Saturday, November 05, 2011

King Whitts: City 2-0 Crystal Palace

This was a tough match for City (are there any easy matches in this division?), but on the back of a 3-0 away win at Derby in the week, even a Palace side that hadn't conceded in their last six matches shouldn't have put any fear into the Bluebirds.

Malky Mackay is moulding this squad into a genuinely tough to beat side, with a team ethic that has been starkly lacking in Dave Jones' sides of the past few seasons.

As was fitting for Bonfire Night, this started off as a slow burner, but burst into life and left City's faithful dazzled by the sparklers provided by a fantastic 2-0 win.

In truth, the first period was a fairly turgid affair for City bar one Miller glanced header and a thunderous shot from Whittingham that cannoned off the bar. Heaton, in for the ill Marshall, was the busier of the two keepers, as City struggled to win second ball, hold onto possession or pass with any accuracy.

However, in the second period City started to pick up the pace, and with great effect. Miller was put through one on one with Speroni, who had been inspired against us at CCS last year, and it looked like he was in the same form as he denied Miller's effort. That though was the spark that lit the blue touchpaper, and thereafter, City were virtually unstoppable.

On 69 minutes Taylor put the ball to the ever industrious McNaughton who layed the ball off to Miller who finished clinically with a shot across Speroni, the first goal Palace had conceded in over 550 minutes of play. But just 11 minutes later they'd conceded again. Nauts was up-ended outside the box to the right, and in prime Whittingham territory, City's King-Pin hit a beautiful shot right into the top corner with Speroni flailing and failing to get to the ball.

Despite a too late rally by Palace, City kept a second consecutive clean sheet. It looks like the back four are finally beginning to gel - some mistakes still, but with the assured Heaton marshalling the defence, there were few worries in the second period.

All the players were great today, but Whittingham was magnificent, pulling the strings and creating the guile City needed to break down a good defence.

Make no mistake. City are far from the finished article, but this tops off a very decent return of results as we go into an international break. City will be full of confidence, Mackay will be very pleased with his charges, and dare we say it - has City's November hoodoo finally been put to rest?

City lie a comfortable 4th, although Birmingham way down in 12th, but only six points behind have an incredible four games in hand. At this stage of the season would I have taken that? I'd have bitten your hand off.

Up the City!

1 comment:

Rosso1992 said...

Must admit, i thought you did will but you should be beating Crystal Palace!
Cardiff definitely on the up this year... Join Swansea next year in the prem?
Never! They'll be relegated ;)