Saturday, January 23, 2010

Wobbly, but Wembley still possible: City 4-2 Leicester

Cardiff City know how to make a supporter suffer.
In the first 15 minutes City played open expansive football and carved Leicester open on two or three occasions. On 17 minutes, a long balled wide was chased down by Chopra who belted a pinpoint cross over for Jay Bothroyd to head home from 6 yards.

City then did what they always do when they get a lead. The stopped playing football, and reverted to hoofing the ball upfield, making sloppy mistakes and inevitably Leicester started playing the better football, and scored a goal from a needless free kick when Morrison, unmarked headed home Just before the half, they made it 2-1 when sloppy defending and indecision from the keeper allowed N'Guessan to prod home.

Dave Jones needed to slap a few people at half time, and perhaps he did. City came out in the second half looking the more likely, though the Foxes were sharp on the break, It looked like 2-1 was going to be good enough for the opposition but Burke's introduction on 61 minutes sparked City, and 10 minutes later Whittingham unexpectedly curled a free kick straight in from wide out to level the scores with 20 mins left. It never looked like this was going to end in a draw, although as we entered 4 minutes of added time, the replay was beginning to loom. But for once, City scored rather than conceded in injury time. Not once, but twice through Burke (92m) and McCormack (94m) to send the Bluebirds faithful into delirium and tomorrow's fifth round draw.

So a win, but hardly convincing, and Leicester may rightly feel hard done by today. They are moaning about a penalty shout but from where I was sat, the player fell over or dived - it certainly wasn't a penalty.

But let's not worry too much? Or should we? There are some significant issues for an old git like me to worry about as a "fan manager".

Mark Kennedy (left back) seems incapable of playing any other ball than a chipped/floated ball forward - Play it on the ground man!

The midfield is generally non-existent. How Leicester (and every other team we've played) haven't scored more goals through the middle this season is beyond me.

Hudosn and Gerrard at centre back lose too many 50-50 balls in the air for my liking, and Marshall, though palpably the best 'keeper we've had for a few years is still too hesistant at times.

But, I can't be too unhappy tonight after City showed some guts in the second half. We're in the last 16 now. Surely it couldn't happen again - could it?

Up the Bluebirds!

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