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ricardo

Ricardo's report v Villa

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It was dry and mild tonight with just a moderate wind from the west judging by the flags atop the main stand. Disappointingly there was no sign of Alex Tetty, apparently attending the birth of his child. Dear oh dear, they don''t have the commitment these days do they?[:D].With Tom Trybull an able deputy we were all no doubt hoping to get off to a decent start but once again we were very slow out of the blocks. A couple of poor passes out of defence, one from Tim and one from Marco, allowed Villa clear runs towards goal which were only repelled with difficulty.It was Leitner who finally got City going forward with some nice close passing as the home side began to assume the upper hand. A corner was blocked and Leitner''s volley was only a foot too high from twenty five yards. The early nerves disipated as we were treated to some exquisite one touch stuff that had the visitors continually on the back foot. Sometimes it was a case of one touch too many though as a couple of half chances were spurned. Cantwell might have got his name on the score sheet but from a decent position his shot was always going over.Just as it looked like we were edging towards taking the lead, Villa were allowed to break from their own penalty area and a sweeping ball out to the right was defended at the expense of a corner. The delivery to the near post was spot on and Chester nodded in at the near post. Much against the run of the early play but it took the sting out of the home side for a while and when we eventually worked up a head of steam there were far to many close passes inside a crowded penalty area and a clear chances were few and far between.It could have gotten worse just after the half hour when there was a right old scramble in the City area as a losse ball fell to long time Villa stalwart Alan Hutton, who must have thought he''d scored only for the ball to come back off Krul''s right hand post before being scrambled away.The game now settled into a bit of a stalemate although City might have had a penalty as half-time approached, when Hutton clearly nudged Rhodes in the back as he went up for Leitner''s cross. Then Stieperman just couldn''t pull the ball back enough after Cantwell sent him away on the City left.There was again generous applause at the whistle as there had been some very attractive stuff on offer and City could count themselves a trifle unfortunate to be behind. Although having said that, the preponderance of possession had not yet produced one shot on target.Villa seemed to get off on the front foot again as the second half started as Hourihane, tried his luck from twenty yards and was only a couple of feet wide. There was a stroke of ill fortune for the visitors when Adomah had to go off after he and Aarons, appeared to clash knees on fifty minutes and even more so when Abrahams followed after a clash with Tim Klose.It looked a much more even game yet suddenly out of the blue City were level when Rhodes met Buendia''s corner at the near post in an almost carbon copy of the Villa goal. The crowd now got into the game and roared forward every home attack. Klose, even found time to venture past a tackler and fire over from just out side the box, It wasn''t all one way traffic though as Villa gave as good as they got with the tricky Grealish at the heart of most of their good work.City had to defend a couple of free kicks before coming again and there was some wonderful play from Aarons who robbed a Villa defender and almost worked himself a shooting position. The game looked as though it could go either way but it was City who went in front with a delightful goal involving four or five City players. Buendia''s clver ball inside the full back gave Cantwell the opportunity to rifle in a low cross that was tailor made for a goal poacher like Jordan Rhodes, to flick in at the near post on 73 minutes.Despite continual pressure from the visitors it was City who still largely bossed possession and at times it was wonderful to see Leitner and Buendia, weaving the ball with consummate skill. Vrancic, came on for Stieperman, with five to go and then Thompson for Buendia as we moved into added time. Unfortunately Thompson went down when he slipped on his first tackle and appeared to injure his arm. Very disappointing for the lad who has been dogged with bad luck for ages.There were a couple of hairy moments as Villa came in search of a late leveller but Tim, and Christoph, stood strong and Krul, made a meal of every catch and kick. Great joy and relief at the final whistle, my MOM was Max Aarons, simply superb tonight, but oh I do so enjoy watching Mo Leitner, when he is in this sort of mood.Onbward and upward OTBC.[:D]

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Such a pleasure reading your reports lately ricardo. I wonder why ... :-)

I was getting a bit concerned after they scored, as it seemed to take the wind out of our sails. But we steadily picked up again, & were fully at it after our goal.

Once again a wonderful all round team effort, but I do think Leitner has real class & the composure to dictate a game; a genuine Premiership player. And we did miss Alex''s sheer power & presence at times.

OTBC!

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Cheers Ricardo.

I felt that after all the good play, up to the Villa goal, we seemed to take a bit of time to find our feet, and recover.

Re the Hutton/Rhodes nudge, I have only seen it at the game , and I just thought it was cute defending, and not a pen. I''ll watch the game tomorrow though, to check

Leitner for my MoM, special mention to Aarons from both an attacking and defending view.

Thought Grealish had a lot of the ball but didn''t really create much for them. He went sideways a lot and did beat one or two players at a time, and probed, but felt he could have had a more positive effect on them, thankfully he didn''t. Perhaps that was down to us?

Deserved win I felt

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Thanks for the report Ricardo.

Come on then ... where would you pin us down to finish upon the final whistle of the season.

To me it feels like something special is brewing but I sense some big bumps in the road ahead!

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CC I am making no predictions just yet.

I note from the newspaper reports that it was Stiepermann who crossed for the second goal and not Cantwell. Thankfully I have an eye test booked for next month

๐Ÿ˜Ž

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Excellent report.

Leitner MoM for me - he is so confident on the ball and always seems to be available to receive the ball when others are in a tight spot. Aarons had an excellent game too, saw off Adomah and pushed forward really well.

I think we missed Tettey at times, though Trybull did well for someone who hadn''t played much,

Great to have a proper goal poacher in Rhodes as well.

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It was Tammy Abraham who hit the post, not Hutton.

Nice report, nevertheless. Cheers.

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