Sunday, December 28, 2008

Win ugly: City 1-0 Plymouth

A 1-0 win at Ninian Park aainst the Pilgrims lifts City to fourth spot after results around them went their way. This wasn't a classic, classy City performance though. It was a real dogged, ugly, and at times, dire performance from both teams, probably reflecting that this was their second match in three days.

City should have had a penalty early on, when Paul Parry was blatantly clipped in the penalty area, but referee Stuart Attwell (he of the phantom goal at Watford) ruled against City. Apart from that, I can't really recall anything good about the first half. Plymouth played a physical game, and the fact no cards were issued until late in the game was a real surprise.

It took until the 81st minute for Jay Bothroyd, who'd worked hard holding the ball up and being battered to fire City into the lead, and frankly, so poor were Plymouth that one goal was always going to be enough. Still, after the Reading 'keeper scoring to salvage a point for the Royals on Boxing Day in the 96th minute, hearts were in mouths when we conceded a corner in injury time and their 'keeper came up for it. We cleared it though, and Chopra, just about past their last defender on half way was cynically scythed down, and an instant and wholly deserved red card was the only justifiable outcome. That was pretty much it. If we can win when we play so poorly, maybe there's a glimmer of hope for us yet.

On another note, is that the last we see of Michael Chopra? His loan is now up, and with Sunderland losing and looking like they need goals, and rumour has it QPR putting in a bid for him, we may never see him in a City shirt again. Manager Dave Jones and Chairman Peter Ridsdale were making all the right noises in their programme notes about work going on to "resolve" the situation, but the bottom line is we may not have enough money to keep him here. I hope we do, but I'm not holding my breath.

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