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ricardo

Ricardo's report v Wolves

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After much rain this week we finally had a bright dry day ideal for football. The Xmas traffic made the journey a bit hairy but we finally arrived with a few minutes to spare with Carrow Road looking a picture in the late afternoon sunlight.

With Godfrey injured, Grant Hanley made a long overdue reappearance in the centre of the back four as City kicked off towards the River End. The home side began tentatively in the early minutes and we were into the fifth of those before we had a touch in the Wolves half. Buendia found McLean with a shrewd through ball as City broke forward and the bustling Scot got a shot away that was deflected for a the first corner of the match. This got the crowd going and City were soon causing all sorts of problems for the visitors defence.

It was Buendia again as we came up to the tenth minute, slipping Pukki in for a one on one with the keeper. The City talisman had been pushed a shade wide and Patricio in the Wolves goal saved fairly comfortably to his right. More pressure down the right saw the ball fall to Alex Tetty in a similar position to the goal he scored against the Blades. This time he let fly across the keeper and it looked a goal all the way until the ball hit the inside of the far post and bounced along the line before being cleared.

When Pukki was again blocked out at the expense of a corner after being put through on fifteen minutes it looked as though it might not be our day but in the next attack City went ahead. Cantwell picked up a loose ball in the centre and set McLean away down the left, his low hard cross just missed Pukki and a defender but intrying to stab the ball clear the Wolves full back could only tee it up for the inrushing Cantwell, who slammed a rising shot into the roof of the net.

It was no more than City deserved and we were well past twenty minutes before Krul had anything meaningful to save when he easily fielded a shot from the speedt Traore. There was some lovely football on display at times and Buendia was back to his imperious best. There was a magic moment in defence, when he rode two desperate tackles before sliding an inch perfect through ball that set Pukki racing clear of the Wolves defence. From a position where you would bet money on him scoring he again could not beat Patricio, in truth he might well have had a first half hat trick if he hadn't left his shooting boots at home.

There was generous applause at the half and although it was only a single goal lead it could easily have been two or three. The pleasing thing was that we looked in little danger at the back while looking very dangerous up front and I think more than a few of us began to harbour the illusion that we might have come to terms with this this division at long last.

The opening minutes of the second half were negotiated with few alarms and once again there was a delicious moment fro Emi Buendia. After a spell of City pressure he picked up a clearance and ghosted past a defender before unleashing a powerful drive that only cleared the crossbar by inches. It would have been a deserved goal but we were reminded of the fine margins between success and failure as Wolves sprang clear and only a timely challenge by Hanley deflected a goal bound effort for a corner. It was taken short and when delivered to the far post, the lanky Saiss was on hand to head past Krul. Oh dear.

From that moment it was the away side that took up the running and only a couple of blocks by Aarons kept the scores level as the speedy Traore began to find more space. It was so disappointing after City's hour of dominance but now the shoe was on the other foot and I don't think anyone was surpised when with ten minutes left, a hard low cross from the Wolves left was only partially blocked by a combination 0f Krul and Hanley. The rebound fell kindly for Jiminez who had time to control before crashing it in from eight yards.

Farke chucked Vrancic, Srbeny and Hernandez on as time ran down but apart from a low strke from Pukki that Patricio went full length to his right to gather, it never looked like City would get back level. It had been such a good first half from the lads but Wolves showed their resilliance by staying in the game and eventually ending up dominant in a game that should have been done and dusted at the half.

Buendia, my MOM today, head and shoulders above anyone on the pitch when he is in this sort of form. We must enjoy him while we have him.

It was very hard to take and when I got home I heard the news that pretty much caps a miserable day; Martin Peters has just passed away. A great, great player and probably the best I have ever seen in a City shirt.

A shame we couldn't have three points for Xmas but we all knew it would be hard. A happy Xmas and a prosperous new year to all from Ricardo.

Edited by ricardo
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Thanks Ricardo, top stuff as always. Tough one to take as for parts of the game today I though we were outstanding. 

A happy Christmas and a healthy new year to you and yours as well.

Edited by Hairy Canary
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Happy Christmas Ricardo. Thanks for all your reports. Surviving the Premier League looks just a shade out of touch for us. We seem to play with class and skill but get the stuffing knocked out of us. Thinking of Peters, we need an old head or two arguably in the middle of the pitch (rather than 50 yards away with Krul in goal).

Edited by sonyc
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Thanks. Not the result we wanted but we played some terrific football at times. We look too good to go down, if only we could perform for the full 90 mins. Have never criticised the manager as I am a great fan of his, but couldn’t he seee how we were flagging in that second half?

Emi man of the match by far, what a joy he is too watch when he performs likes this, credit to Farke for the way he has managed him and turned his performances around.

