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ricardo

Ricardo's Report v Boro

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After Tuesday indifferent performance, Ricardo was curious to see how Lambert would approach this tricky fixture. He did not disappoint, as the Diamond was ditched and City reverted to 4-4-2. Wes, Korey Smith and Askou were the casualties as Fox, Anthony Mac and Ward came in. The omission of Wes was a surprise to me but Lambert is nothing if not brave when he changes things round.City faced the River End as the first half began in damp but bright conditions. The opening quarter was cagey with both teams having a couple of corners but little end result in the attacking intentions. Boro looked neat and tidy and dominated possession without ever looking threatening while City though more direct couldn''t work an opening. Anthony Mac looked lively and Jackson might have done better when he blazed an effort over from 12 yards. City went close midway through the half when Crofts seemed to have found the corner only for his low effort to come back off a post into the keepers arms. City upped the tempo and Jackson failed to get enough on another cross from the right and the chance went begging. Boro''s only contribution to the half was a 20 yard free kick that Ruddy caught under the bar and a low cross that flashed along the six yard line.City finally broke the deadlock just before the break when Martin''s cross caught the Boro defence in two minds and Holt and Jackson both beat the offside trap. Holt''s pull back left Jackson with a simple tap in from 3 yards out. A satisfactory half although Boro were allowed too much of the ball for my liking.The second period continued in much the same vein only by now it was tipping it down like cats and dogs. We seemed happy to let them have the ball as they seldom got closer than 20 yards before Ward or Barnett snuffed out the danger. A couple of dangerous freekicks were cleared and I for one would have been far more comfortable if we could have got another goal. Chris Martin came on for the tiring Jackson and Korey came on for Anthony Mac as Lambert looked to settle for 1-0. Boro continued to dominate possession but had absolutely no cutting edge. Leroy Lita was a real live wire in his Canary incarnation  but his fuse seemed blown today. As injury time ticked down Boro finally made a chance when a cross from Nicky Bailey found a Boro player in a great position only for a woeful finish to let City off the hook. Two towering clearances from Ward made sure of the points and sent the biggest crowd of the season home in good heart.Still not a convincing display but we looked much more solid at the back. Ward MOM for me with Barnett not far behind. All in all a decent team performance and a useful 3 points after Tuesdays debacle. As for Boro, oh dear, I don''t think I have ever seen a side have so much possession and do so little with it.

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A typically measured and sane report as usual Ricardo - thanks for posting. Quite why you''re not on Archant''s payroll continues to bemuse me.

I thought it was the sort of win that delights a manager. Yes, Middlesbrough had lots of possession, but City''s two banks of four were expertly deployed, worked really hard and prevented any real chances being created until the last few minutes.

For the committed City fan, it''s terrifying seeing the team retreat to the edge of the 18-yard box and letting the opposition pass it around in front of them. But I think the neutral would never have expected Boro to score today, so disciplined and industrious were our midfield and defence.

Given that, I thought Macca was an odd choice for MoM. Think I would have picked Elliot Ward.

Whatever, that was a really hard-fought win and a bloody good result. The Peroni will slip down all the sweeter tonight, no doubt.

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Thanks Robert. I had a couple of Peroni''s before the game as these new prostate pills have cut down on the frequency of my "in game" relief excursions.Yes I thought the two banks of four operated very well and we looked very secure at the back. Some people took exception to my comments about Askou on Tuesday but we can all see the difference Ward made this afternoon. It was an effective performance but I still yearn to see a convincing home display. Perhaps we are saving it for Ipswich.

