Manchester City have more or less booked themselves into the next round providing they play as well in the second leg as they have done tonight. Individual goals from Caicedo and Shaun Wright-Phillips proved vital as City oozed class at Eastlands.
City really took the game to the Danes and where ahead within seven minutes. Robinho who looked menacing delivered a powerful pass into the feet of Caicedo who simply shrugged off his marker and side-footed the ball past the despairing keeper. 1-0, easy!
If the opening quarter was anything to go by, City should have run riot! The play and general passing by the Blues was breathtaking at times as City looked calm and collective. Shaun Wright-Phillips looked bright and was showing every City fan what they were missing in the three games he was suspended in.
City where in need of a second after seeming to take their foot of the gas, and they got that in the shape of SWP. Stevie Ireland`s pass found him marked by a defender but the wee lad breezed past the Dane before delivering a dipping shot that no keeper in the world would have saved. It was a world class goal which brought the half filled stadium alive.
However the Danish side did have their chances. Thomas Augustinussen managed to side foot the ball wide of goal when he should have at least worked Given, but it was City who had the last shout in the second half when Robinho was fouled in the box. After seven stopovers Robinho simply moved the ball away from the defender who took a swipe straight through Robinho`s leg. It was simply a penalty but the Ref was not having any of it, and the only whistle the Ref blew afterwards was for Halftime.
Halftime: Manchester City 2 Aalborg BK 0
Aalborg came out the brighter in the second half and made Shay Given work when Caca`s near-post drive was blocked by the Irishmen`s legs. At the other end Onuoha almost got two goals in two UEFA cup games when he saw his header from an Elano corner fly inches over the bar.
mouth watering partnership between Robinho and Ireland was emerging throughout the game. This was in full flow midway through the second half when Ireland and Robinho connected well together before the Brazilian saw his shot smartly saved by the Aalborg keeper.
Elano managed to pick up a needless booking for kicking the ball towards the area where the foul was committed. A needless free-kick from a player who really impressed me today. His passing and commitment was easy to spot, and after his performance tonight he may have a good shout to start against Chelsea on Sunday.
A chance from Aalborg was all there was to really talk about as the game entered the last quarter. Moments later City where looking nervous when Zabaleta committed a foul outside the area. Magnus Pehrsson, who was the unfortunate player to feel the studs of the Argentinean, was stretched off but after a short stop the free-kick came to nothing.
Man of the Match Wright-Phillips was subbed with a couple of minutes left as Kelvin Etuhu was making his first appearance since a long-term injury.
That was the last thing City fans shouted about as the game came to an end, and City could go to Aalborg comfortable and confident.
Fulltime: Manchester City 2 Aalborg BK 0
Given 6 not enough from the Danes to give him a work out
Bridge 6 – Bridge is one of the best left-backs in the league, but didn’t really play his best game against Aalborg. Some off-balanced tackles and some bad passes left his performance lacking some what.
Onuoha 6 unlucky not to score and is forming good partnership with Dunne.
– Buzz Lightyear
Dunne 6 – Got caught out on some occasions and although he played ok, i still feel a slight concern about his general form as Ounoha is out-playing him every game.
Richards 7. getting there and had some really powerful runs.
– Buzz Lightyear
Robinho 8 Fred Astaire had nothing on the man
Ireland 9 – His play with Robinho is a joy to watch. He has been the player of the season so far, and at his age, the sky is the limit for the lad.
Zabaleta 7 great game tried his heart out.
Elano 9 – Back to the form we all love. Elano is one of the most gifted players, and tonight his passing and even tackling was awesome. If Hughes does not play him against Chelsea, then i feel that nothing is ever going to be good enough for Elano to prove his worth against Hughes.
SWP 8 good runs left and right, brilliant goal, should have scored more.
– Buzz Lightyear
Caceido 8 – This player has the build of a machine and was right up with SWP and Ireland until he got injured. This just hope he’s not out for long.
Ched and Kelvin looked good and I would like to see them used a bit more.
Etuhu unfair to mark for such a short time on the field
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