Manchester City 3 v FC Twente 2
November 6th 2008 UEFA Cup att. 21,247

November 2008

A poor crowd watched quite a pulsating game with the highlight a brilliant Robinho goal. Once again the City defence were a little rocky and there was a lack of the good passing movements from the attack and midfield that we saw against Pompey and Stoke. The ball was thumped upfield in the air too much with most of Harts kicks going straight to opposition, though to be fair I cannot remember many times when City players ran into positions to get a throw from the keeper. I just hope that belting the ball upfield like that is a new tactic!
A really annoying 'feature' was the introduction of a guest to announce the visiting team in Dutch. With the team on the video screen given in a complete vertical list that was virtually unreadable from a distance most home supporters would have no idea who was playing for Twente until they saw their numbers on the field of play. Not ideal communication!
Good to see Benjani back and he played as though he really wanted a first team place and I can see him starting against Spurs on Sunday.

About 400 or so visiting supporters were there to support Twente with a drum and plenty of noise.
City welcomed back Vassell from injury and Benjani was on the bench. Jo was back in the side too. Richards moved to centre back giving Garrido a return to left back.
City took an early lead after a couple of minutes . Inter passing between SWP and Jo gave the former a chance he was not going to miss.
A run down the left wing by Robinho and sharp cross was only cleared with difficulty by Twente keeper Boschker
Only a good tackle from Richards prevented a golden scoring chance for the visitors following a corner.
Robinho was mainly anonymous in the first half rarely troubling the opposition
After 17 minutes Twente drew level. Zabaleta failed to play to the whistle when he appeared to be fouled. He stopped as did the rest of the City defence but Elia took the ball through and scored easily from the edge of the penalty area.
SWP battles with Tiote for the ball
Twente won a few corners but though City kept forwards up reducing the numbers in the box it was rare that Hart came for the ball
A free kick for the visitors is cleared with difficulty
Fernandes in for the injured Kompany clears from Nkufo
At last - Hart comes out at a corner to punch clear.
Garrido in a late challenge on Nkufo saves the day
Just before the interval Jo had a really good chance but veteran keeper Boschker managed to block the shot and the ball was cleared.
Just before half time a run down the right by SWP ended with a good cross that Jo attempted to flick past the keeper. Alas it failed so at half time it was 1-1
Zabaleta forces a corner early in the second half
Jo goes down as though shot by Douglas who accidentally knocked him in the face.
After 53 minutes SWP broke through the Twente defence and saw his shot just go wide of the goal
Then City took the lead in the 57th minute. Robinho shot a great goal , taking the ball from Ireland - moving into the area and swerving the ball over the keeper into the top corner-just brilliant
As Robinho celebrated the visitors were silenced for once
No sooner had Benjani replaced Jo he celebrated his return with a goal. Five minutes after the Robinho effort Benjani took the ball from SWP came inside and shot for goal...........
.....his effort was deflected past the keeper and City were three one up - game safe perhaps - well it is City!
Sure enough a few minutes later sloppy defending allowed Wielaert to head past Joe Hart from yet another corner. No defenders on the posts - Ok so they are on the half way line waiting for a breakaway but if the keeper is not going to come for the ball in order to start a quick counter-attack what is the point!!
Fernandes and Hersi link arms to contest the ball.
SWP crosses the ball in another City attack
Robinho now in the game a lot more since his goal shoots once more but sees his shot hit the post

Hart 6.5: Zabaleta 6.5. Dunne 6.5, Richards 6.5 , Garrido 6.5: Fernandes 6, Wright-Phillips 7 , Ireland 7, Vassell 6 ( Elano 6.5) Robinho 7.5, Jo 6 (Benjani 7.5)

With just 12 minutes left Benjani who was playing really well, controlled the ball well and let fly only to see the keeper push the ball round the post
While a defender on the post does his hair Benjani tries to make himself invisible
Robinho breaks through yet again and shoots.......
..... only to see his effort hit the post once again!
Twente almost equalized in extra time Huysegems shooting into the stand when well placed.
Phew! That was close.
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