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Match Report: Manchester City 3-0 Stoke City (Stoke Fan's Perspective)

Thursday 22nd December 2011
A game that shall not live long in the memory of Stoke City fans that's for sure. With manager Tony Pulis deciding to play the game with square pegs in round holes against a team flying high at the top of the Premier League, it was clear from the outset what was in store.

A performance that lacked quality and any forays forward by Stoke allowed Manchester City to ease to victory in what will probably be one of their easiest games this season, with them hardly getting out of first gear.

With two banks of four and no wingers Pulis would have been looking to keep it tight for the first half, however the warning signs were apparent as soon as Adam Johnson hit the woodwork early on after his shot from 20 yards took a deflection off Marc Wilson.

Stoke didn't heed the warning and within minutes of Johnson's shot, Man City were ahead although in controversial fashion. The original shot from inside the penalty area by Yaya Toure was parried by Thomas Sorensen onto Vincent Kompany, with the ball landing at the feet of Sergio Aguero to tap in from three yards, in what appeared to be an offside position.

Stoke looked aggrieved and rightly so, however Man City's second was down to poor defending by The Potters. After shrugging off the challenge of Aguero, Dean Whitehead tried to pass the ball out of his own box only for the ball to land at the feet of England international Johnson to riffle home from 20 yards, past a shell shocked Sorensen after only 36 minutes.
The game was passing the Stoke midfield paring of Whitehead and Wilson Palacios by, and within nine minutes of the restart The Citizens' had extended their lead to three. A neat passage of play allowed Samir Nasri time and space inside the penalty box to lay on the perfect pass for Aguero, who had the simple task of taping into an empty net to double his tally.

The game petered out after that, with Man City happy to take the three points as Stoke offered no fight back at any point during the game, which will disappoint supporters especially those that forked out nearly £40 just before Christmas to watch a trepid display by their team.

Stoke never looked interested in trying to revive the situation in this one-sided and slow-paced encounter. With no shots on goal and only two off target, it was a purely woeful performance by the Potters who never turned up and looked beaten as soon as the team was revealed.
Niall Cope

Total articles: 22

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