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WH Smith and the City shop
The season got off to a great start with a handsome win against Newcastle United. We played some great football and but for some excellent saves from Krul it could have been an even bigger victory. We saw new signings Fernandinho, Navas play full games and a bit of Negredo but the star of the day was Edin Dzeko who looks a new man under the regime of the new Manger Manuel Pellegrini. The defence played well enough and easily countered the odd Newcastle attack. I just hope the injury to Kompany is not too serious. Fernandinho has fitted it well without standing out and winger Navas looks as though he's going to be quite a handful for opponents this season. We have yet to see Jovetic and we only saw a glimpse of Negredo but he looked good in pre season games so we have much to look forward too this coming season.
As the transfer deadline approaches it looks like the defence needs a bit of boosting. The injury to Kompany and the poor display in the Cardiff game has put the spotlight on the back four and Joe Hart. Mistakes in defence cost us the points in Cardiff and the change from zonal to man-to-man marking did not help matters. There was even talk of Joe Hart being dropped and I even saw the name of a certain Real Madrid reserve keeper being mentioned! To boost the centre of defence it looks like Martin Demichelis will arrive shortly. He is 32, 6 foot in height and is Argentinean. He has mainly played for River Plate, Bayern Munich and Malaga and has 37 caps for his country. He is a tough defender but not known for his pace! Just heard he is having a medical so looks pretty certain.
Another name mentioned is Adil Rami who plays for Valencia. He is 27, 6ft 3in and is French. He played for Lille before Valencia and has 25 French caps. Anyway we shall have to wait with baited breath to see who will be arriving to help out Kompany and Nastasic.
The Champions League draw has given us a better selection than last season - the only really difficult team being Bayern Munich again. The other two - CSKA Moscow and Czech side Viktoria Pizen should not be too difficult to beat.
Spotted a couple of faces you may recognize at the United game the other Sunday. On the left is Roy Hodgson the England Manager. I doubt whether he was very impressed with the form of United's England players!
Also there was Bill Turnbull who can seen most mornings on BBC 1 News.
The 7-0 win over Norwich is the best in the Premiership and City's best in the top division since December 1968 when they beat Burnley 7-0 at Maine Road. Bell and Young both scored a couple with the others coming from Coleman, Lee and Doyle. I was hoping we might reach the ten I saw in 1987 - details below - but no such luck!
There were hat-tricks for Adcock, Stewart and White and one for McNab Not quite 20,000 at Maine Road for this 10-1 victory. City under Mel Machin finished 9th that season while Huddesfield were bottom conceding 100 goals.
Man City 10 Huddesfield Town 1 Nov 7th 1987 Division 2
Eusebio - died aged 71 on January 4th 2014. Played 64 times for Portugal scoring 41 goals.
Images shot at Cheadle Rovers football ground where Portugal were training for the 1966 World Cup
I was fortunate enough to see him play on four occasions. The first was at Wembley in Oct 1961in a 2 nil win for England against Portugal in a World Cup qualifying game. The England side that day was -
Springett, Armfield, Wilson : Robson, Swan, Flowers:
Connelly, Douglas, Pointer, Haynes, and Charlton..
Early the next season I saw him score two goals for Benfica against Manchester United in a two all draw.
Law and Quixall scored for United.
In the World Cup in 1966 Portugal were based in the North so I saw Portugal beat Hungary at Old Trafford three nil .He didn't score in that game but he did score one in Portugal's three nil win over Bulgaria shortly after.
He was a stunning striker and ranks up there with Pele, Di Stefano and Puskas as one of the best players I have been lucky enough to have seen. In all he scored 428 goals in 420 games! What a record!
No activity in the transfer window and a couple of blips in the early February games and a cancellation due to bad weather did not help in the City aim of four trophies. I was glad the Sunderland game was called off s I had just about reached Wilmslow after an hour or so dodging trees and branches before hearing news of the game being off. With both Chelsea and Arsenal dropping points it would have been nice to go back top but it gave players a little more rest before the FA Cup game against Chelsea.
Then came the news that Tom Finney had passed away aged 91. Very sad news indeed as he was one of the best players in the world of football
I had the pleasure of seeing him play for both Preston and England . The last occasion was in April 23rd 1960 - his last but one game . It was at Maine Road and City beat Preston 2-1. The teams that day were - Trautmann: Lievers, Leigh: Barnes, Ewing, Oakes : Barlow, Hannah, McAdams, Hayes, Colbridge. Barlow scored the late winner for City. The Preston team was - Else: Wilson, Walton: Fullam, Dunn, Smith: Dagger, Milne, Finney, Farrell, Campbell.
I first saw him play in Oct 1946 at Maine Road when United and Preston drew 1 all. Bill Shankly was playing for Preston too.
For England I watched him on the left wing against Russia in October 1958 when Haynes scored three goals in a 5-0 win.and during the previous season on my return from the Far East I saw him do well in a four nil win against France at Wembley.
Undoubtedly a great player who played 433 games for Preston scoring 187 goals and 76 times for England notching 30 goals.