Happy Christmas to you and yours 👍

Edited by Van wink
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The first half performance had led me to think - Yes we are Premiership standard after all. In particular the younger players - Buendia, Cantwell and Aaarons had worked hard and performed well. As to the second half I quickly gained the impression the players had been told to just play it save and be cautious. Much of our possession bore little attacking threat and we went back to playing the ball back to Krul on a regular basis. We quickly lost the momentum and Wolves stepped up a gear and from thereon there was really only one result.

Their first goal was another case of poor zonal marking with at least two guys being left unmarked. Actually it was a slow lofted cross and Krul should have come out and claimed. I initially thought he was going to - but appeared to change his mind. I am surprised as to the criticism of Cantwell on other threads. He worked hard and won a few tackles. Emi was at his best. After a solid first half the defence seemed to be easily opened up in the last quarter of the game, presumably due to tiredness. It was pretty clear that subs should have been used after 70 mins. Overall a very disappointing outcome

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It was disappointing to lose as we had played really well in the first half. This was yet another game we could have won, but how often do we concede a goal with our zonal marking; and only Farke can tell us why he leaves tired players on the pitch and thinks 3 subs in the 86th min will save the game. 

 

 

 

 

 

29 minutes ago, vos said:

The first half performance had led me to think - Yes we are Premiership standard after all. In particular the younger players - Buendia, Cantwell and Aaarons had worked hard and performed well. As to the second half I quickly gained the impression the players had been told to just play it save and be cautious. Much of our possession bore little attacking threat and we went back to playing the ball back to Krul on a regular basis. We quickly lost the momentum and Wolves stepped up a gear and from thereon there was really only one result.

Their first goal was another case of poor zonal marking with at least two guys being left unmarked. Actually it was a slow lofted cross and Krul should have come out and claimed. I initially thought he was going to - but appeared to change his mind. I am surprised as to the criticism of Cantwell on other threads. He worked hard and won a few tackles. Emi was at his best. After a solid first half the defence seemed to be easily opened up in the last quarter of the game, presumably due to tiredness. It was pretty clear that subs should have been used after 70 mins. Overall a very disappointing outcome

 

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Didn't see the match today so thanks for the report as usual Ricardo. I have seen the goals and their equaliser looked criminal. Byram on his own to mark two at the far post while there was half the team in the six yard box.

I'm glad we played to a decent standard. But I guess the home support could do with a lift. I was at a local rugby match and my son was watching the scores. One of our mates is a Villa lad and we said when we were one up, that we had caught Villa and were keeping pace with the Saints.

To be honest if we get nothing from Villa PArk then I think the fat lady will be spitting out her gargle in readiness.

Merry Xmas Ricardo, and everyone else.🎄

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Thanks for the report. That through ball from Buendia was exquisite and you have to wonder if Pukki's toe was giving him more trouble than Farke let on? I'm sure a 100% fit Pukki would have scored at least one of those chances.

I don't think zonal marking is the problem necessarily. We're a physically small side with players selected for their technical and attacking ability, not for their skill at defending set pieces.

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In the last 5 games, we've taken the lead 5 times and come out with just 2 points. Furthermore, if games finished at half time we would have garnered 8 points instead of those 2.

I think we're great until teams have had a half to work out how we play, then they just run us down. That said, not many teams will allow Teemu 4 or 5 shots on target and get away with it- sometimes it's just bad luck.

Unequivocally however, our aerial defence and substitute management need a ruddy good sorting out. A Wolves sub supplied the looping cross for their first goal today, about as surprising as when a Superman bad guy whips out some kryptonite.

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Feels this season like when we are at our very best we catch teams out with our slick and confident style but once we tire and/or the opposition move into 4th gear we just get eased out of it.

Ultimately though we let in so many goals last season and didn't/couldn't buy in a class CB or two and this will cost us.

Edited by Cantiaci Canary

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9 hours ago, Peanuts said:

I don't think zonal marking is the problem necessarily. We're a physically small side with players selected for their technical and attacking ability, not for their skill at defending set pieces.

Agree with this. It’s very simplistic to blame everything on zonal marking, it’s not always the system, the players need to carry it out correctly. I’m not actually a fan of it though.

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10 hours ago, Mason 47 said:

In the last 5 games, we've taken the lead 5 times and come out with just 2 points. Furthermore, if games finished at half time we would have garnered 8 points instead of those 2.

I think we're great until teams have had a half to work out how we play, then they just run us down. That said, not many teams will allow Teemu 4 or 5 shots on target and get away with it- sometimes it's just bad luck.

Unequivocally however, our aerial defence and substitute management need a ruddy good sorting out. A Wolves sub supplied the looping cross for their first goal today, about as surprising as when a Superman bad guy whips out some kryptonite.

Yes - I  think Farke also need to sharpen up his sub 'policy' . He never seems to be really 'pro-active' with his subs - more reactive, sadly recently in the dying minutes when we are already chasing the game.

It was obvious we were fading and needed fresh legs and new impetus well before the equalizer. Wolves made an early, decisive change. We could of done the same i.e. Onel on much earlier to force them back.

However all played well but we need some luck now!  

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