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[quote user="ricardo"]After Tuesday indifferent performance, Ricardo was curious to see how Lambert would approach this tricky fixture. He did not disappoint, as the Diamond was ditched and City reverted to 4-4-2. Wes, Korey Smith and Askou were the casualties as Fox, Anthony Mac and Ward came in. The omission of Wes was a surprise to me but Lambert is nothing if not brave when he changes things round.City faced the River End as the first half began in damp but bright conditions. The opening quarter was cagey with both teams having a couple of corners but little end result in the attacking intentions. Boro looked neat and tidy and dominated possession without ever looking threatening while City though more direct couldn''t work an opening. Anthony Mac looked lively and Jackson might have done better when he blazed an effort over from 12 yards. City went close midway through the half when Crofts seemed to have found the corner only for his low effort to come back off a post into the keepers arms. City upped the tempo and Jackson failed to get enough on another cross from the right and the chance went begging. Boro''s only contribution to the half was a 20 yard free kick that Ruddy caught under the bar and a low cross that flashed along the six yard line.City finally broke the deadlock just before the break when Martin''s cross caught the Boro defence in two minds and Holt and Jackson both beat the offside trap. Holt''s pull back left Jackson with a simple tap in from 3 yards out. A satisfactory half although Boro were allowed too much of the ball for my liking.The second period continued in much the same vein only by now it was tipping it down like cats and dogs. We seemed happy to let them have the ball as they seldom got closer than 20 yards before Ward or Barnett snuffed out the danger. A couple of dangerous freekicks were cleared and I for one would have been far more comfortable if we could have got another goal. Chris Martin came on for the tiring Jackson and Korey came on for Anthony Mac as Lambert looked to settle for 1-0. Boro continued to dominate possession but had absolutely no cutting edge. Leroy Lita was a real live wire in his Canary incarnation  but his fuse seemed blown today. As injury time ticked down Boro finally made a chance when a cross from Nicky Bailey found a Boro player in a great position only for a woeful finish to let City off the hook. Two towering clearances from Ward made sure of the points and sent the biggest crowd of the season home in good heart.Still not a convincing display but we looked much more solid at the back. Ward MOM for me with Barnett not far behind. All in all a decent team performance and a useful 3 points after Tuesdays debacle. As for Boro, oh dear, I don''t think I have ever seen a side have so much possession and do so little with it.[/quote]Very nice report Ricardo my only criticism is that it was Mcnamee who crossed the ball for the goal (I''m 95% sure here).

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You may be right LHOS although I thought it was Martin. I don''t take notes am not blessed with total recall. I think both Anthony Mac and Russell Martin put some decent balls over,especially in the opening period. Most of our danger came from the right side and it was inevitable that our goal would come from that side.

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[quote user="Robert N. LiM"]A typically measured and sane report as usual Ricardo - thanks for posting. Quite why you''re not on Archant''s payroll continues to bemuse me.

I thought it was the sort of win that delights a manager. Yes, Middlesbrough had lots of possession, but City''s two banks of four were expertly deployed, worked really hard and prevented any real chances being created until the last few minutes.

For the committed City fan, it''s terrifying seeing the team retreat to the edge of the 18-yard box and letting the opposition pass it around in front of them. But I think the neutral would never have expected Boro to score today, so disciplined and industrious were our midfield and defence.

Given that, I thought Macca was an odd choice for MoM. Think I would have picked Elliot Ward.

Whatever, that was a really hard-fought win and a bloody good result. The Peroni will slip down all the sweeter tonight, no doubt.[/quote]We had 58% posession according to the stats, I always felt we were more likely to nick another one than they were to get an equaliser. Fairlt comfortable 1-0 for me.

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[quote user="ricardo"]After Tuesday indifferent performance, Ricardo was curious to see how Lambert would approach this tricky fixture. He did not disappoint, as the Diamond was ditched and City reverted to 4-4-2. Wes, Korey Smith and Askou were the casualties as Fox, Anthony Mac and Ward came in. The omission of Wes was a surprise to me but Lambert is nothing if not brave when he changes things round.City faced the River End as the first half began in damp but bright conditions. The opening quarter was cagey with both teams having a couple of corners but little end result in the attacking intentions. Boro looked neat and tidy and dominated possession without ever looking threatening while City though more direct couldn''t work an opening. Anthony Mac looked lively and Jackson might have done better when he blazed an effort over from 12 yards. City went close midway through the half when Crofts seemed to have found the corner only for his low effort to come back off a post into the keepers arms. City upped the tempo and Jackson failed to get enough on another cross from the right and the chance went begging. Boro''s only contribution to the half was a 20 yard free kick that Ruddy caught under the bar and a low cross that flashed along the six yard line.City finally broke the deadlock just before the break when Martin''s cross caught the Boro defence in two minds and Holt and Jackson both beat the offside trap. Holt''s pull back left Jackson with a simple tap in from 3 yards out. A satisfactory half although Boro were allowed too much of the ball for my liking.The second period continued in much the same vein only by now it was tipping it down like cats and dogs. We seemed happy to let them have the ball as they seldom got closer than 20 yards before Ward or Barnett snuffed out the danger. A couple of dangerous freekicks were cleared and I for one would have been far more comfortable if we could have got another goal. Chris Martin came on for the tiring Jackson and Korey came on for Anthony Mac as Lambert looked to settle for 1-0. Boro continued to dominate possession but had absolutely no cutting edge. Leroy Lita was a real live wire in his Canary incarnation  but his fuse seemed blown today. As injury time ticked down Boro finally made a chance when a cross from Nicky Bailey found a Boro player in a great position only for a woeful finish to let City off the hook. Two towering clearances from Ward made sure of the points and sent the biggest crowd of the season home in good heart.Still not a convincing display but we looked much more solid at the back. Ward MOM for me with Barnett not far behind. All in all a decent team performance and a useful 3 points after Tuesdays debacle. As for Boro, oh dear, I don''t think I have ever seen a side have so much possession and do so little with it.[/quote]Many thanks Ricardo, a real treat as always, nice job.

