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ricardo

Ricardo's report v Barnsley

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It was grey and a bit damp by kick off time at CR today and with only minimal changes to last weeks line up. Jacob came in for Josh and Whitts resummed inplace of the suspended Dijks.City were quick off the blocks and Pritchards free kick from the right brought expectant gasps from the crowd only for a defenders head to skim the ball away for a corner. The home team were soon dominating the opening exchanges and with Murphy looking dangerous it began to look like one way traffic. A low cross after a sweeping City move was too near the keeper but minutes later a neat cut back found Wes in the clear, unfortunately he couldn''t get the ball to sit before getting a strike in and the loose ball fell to Howson who had the same problem before Barnsley smuggled the ball clear.There was little from the visitors at this stage and Johnny Howson had a couple of chances from distance only to clear the bar with his first and bring a regulation save from Davies with his second. It seemed only a matter of time before the opening goal and on 20 minutes it almost came when following City pressure, Pritchards low angled drive flashed a foot wide of the far post. At the other end Barnsley had the ball in the net from a rare attack but it was clearly offside. It encouraged them to the extent of winning a couple of corners but City continued to dominated possession and territory.Something usually happens when I nip out for a wee and just before the half hour I did a quick run down the stairs but unfortunately it didn''t result in a goal. Upon my return I found that Wes was off for some sort of injury and Naismith was on. From this stage the game deteriorated into bouts of head tennis and scruffy midfield play with the ball being given away by both sides at random. Many were deciding upon an early halftime cuppa and they missed the action when Jerome finally beat the offside trap and cut back for Murphy who outpaced his man and hit a low left footer past Davies and into the corner to give City the lead they deserved on the balance of play.Barnsley should have been level within a minute of the second half restart when Martin needlessly hit the ball into touch when Whitts was available for a simple pass. They nearly paid the penalty when Yiadom cut in and McGovern had to dive to block a close range effort before the ball was cleared for a corner. The game became much more even after this as Barnsley began to force the pace. They didn''t look all that great but some sloppy defending kept offering them chances. Thankfully nobody had their shooting boots on and speculative efforts flew everywhere but on target.Pritchard was buzzing well and in one lovely move he picked out Naismith''s run into the box only for the little Scot to bang a 15 yarder a foot over the top. Unfortunately much of the rest of the play was very scruffy at times and the feeling grew that a second goal was needed. When it arrived there was a touch of lick to it and although Davies saved brilliantly from Naismiths first time hook  and Murphy''s eventual follow up, the ball rebounded off a defender beyond his despairing grasp. It should have been three when Naismith wriggled clear and fed Murphy who''s onward pass left Jerome clear but this time Davies got a strong hand to keep it out.With time running down Dorrans replaced Murphy and Oliviera came on for Jerome and as the game swung from end to end Dorrans slipped Howson in only for his goalbound chip to be headed of the line by a defender. There was still time for the visitors to fashion a couple more chances but woeful finishing maintained a rare City clean sheet. A few Choruses of "You''re F****ing Sh*t from the Barclay end just about summed it up.Three good points but in between some decent moves there were many minutes of tedium and much of the game had a smack of an end of season affair with little to play for. Pritchard my MOM with good marks for Murphy and Jerome. Naismith, Howson and Tetty covered a lot of ground but largely blew hot and cold.

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Thanks Ricardo, great report as usual.

Question though, do you make notes during the game or write it from memory? I would struggle to keep a first half in chronological order let alone a whole game and would need many a prompt.

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Thanks Ricardo.

Definitely had that end of season air about it and the flattest atmosphere I can remember for a long time.

We can still make the play-offs but the lack of belief today was almost tangible.

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[quote user="The Nightfly"]Thanks Ricardo, great report as usual.

Question though, do you make notes during the game or write it from memory? I would struggle to keep a first half in chronological order let alone a whole game and would need many a prompt.[/quote]I often get things out of order and out of necessity and brevity there are things I miss out. Generally I run through my mind what I am going to say on the stroll home and I look up the names of opposing players as its impossible to know many by sight in this league. I don''t aim for 100% accuracy but hope merely to give a flavour for those who are unable to attend.

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[quote user="hogesar"]Murphys goal was right footed but I''m nit picking ;)[/quote]Well spotted Hog. You are of course correct.

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Well Ricardo that makes your reports even more impressive. I am not alone in looking forward to your take on a game and also your summation of the mood at Carra Rd. Keep posting, ta.

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Could I ask you Ricardo, as this was the first selection of Irvine''s, did it look any different in style or tactics from AN''s?

