry with Darren Gibson, Mirallas for Deulofeu and Lukaku for Kone, really shows the sign of a team who should be pushing for a European spot.
Our next match is against Hull City at home in a fortnight’s time, a must win game for the Blues. What are your predictions for the Hull City game?