Date: 16th November 2008 at 6:34pm
Written by:

Mark Hughes Made two changes to the side that collapsed against Spurs last weekend. Ben-Haim comes in for a suspended Dunne. A change which I hoped would have happened even if Dunne was not suspended. Kompany replaces Gelson in the centre of Midfield, after the Swiss international was sent off in the first half against Spurs. Surprisingly Elano can still only find himself on the bench, along with Jo who wouldn`t have expected to be dropped in favour for Benjani. Geo will play against City for the first time since moving in the summer. This game has been dubbed, “Geovanni Vs Robinho”. Which Brazilian will dazzle the crowd and produce that piece of magic that might just seal the points?

Full Teams:

Hull: Myhill, McShane, Turner, Zayatte, Ricketts, Boateng, Ashbee, Marney, Geovanni, Cousin, King.

Subs: Duke, Doyle, Barmby, Garcia, Halmosi, Folan, Giannakopoulos.

Man City: Hart, Zabaleta, Richards, Ben-Haim, Garrido, Wright-Phillips, Kompany, Ireland, Benjani, Robinho, Vassell.

Subs: Schmeichel, Onuoha, Michael Ball, Hamann, Elano, Jo, Evans.

The game started brightly for both teams, even though neither was really producing anything worth shouting about. However on the 14th minute, Manchester City fans were left silence when Hull took the lead. Who needs Richard Dunne when you have Ben-Haim? A Simple back-pass was asking too much of Ben-Haim, and Cousin nipped in and stroked the ball past Hart. A great start By Ben-Haim who was also booked 3 minutes before. Joe Hart also somehow managed to injure his left ankle after trying to stop the shot, and was unable to continue. Kasper Schmeichel was brought on as City`s day looked to get worse.

Man City where left bruised and battered after the 14th minute and failed to produce any kind of good link up play. Benjani managed to foul everyone when the ball came near him, and both Richards and Ben-Haim looked like they had never played together. You just got the feeling it was going to be one of them days.

But who do you call when you need a lift? Superman Ireland! A through ball was cut out by Zayatte, whose heavy touch found its way straight into the path of Ireland who stroked the ball into an empty net. Im still undecided to whether Ben-Haim`s mistake or Zayatte`s is the more embarrassing but at the end of the day, two mistakes have made this game deadlock once more.

The goal on the 34th minute obviously lifted City, as Robinho burst into the box, only for his shot to clearly have been stopped by a hand of a Hull defender. However the ref was not having any of it and waved play on. However City didn`t have to wait till long till they had another chance and this time they made it count. Robinho played a lovely ball into the path of Garrido whose cross was pinpointed for Ireland, who controlled the ball with skill before placing a curling shot beyond Myhill in the Hull goal. Absolutely magical, from the bald Irish man.

After a lengthy spell of injury time, City took their lead into the break.

No changes at the break as City began where they left off, forcing many corners within the first two minutes. However on the 56th minute Geovanni had a chance to show the City fans what their missing but his long-range free-kick was more English than Brazilian, as it flew well wide. But Geovanni didn`t have to wait too long before getting himself on the score sheet. From a free-kick just outside the centre of penalty box, Geovanni`s hit took a heavy deflection of Kompany and Hull had found themselves a way back into the game.
Hull Then could have taken the lead straight from the re-start. Hull managed to force the ball wide, where the cross met the diving header of Cousin who forced a good save out of Schmeichel. City had chances up the other end as Robinho and Vassell failed to test the keeper from good situations. Mark Hughes`s face at this point was saying it all. Man City are just not good enough.

Benjani was then substituted for Jo who instantly managed to find himself space on the edge of the box but he managed to get the ball between his feet and the danger was cleared. Then came the refs five minutes of complete stupidity. Geovanni managed to take the same free-kick, three times as Ireland and Shaun Wright-Phillips found the ref`s book for jumping out of the wall.

4 minutes of injury time was called out, and within seconds of that announcement, City had their best chance of the half. Garrido`s ball found Vassell clear through with only the keeper to beat and failed to beat him. His shot was parried by the keeper. Are you seriously telling me Mark Hughes, that Vassell is better than Elano? If Shaun Wright-Phillips would have been on that wing, we would properly be sitting here, 3 points better off.

The Final Whistle Blew after a late City corner where Richards headed wide.

Final Score: Hull City 2 Manchester City 2.

Aaron Conclusion:

I get the feeling Mark Hughes`s days will be numbered soon. Im sorry but you can`t leave Jo and Elano on the bench. Vassell was a complete waste of space; Elano would have been the better option playing along side Ireland and Kompany, with Shaun Wright-Phillips on the wing. Tal Ben-Haim took tips from Dunne today obviously, and all together, City where better than they played against Spurs, but deserve to be in the bottom half of the table. As a City fan I would never want to say that but Mark Hughes needs to swallow his pride and play Elano, and make sure Richards or Shaun Wright-Phillips takes on the armband, because Robinho can not be a leader, until he fully understands the English language.

Player Ratings

Joe Hart
Not really much to say than I hope his injury is not serious. 5/10

Pablo Zabaleta
Since coming to City his performances have improved greatly, and today he was generally ok. Still needs to learn to cross a ball though. 7/10

Tal Ben-Haim
When you get your chance, you have to take it, and Tal, you certainly didnt. A complete nightmare performance. 3/10

Micah Richards
I feel sorry for Richards i really do. It dont matter who he’s partnered with, they still seem to make mistakes. Only positive is that it makes Richards look good. 7/10

Javier Garrido
Much improved from last year. Still likes attacking more than defending but he managed to keep the ball well and set up Ireland’s second. keep it up.

Shaun Wright-Phillips
The odd dash, and the odd shot but SWP failed to really get into this game. He needs to be played on the wing in order to get the most out of him. 6/10

Stephen Ireland
Star Player by Virtue of two goals. He did look bright in patches, and showed good finishing. Not his best performance but showed class with the second goal. 8/10

Vincent Kompany
Thank god he’s back. Certainly better than Gelson, and found the ball in some good area’s. 7/10

Best Away performance yet. Made some good runs, and produced glimpses of magic. 8/10

Darius Vassell
I honestly have no idea what he’s doing on the pitch. Should have scored in the final minutes, and still looks heavy and jaded. 6/10

First half couldnt really get into the game. To many fouls where given against him. Second half managed to keep the ball better, and even though i think Jo is better, Benjani could become a first team regular.

For a player who keeps stating he wants to leave, he didnt do half bad. Made some good saves in the second half. If Hart is out for a while, I wouldnt mind seeming him in between the goal posts. 7/10

Last ten minute stint for Jo. Could have done better in some of the closing situations. 6/10

Manager Rating
Mark Hughes, what are you doing? Elano should have been playing, Vassell is just not ready yet. Ben-Haim certainly shot you in the foot! Start getting things right or we the fans will pose you many questions that you will struggle to answer.


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