Independent: 2012 inspires City's title belief
- 15 April 2014 07:52
- Posted by @porter_mcfc
Two days after the event, the clash at Anfield on Sunday continues to dominate the City-centric headlines.
However, given that was re-hashed quite enough yesterday for my taste, if you search hard enough there are a few snippets that look ahead, rather than back, to focus on.
Still with me?
For City, it’s home form, and history (oh alright, this particular snippet does look back as well as forward, but I’m not sure anyone minds revisiting this particular piece of history, so on we go!).
Tim Rich writes: “In horse racing terms, you can make a case for Manchester City by stating they have done the course and distance. In football commentary terms you can just scream “Aguerroooooo” very loudly into a microphone. It is that May day in 2012 which provides the core of Manchester City’s belief that they can still win the title.
“The revival that won them the title began with six games remaining. They have six games to go now. In 2012, they were five points behind Manchester United. They are currently seven adrift of Liverpool with two games in hand. Pellegrini’s side is actually in a better position than Roberto Mancini’s was.
“If Liverpool and Chelsea draw when they meet at Anfield on Sunday week and cut each other’s throats – to quote one of Sir Alex Ferguson’s favourite phrases – the way is open once more for the Premier League’s slickest machine. That they have six games rather than four gives Manchester City less of a margin of error but can you seriously see them not beating Sunderland, West Bromwich, Aston Villa and West Ham at the Etihad Stadium? Twelve points are already guaranteed.”
Whoa there. If history has taught us anything, nothing is guaranteed!
On the negative side, Rich continues: “If Pellegrini’s side do not take the title, it will be because of their form away from Manchester. Their two remaining away games look awkward and dangerous. They have managed one win in three Premier League games at Selhurst Park and two in 16 at Goodison. Everton have lost once at home all season, and that to Sunderland when they were reduced to 10 men.”
Moving on, and James Milner has been defending Vincent Kompany for his mistake at Anfield. However, he refuses to dwell on what might have been, and argues that City now have to concentrate on their own games.
Milner told the MEN: “You can’t blame Vinny, everybody makes mistakes. Vinny has been outstanding for us. I’ve been at the club for four years and he’s been absolutely outstanding.
“You can’t say anything like that because of the amount of times he’s saved us as well - it’s one of those things.
“We had the chance down at the other end to put it away and grab a draw but it wasn’t to be and now it’s not in our hands.
“We have to rely on a mistake and make sure we win our remaining games.”
“All we can do now is concentrate on our games - we have a couple of tricky games as well."
"We have Everton to go to and Crystal Palace, who are in a great run of form. They have beaten Chelsea, one of many, and we know how hard it is to get over the line.
“We left it to the last seconds the year we won it so it is difficult to get over the line.”
Speaking of Milner, The Bleacher Report’s Rob Pollard argues that the England midfielder can be called upon to shine in Yaya Toure’s absence.
The Ivorian left the Anfield pitch with an injury early in Sunday’s game, but the article argues that Milner is the ideal replacement.
Writes Pollard: “Toure's loss will hurt them, but they have an outstanding option on the bench in James Milner who is capable of stepping in and has been underused this season, given his contribution when called upon.
“He gave another superb cameo on the right at the weekend and had a hand in both City goals after a lacklustre first period in which City were outplayed and outfought. His introduction gave them fresh impetus and changed the pattern of the game dramatically.
“His work rate and versatility are well-documented; his technique and quality are less so. Milner mixes a remarkable appetite for running and tackling with genuine ability on the ball, be it passing, crossing or beating players.”
That’s about it for today, but do join us again tomorrow – there’s another football match to think about after all!
The race for the Premier League has come to the boil, so make sure you’re there to lend your support as we bid for a second title in three years.
Tickets are still available for the two of the last first-team games taking place at the Etihad Stadium this season, against Sunderland and West Brom.
They could be decisive clashes, so don’t miss out.