A much better performance but not the result we wanted...
@markbooth_mcfc picks over the 2-2 draw with Arsenal which took UEFA Champions League qualification out of our hands.
City have won none of their eight games against the top five in the Premier League this season.
It’s an ugly stat but it perfectly demonstrates why we are going into the final day sweating on UEFA Champions League qualification.
However, this certainly wouldn’t be the case if we had produced the kind of performance we put in on Sunday against Arsenal in all of our games against the league’s elite teams.
This was a committed, intense 90 minutes from Manuel Pellegrini’s side and even the most ardent in the Gunners faithful would have difficulty arguing against the fact that the home team did enough to claim all three points.
While there was little we could do to prevent the second equaliser from Alexis Sanchez, the first goal which came so quickly after Kun Aguero’s brilliant opener was entirely preventable.
There have been games where City have been uncharacteristically unauthoritative at home this season but this wasn’t one of them – how frustrating then that we failed to claim the deserved win.
There were 8/10 performances all over the field from those in sky blue, so it’s nigh-on impossible to single just one of them out for the Man of the Match award.
Sky went with Fernandinho and it’s easy to see why – the Brazilian took 76 touches, making 57 passes, completing one assist and covering 10.51km in a typically inexhaustible showing from one of our players of the season.
His midfield compatriot was just as good though.
Fernando has been quietly excellent for a number of weeks now and he bossed the midfield on Sunday, winning 50/50s and making timely interceptions all afternoon long.
Injuries hampered his first season but it now seems as though we’re seeing just what “The Octopus” can bring to the table.
3 The General...
Another man who shone on Sunday, Nicolas Otamendi came out on top in a number of key statistical metrics.
Otamendi won five tackles, made ten clearances and completed six interceptions, gaining possession for his team on ten occasions.
It’s not the first time the Argentine defender has shone in his first season in Manchester and he’ll be hoping this form brings him more silverware in year two.
Supporting Manchester United’s opponents, whoever they might be, will hardly be a stretch for those who see their football through a prism of blue but there’s more reason than ever to keep everything crossed for a slip-up from our old rivals in their next match.
The permutations are simple at this stage – any dropped points from Louis van Gaal’s men in the final game at the Boleyn Ground will put City back in charge of their own fate going into the final day.
As discussed here, City and West Ham supporters have a rare and refreshing special relationship… here’s hoping these bonds are further strengthened on Tuesday night…