A magnificent achievement by City to have won the Premiership yet again by winning their final five games after the unfortunate lapse against Liverpool. Scoring over 100 goals and playing good football for most of the season home supporters have plenty of excellent moments to remember.
Below are a few extra images from the final day
dark clouds overhead as fans arrive with an hour to go
Silva------------7.68 (22 games) last season 7.45
Nasri----------- 7.54 (22 games) last season 6.64
Aguero -------- 7.50 (18 games) last season 7.00
Toure ----------7.42 (26 games) last season 6.90
Negredo -------7.40 (22 games)
Fernandinho ---7.36 (22 games)
Kompany ------ 7.35 (20 games) last season 6.83
Zabaleta -------7.31 (24 games) last season 7.22
Jovetic ---------7.26 ( 6 games)
Navas ----------7.24 (20 games)
Milner ----------7.00 (13 games) last season 7.10
Hart ----------- 6.94 (18 games) last season 6.91
Nastasic ------- 6.90 (11 games) last season 6.70
Lescott ---------6.86 (15 games) last season 6.80
Dzeko ----------6.80 (18 games) last season 6.54
Clichy ---------- 6.80 (15 games) last season 6.82
Kolarov -------- 6.80 (18 games) last season 6.50
Pantilimon ----- 6.60 (12 games) last season
Garcia ----------6.60 (13 games) last season 6.26
Richards ------- 6.33 (6 games)
Demichelis ----- 6.05 (19 games)
Up on last season as expected. Minimum of 6 home games to be included and at least 20 mins on pitch if a sub. Only games I have watched live are included
While the opening ceremony was taking place in the stadium there were protests and demonstrations in other areas
The home supporters rather outnumbered those from Croatia
There was a surprise after 11 minutes when Croatia took the lead when a cross from Olic .....
.......was deflected past Cesar.by a defender - Marcelo
The Croatian supporters celebrated
A first in soccer - the ref marks out the ten yards at a free kick with some fast drying foam
On 29 minutes Neymar -who was lucky to still be on the field after only getting a yellow card for striking Modric- equalized
While the home supporters celebrated Neymar must have been thinking how lucky he was
On 70 minutes came the controversial moment when Lovren was adjudged to have brought down Fred
Fred was hardly touched but the Japanese referee- check those eyes - gave a penalty and he was soon surrounded by Croatia players
Neymar scored from the spot to give Brazil the lead
Oscar completed the scoring in added time to make it 3-1 to Brazil
Neymar took the headlines with his goals but the controversial penalty will be the talking point
Images from the opening ceremony in Sao Paulo
Yes it was pretty wet for this game
While Patrick Viera -part of the ITV team - was warm in Rio staff in Natal enjoyed Manchester weather
Herrera did get the ball in the net for Mexico but the offside flag was up
There were several tight offside decisions that the Mexico manager did not like
The rain continued to pound down
Song was lucky not to have been sent off for this tackle
Conditions were not good for fans
The ref marks out the 10 yard line for a free kick
At last a goal- 30 year old Peralta scoring to give Mexico the lead
Mexican Manager Herrera is overjoyed while Cameroon Manager Finke looks very pensive!
guess which team these fans support
This incredible game took place in the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador
First blood went to Spain after 26 minutes when Costa was brought down by de Vinj in the penalty area
Alonso scored from the spot to give Spain the lead
Players and supporters celebrated
The Dutch supporters don't look too happy but there was better to come!
On 42 minutes David Silva had a great chance but his effort was saved
Silva attempted to lift the ball over the keeper who made an excellent save
2 minutes later and we had probably the best goal of the competition. A terrific long cross from Blind was met by Van Persie who headed it brilliantly over Casillas
It was football perfection at its best
The Dutch fans really enjoyed that!
so at half time it was a goal apiece and more thrills to come
On 52 minutes Holland went ahead with a good goal by Robben
It was a stunning goal by Robben assisted by Blind again and Casillas was beaten once more
On 54 minutes it looked like Costa had done a very 'light' head butt on Indi who went to ground very easily
The referee chats to both players
A lot for the Holland manager to sort out
59 minutes have gone and Van Persie hits the bar
replays showed that Casillas might have been fouled
The ball is in the net again from de Vinj following a free kick and Dutch fans can celebrate again
Silva did get the ball into the net but was offside
Disaster struck Casillas on 71 minutes when his first touch of a back pass was very poor and Van Persie scored easily to make it 4-1 - amazing
I'm sure the Dutch supporters did not expect this score
Spanish fans must have thought it was all a bad dream!
With ten minutes to go Robben made it 5-1
What a result for Holland. Their second half display must have been helped by the stunning effort by Van Persie and with the Dutch defence falling apart and terrible errors by Casillas it was an extraordinary game
Chile took the lead after 11 minutes with a goal by Sanchez
two minutes later and Chile went two up with a goal from Valdiva
Chile looked very dangerous
The large Chilean support celebrated
Australia scored after 35 minutes with a header from Cahill
The goal gave the Aussies something to shout about
just on full time Beausejour made the game safe with a good shot
Good start by Chile . Can they beat Spain?