Manchester City 1 – 0 Stoke City
Saturday, May 14th 2011, 16.00 CET
I was saying before the game (this post) that I expected both teams to play defensive and not to score many goals. A stupid gamble from my part to bet on over 2.5 goals, I admit. Overall, the game was not at the high standards we expect FA Cup Finals to be like, but nevertheless, the tension in the air (and the many mistakes made because of it, especially by Stoke players) was obvious.
So what happened in Man City vs Stoke? The score doesn’t say much. The truth is that it was not really a “breath-taking” game to put it lightly. Surprisingly, Mancini’s boys gave up their defensive style in exchange for possession and game control. That was apparently fine with Stoke City players, who were “all over the place” in the first minutes of the game. Their goalkeeper Sorensen was good. He made some really good saves against Tevez or Balotelli. But other than that, it seemed as if Stoke players didn’t have clear tactics. Everything they tried to build at the midfield was either blocked by Nigel de Jong, or was ruined by wrong passes.
For Manchester City on the other hand, the attacking power of the wealthiest team in Premier League was obvious: repeated combinations of passes from Balotelli, Tevez and Silva made Stoke’s defense shake several times. Nevertheless, their defensive “tradition” prevented them from building a solid attack from the start. Admittedly, there were some great saves by Sorensen, and Silva surprisingly missed the target a few times, but this all shows Man City’s unease when attacking. And even when they scored, in the 75th minute through Yaya Toure (saviour in semi-finals against Manchester United), it was out of a total confusion in Stoke’s penalty area, and a bit of luck.
All in all, the investments in Manchester City over the years since the Sheik took over are starting to show. Now Manchester City have satisfied their thirst for British silverware, and will go on in Champions League this fall in search for european one. Sports betting wise, I made a small loss in this game. My two soccer bets or football bets were on an over 2.5 goals score, and on Manchester City to win. If you check the Statistics page, you’ll see that overall I lost 0.25 units. Oh well, next time I won’t be gambling pointlessly for a measly 2.05 odds.