Yaya Toure sets standards
- 15 April 2013 08:17
- Posted by @mccarthy_mcfc
There is widespread praise for the Blues’ FA Cup semi-final performance this morning with a significant proportion of the applause pointed at Yaya Toure.
The City midfielder has been described by many as the major driving force in the 2-1 win over Chelsea at Wembley.
“Yaya Toure maintained his reputation as one of the best box-to-box midfielders in the trade with a masterful performance in the middle of the park,” writes Harsh Shah of goal.com.
“The powerfully built No. 42 ensured that the likes of John Obi Mikel and Ramires had a torrid time on the Wembley turf as he drove on the likes of Samir Nasri and Sergio Aguero in what was a famous victory for the Citizens.”
“The standout, if unsung, player on the pitch was Yaya Toure, who sets the standard for box-to-box midfielders,” writes Sam Tighe.
“The power he can use to his advantage is enough to steamroll any midfield in the world, be it Chelsea's at Wembley, Aston Villa's at the Etihad Stadium or Real Madrid's at the Santiago Bernabeu.
“His deep-lying role allows him to receive the ball in deeper areas, and he'll always pick a pass first if it's on.
An orthodox midfield playmaker will look to recycle the ball if nothing appears, but the Ivorian has a third option if he so chooses to use it.
Elsewhere, in this morning’s Guardian, a tactical look at yesterday’s performance provides an interesting read.
“There was great fluidity from City,” writes Michael Cox.
“The wide players darted inside to receive clever forward passes from the central midfielders, while Carlos Tevez and Sergio Agüero both came short to collect balls into feet, dragging Chelsea's centre-backs up the pitch and creating space for others to charge into.
“With Touré moving forward to become the catalyst for City's best attacks – in particular, the opening goal – they carved Chelsea open repeatedly in the first half.”
Finally, despite making their way to the FA Cup final and occupying second position in the Premier League, BBC Sport’s chief football writer Phil McNulty believes the Blues could have achieved more this season.
“It [the FA Cup] may well bring them silverware for a third successive season - riches indeed given the barren 35 years that preceded their 2011 FA Cup Final success against Stoke City - but will not erase a feeling of what might have been,” he writes.
“If a desperate, winless Champions League group phase has been placed in some perspective by Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund contesting the semi-finals, the undistinguished defence of the Premier League has been placed in sharp relief in the space of six days.
“In that short space of time City have looked more powerful and potent than champions-elect United in beating them at Old Trafford for the second successive season, while for 65 minutes of a thrilling semi-final at Wembley they threatened to overwhelm the FA Cup holders until Chelsea's in-built durability and competitive instinct kicked in.”