Manchester City were lucky to have escaped with a draw from the Britannia stadium as Stoke City put up a wonderful performance.
Manchester City might have won their match against Hull City, but in truth the side has been far from their best since their opening day victory against Newcastle United. Manuel Pellegrini is yet to find the right balance in his starting eleven and the big name players have also been a let-down.
Manchester City had only three shots on target in the whole match and it was Stoke City who had the most clear cut opportunities. Kenwyne Jones wasted some guilt edged opportunity and he would disappointed not to have won the game for the home side. Stoke have had a fantastic start to the season under new manager Mark Hughes. Hughes is certainly eager to transform this Stoke side from a bullish-physical team to being a good footballing side – and last night at times they out played the bid names of Manchester City.
Pellegrini started with Negredo and Jovetic in this match, instead of Dzeko and Aguero, but the duo were far from being impressive. Negredo was restricted to few shots from outside the box and might lose his place in the starting line-up in the next match. Stoke on the other hand brought on new signing Arnaytovic in the second half, and he showed glimpses of his talent in the short spell on the pitch. He could potentially become a massive player for Mark Hughes.
But despite this performance Manuel Pellegrini seemed contained with a draw and pointed out the fact that the team was missing a lot of key players due to injuries.
“I don’t think we must expect to win every match. Of course we want to win every game but it’s impossible and it’s a special week for us because we haven’t had the players (due to the international break).
“I won’t always be happy when I draw away but for this match it’s good.
“We have four of five injured players that are important. From the back four, Micah Richards, Vincent Kompany and Gael Clichy are out, and David Silva is out as well and we have the Champions League on Tuesday, so it’s a good point for us.” – Pellegrini said.
The Manchester City manager also came out in support of Joe Hart, who has faced a lot of criticsm in recent times, despite keeping five clean sheets in his last five games for club and country.
“I have trust in Joe Hart and it was a clean sheet again in the last four games and the two last games we played in the Premier League.
“That’s always important for a goalkeeper and I’m sure Joe will continue with this.” – He added.
Steven N’Zonzi has been in fantastic form so far this season and he produced another superb performance against Manchester City. The above heat-map from Squawka maps his movement on the pitch. Note how he loves to drift wide at times and uses his pace to launch counter-attacks.