Manchester City woes multiply with Yaya Toure 'kick', but sympathy for Manuel Pellegrini in short supply
This team were title favourites. We must try to play that way again
Sunday 09 February 2014
If, as Jose Mourinho suggested, Manchester City are a Jaguar, then they resemble the old Sovereign 4.2 litre: all leather and walnut trim but liable to break down if the going became anything less than smooth.
Yaya Touré’s frustrated kick at Ricky van Wolfswinkel as the favourites took their tally of dropped points in a week to five may cost him a three-match retrospective ban that could threaten his participation in the League Cup final.
Given that only Real Madrid boast a more expensively-assembled squad, nobody will weep for Manuel Pellegrini. But should Touré be added to a list of those who were unavailable for the goalless draw at Norwich – Sergio Aguero, Samir Nasri, Javi Garcia and Fernandinho – the City manager will be without around £125m worth of footballers.
“It is difficult [without him],” said Pellegrini when asked whether Sergio Aguero’s absence had deprived City of a vital spark. Against Norwich, as against Chelsea, a side that had scored 115 times managed two shots on target.
“Maybe, because this team has been scoring goals so easily this season, people have been talking about the amount of goals they are going to score again. But every match is different and I think [the failure to score against Chelsea and Norwich] is absolutely related to the injury of Aguero. This team were favourites to win the title with the way they were playing. We must try, as soon as possible, to play that way again.”
Having rampaged their way to a goal difference of +41, City should be doing better than third. They will end the season as Premier League top scorers but at Chelsea, Mourinho won both his titles while scoring fewer than his chief rivals. He is driving a Mercedes. Not quite as flash as a Jaguar but rather more reliable.
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