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[quote user="kdncfc"]We had 58% posession according to the stats, I always felt we were more likely to nick another one than they were to get an equaliser. Fairlt comfortable 1-0 for me.[/quote]

I noticed that also. I think you will find those BBC stats are arse about face because it says we had 3 shots on target to Boro''s 8. No way on earth was that correct.

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[quote user="ricardo"][quote user="kdncfc"]We had 58% posession according to the stats, I always felt we were more likely to nick another one than they were to get an equaliser. Fairlt comfortable 1-0 for me.[/quote]

I noticed that also. I think you will find those BBC stats are arse about face because it says we had 3 shots on target to Boro''s 8. No way on earth was that correct.[/quote]I can''t remember Ruddy having to make a save of any note although the same could be said of their keeper, we did look more like scoring than they did for the most part though and came close on more occasions than they did.

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[quote user="kdncfc"][quote user="ricardo"][quote user="kdncfc"]We had 58% posession according to the stats, I always felt we were more likely to nick another one than they were to get an equaliser. Fairlt comfortable 1-0 for me.[/quote]

I noticed that also. I think you will find those BBC stats are arse about face because it says we had 3 shots on target to Boro''s 8. No way on earth was that correct.[/quote]I can''t remember Ruddy having to make a save of any note although the same could be said of their keeper, we did look more like scoring than they did for the most part though and came close on more occasions than they did.[/quote]If they had 8 shots on target I must have been watching a different game. We looked far more dangerous with a lot less of the ball. As I mentioned in the report, we were much more direct while Boro essentially never got behind our defence. There was endless keepball 30 yards out but apart from that last gasp effort they never looked like getting a goal.

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Excellent report Ricardo, as usual. My impression was that it was Macca''s cross, but Martin was also excellent on the day. Ward would have been my MoM.

It surprises me that Holt has been taking flak on other posts today, as I thought he worked hard and made an unselfish knock-down for Jackson to score a simple goal from 3-4 yards out. Why this criticism of him goes on is beyond me. He''s scored 5 goals and even more assists in 15 matches, the first half of which he wasn''t even match fit. The most Iwan ever scored was 15-16 and yet this still goes on. Do we really want to go back to strikers like Mooney and Gow and drop down the table again?

Boro had some quality in midfield but were completely outclassed in both defence and attack. If I recall correctly, Ruddy only had one save all day, and that was a comfortable catch from a free-kick 14 minutes from the start.

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Thanks, a good report Ricardo. I always look for you write up and Hucks'' thoughts about the game first.

 

As regards the 90 minutes, it was a funny old game Brian. I decamped to my position by the TV near the Tuck Shop at half time not sure if we had played well or badly or whether Boro had played badly or well. The consensus of opinion was that we’d been effective and Boro had been pretty. I was cheering prematurely when we hit the post and less so when we scored as I thought the one-eyed ref would disallow the goal.

 

Second half I though we defended brilliantly, no saves for Ruddy though they did have a very good chance at the end.

 

From my recall of the game I thought that Holt stayed more central today or maybe him and Jackson tried to play closer to together.

 

My MotM would have been one of Ward or Barnett. It was exactly what we needed today, a solid display, three points and job done.

 

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A bit out of the way here in Cyprus, always look forward to Ricardo''s match reports, informative, intelligent, and you get a good insight on the match, keep them coming, thanks alot.

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