Game in a sentence
Manchester City overwhelm a thouroughly average QPR side in an early contender for most forgettable game of the season.
- Roberto Mancini admitted he probably would’ve been fired if Sergio Aguero didn’t score in the dying seconds of City’s final game last season. Mancini reflects: “Football is strange and beautiful for this. In the last game we had 44 chances to score, they had three and they scored two goals.” Strange and beautiful is apt, well put Roberto.
- Mark Hughes has managed every club in Europe, at least it seems that way. His time with Manchester City was marked by a prodigious increase in spending that saw the likes of Robinho, Wayne Bridge, Nigel De Jong, Craig Bellamy, Emmanuel Adebayor and Carloz Tevez don the sky blue kit. Overall it’s a pretty up and down list, but Hughes should be credited with bringing in some of the mainstays of City’s title winning squad – including Joleon Lescott and Gareth Barry. Ed’s note: Kompany and Zabaleta as well – thanks to commenter Tom for the reminder.
- In contrast Hughes’ spending at QPR can be described as bat shit insane. Bosingwa, Carvalho, Park Ji-Sung,
Adam Johnson. The list goes on. Tony Fernandes has assembled the most expensive, horribly average side in league history. If they are trying to emulate City, as Kevin Keegan posits, they are doing it in a drunken stupor.
- City dominated a game that resembled the Harlem Globetrotters playing the Washington Generals. At one point holding 82% of the possession, City would lose the ball briefly only to see it safely returned thanks to a clumsy QPR touch. Aside from new arrival Esteban Granero and Manchester United castoff Fabio, the Rangers were utterly hopeless on the ball.
- In the 16th minute a blocked Carloz Tevez shot landed on the foot of Yaya Toure – the best footballer in the world not playing in Spain – who deposited the ball past perennial whipping boy Robert Green. 1-0. Could’ve been 3-0 that early. David Silva was in fine form throughout. Mancini replaced the Spaniard with James Milner late in the second half. A slight tradeoff in skill that one is.
- And yet QPR, somehow, equalized in the 59th minute. Bobby Zamora – he of the largest head band-aid in league history – capitalized on a Joe Hart gaffe to stun the Etihad faithful. Though the ball looked to be deflected, Joe Hart can’t spill that ball into Bobby Z’s path. Hart has looked thoroughly average early this season. Raptor Blog editor and die hard Milan supporter – ha! – Joseph Casciaro believes Andrea Pirlo’s penalty paneka phased Hart in ways we’ll never know. I’ve already subscribed to his newsletter.
- The visitors’ joy was short lived. Edin Dzeko connected on a Tevez cross to put City ahead once again. Though this is impossible to calculate and entirely speculation on my part Dzeko seems to give total effort each time on the pitch. Compared to a certain enigmatic Italian teammate it’s nice to see.
- Tevez added a third in the 90th minute. QPR’s shambolic defending was on full display with five defenders committed to two players, leaving Dzeko and Tevez basically unmarked in the box. Truly remarkable.
- And that was that. This wasn’t a game to remember – though at one point the in stadium scoreboard read 2-1 QPR, that was sort of cool. Though they scored three times, it easily could’ve been more for the dominant home side. Somewhere Tony Fernandes is finagling a meeting with Didier Drogba.
1. David Sliva
2. Edin Dzeko
3. Carlos Tevez