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Ricardo, feeling any different about our play off hopes, only 5 points off, for me while I''m pleased with the win today and felt a small spark of hope I just get the feeling our next away match will bring us back down to reality. I''m trying not to be hopeful [:P]

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[quote user="keelansgrandad"]Could I ask you Ricardo, as this was the first selection of Irvine''s, did it look any different in style or tactics from AN''s?[/quote]Maybe the full backs tended to sit slightly deeper and not bomb forward as much but I wouldn''t say there was a whole lot of difference. In any event it wasn''t a game for the purist. In the fifteen minutes before our opening goal I found my attention wandering to the dark clouds, the City skyline and the goings on over in the railway yard and that''s never the sign of a good game. As I remarked in my report there were a lot of people in front of me leaving for an early halftime and the same was true after 80 minutes.

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Thanks. Hardly surprising. After the events of last weekend, and no new man in place, I always suspected an anti climax.

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[quote user="Ginja"]Ricardo, feeling any different about our play off hopes, only 5 points off, for me while I''m pleased with the win today and felt a small spark of hope I just get the feeling our next away match will bring us back down to reality. I''m trying not to be hopeful [:P][/quote]Like I said some time ago, playoff hopes may flicker on for quite a while and the unexpected can sometimes happen but I think we can all see that it just isn''t going to happen for us this season. We will look back on Rotherham, Wigan, Burton etc and think, dear oh dear, how did we manage to chuck it away.

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I would say the usual crap from a side devoid of idea''s

Had Barnsley taken the chances our defence gave them then a 4 or 5 goal defeat would have been the result.

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They don''t take those chances in this league, that''s why it''s the Championship.

It happens in every game with all the teams, no matter who is playing!

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We don''t defend well, but most weeks we seem to say"if the other side had taken their chances etc etc..."

But surely that''s the point, teams convert many less chances in this league than in the Prem, and that applies against us but it''s the same in other games between other teams in this league too.

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They might easily have scored a couple but we could just as easily have won 6-2. You can''t count their chances and discount ours.

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[quote user="ricardo"]They might easily have scored a couple but we could just as easily have won 6-2. You can''t count their chances and discount ours.[/quote]you canthe moot point is why ?

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Ricardo, I always appreciate your reports as I feel that you give an unbiased fan view of each match. Keep it up please.

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Weren''t most of our efforts on target game shots from outside the box?

You can have 100 shots on target, means nothing if not one of them troubles the goalkeeper 1. Can''t really recall their keeper making a decent save

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You obviously weren''t at CR then. Davies was easily the busier keeper making three or four goal saving stops. Those from Naismith and Jerome being of particular high quality. Suggesting that Barnsley should have won is ludicrous in the extreme.

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Ricardo is spot on regarding the chances. They didn''t take theirs and we took enough of ours.

He''s also right about playoffs. We''re only 5 points off so you only have to look at a couple of the 15 odd games we''ve thrown away this season. We genuinely could have probably got into the playoffs without beating a top 6 team this year.

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"He''s also right about playoffs. We''re only 5 points off so you only have to look at a couple of the 15 odd games we''ve thrown away this season. We genuinely could have probably got into the playoffs without beating a top 6 team this year."

It''s an interesting point, I''m sure somebody somewhere will have researched how many teams make the playoffs without beating a top six side, it may not be as unusual as we think.

As for us, with a decent new manager and a run of good results it''s still on, maybe worth a little punt.

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Lots of jumping to conclusions their...

Yes I was at Carrow Road thanks.

Surely every save from a shot on target is a goal saving stop?

My point is shots on target as a stat is about as meaningless as possession. In the first half we had 4 or 5 shots from outside the box that were routine saves that barely troubled the keeper.

I never suggested Barnsley should win, just questioned the fact we had more shots on target than was so meaningful

Of course, you could argue that a shot that whistles past the post or cracks the crossbar with the keeper beaten is a better chance then a tame effort that roles through to the keeper - yet that''s the one that counts as ''on target''

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Thanks Ricardo. I thought that we deserved to win but am still concerned that we seem so vulnerable at the back. Even when we are in control of a game we seem to be very easily opened up.

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[quote user="ricardo"]We had 9 shots on target to their 4 and only 1 of their 4 required any sort of a save.[/quote]

A bit harsh on McGovern he made two smart stops in the first couple of minutes of the second half. The one you describe which rolled agonisingly slowly across the goal and just past the post, and a flick from the resulting corner which he pushed round the same post.

He should have had a lot more to do in the second half but for once it was the opposition who could not hit a barn door.

Agree with the comment made about the atmosphere being absolutely flat. Not surprising as we have been on an adrenaline ride for seven and a bit seasons only to now be faced by a pretty meaningless 20% of a season.

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