Accusations & admissions – CSKA Moscow 2 Man City 2

Manchester City were cheated out of a win in Moscow – but only after they spent 49 second half minutes contriving to be the architects of their own downfall.

City can rightfully point a big finger of suspicion at Hungarian referee Istvan Vad after the criminal award of an 86th minute penalty to CSKA.

‘Vad the Bad’s’ scandalous decision to reward the theatrical exaggerations of CSKA’s Seydou Doumbia with a spot kick, only served to exacerbate City’s anger and frustrations at being denied the proverbial ‘stonewall’ penalty, when Dzeko was felled in the first half.

Russian revolt - Furious City players surround Istvan Vad, the bad referee from Hungary. Courtesy@MCFC

Russian revolt – Furious City players surround Istvan Vad, the bad referee from Hungary. Courtesy@MCFC

With such outrageous inconsistencies from 35-year old Mr Vad…would it be wrong to even so much as wonder if any roubles have floated down the Danube to help boost the economy in Hungary?

Bloody hell, even the notorious ex-FIFA referee, Graham Poll, he of the infamous ‘World Cup three yellow card trick’ and the inspiration behind the ‘Oh Graham Poll is a ‘ckin ar*ehole’ song, is onside with Manchester City this morning.

The ‘learned’ Poll writing in the Daily Mail says: “No matter how many times I watch replays of the 86th-minute challenge by Aleksander Kolarov, I cannot understand why it was a penalty.” And so say all of us.

Equally controversial – but not receiving the same amount of coverage – is the penalty not given in the 40th minute when Edin Dzeko was taken down by Sergei Ignashevitch and denied a clear scoring opportunity.

Cheated - Edin wasn't smile on the flight back from Moscow after being denied a stonewall penalty. Courtesy@MCFC

Cheated – Edin wasn’t smile on the flight back from Moscow after being denied a stonewall penalty. Courtesy@MCFC

What a difference that would have made. 3-0 to City and CSKA reduced to 10 men…but the Moscow Mafia wouldn’t have been paying for those kind of outcomes.

City skipper Vincent Kompany is right to query the referee’s performance, why it was that hundreds of knuckle-dragging neanderthal CSKA supporters were inside the Arena Khimki, and why City fans were banned and effectively penalised for CSKA being a bunch of racists?

Everything – everything – about CSKA reeks of thuggery and corruption. The chosen ones of the ex-Soviet military hierarchy, CSKA are the embodiment of every negative stereotypical notion one might have of Mother Russia.

Doors open - CSKA mysteriously managed to have hundreds of thuggish supporters in the stadium, despite a UEFA ban on their fans. Courtesy@MCFC

Doors open – CSKA mysteriously managed to have hundreds of thuggish supporters in the stadium, despite a UEFA ban on their fans. Courtesy@MCFC

But what can you expect from a country led by a pumped up bully-boy prat such as Vladimir Putin?

I digress.

As unpalatable as the whole Moscow scene played out last night, and as questionable as ‘Vad the Cad’s’ decision-making was, Manuel Pellegrini’s team have to be accountable for a truly horrible second half showing.

At 2-0 up – it could easily have been double the score line – City simply stopped playing. They were nothing short of pathetic. Lazy, off the pace, they couldn’t have pressed their opponents less.

Pellegrini’s line-up had surprised quite a few observers as he once again elected to go with his favoured 4-4-2 formation that has so often been City’s undoing in Europe.

JIMMY 2-0

That said well taken goals by Sergio Aguero and James Milner, plus the ‘nailed-on’ Dzeko penalty shout, suggested all was well going into the break. Milner hit the post for the second match running and the outcome wasn’t in doubt. It was simply a question of the size of the winning margin and bumping up the goal difference.

If it wasn’t broken the City boss maybe didn’t have to fix it but – and it’s a big BUT – wouldn’t it have been better to switch to 4-5-1, quell any hint of a CSKA comeback, and still have a sufficient attacking threat to grab an extra goal or two?

Whether it be the tactics, player complacency or the fact that CSKA were given more space than the Soviet’s Soyuz space programme, City were abysmal over the ensuing 49 minutes.

City couldn't stay ahead in Moscow - Mangala clears a CSKA attack. Courtesy@MCFC

City couldn’t stay ahead in Moscow – Mangala clears a CSKA attack. Courtesy@MCFC

On the basis football is a team effort – a collective affair – then nobody should escape criticism, save for Joe Hart who was blameless for both goals and didn’t grind to a halt in the freezing conditions and hostile surroundings.

In raising his very valid after match concerns, Kompany also dismissed getting into any analysis as to why City continue to trip up in the Champions League.

Vinny is a very articulate and intelligent individual and well aware of the eagerness of the media to revel in City’s continental unease.

He said: “I guess at the moment everyone wants to hear how we think we should have done better and how we feel our performances need to be better in Europe, but I won’t play a part in it.”

Tackling the issues - Vinny rightfully had some choice words about the referee, CSKA & UEFA. Courtesy@MCFC

Tackling the issues – Vinny rightfully had some choice words about the referee, CSKA & UEFA. Courtesy@MCFC

Fair enough. Why should the captain give the vultures more to chew on as they dissect City’s Champions League shortcomings?

Manuel Pellegrini was, as you’d expect, similarly defiant and defensive of his team. He remains suitably robust about winning the nine remaining Group E points and who’s to say it can’t happen?

Roma were smashed 7-1 by Bayern Munich in the Eternal City and a second German success in a fortnight would leave the Italians on four points.

City will surely batter the repulsive Russians at the Etihad with a few fireworks on November 5th and woe betide any CSKA fans who find their way into City’s ground. They are banned so let’s at least enforce that ban in Manchester and eject any who dare to show their colours.

Balls up - City threw away a two goal lead in Moscow. Courtesy@MCFC

Balls up – City threw away a two goal lead in Moscow. Courtesy@MCFC

Come November 25th and Bayern could well have qualified as Group winners when they come to City. If that’s the case it certainly can’t hurt City’s chances of beating the Germans for a third time in six Champions League encounters.

It could all come down to one night in Rome and a chance for Manuel’s men to stand up and be counted as European gladiators.

Thankfully we live in a true democracy rather than the Russian style autocracy that masquerades as a democracy.

As such we have freedom of speech and some of City’s more fickle followers are expressing the opinion that Manuel Pellegrini should be fired, if the club fails to progress to the Champions League knockout stages.

Conceding - Despite the introduction of Fernando as holding midfielder, City continue to leak goals in the Champions League. conceding 18 in their last 10 matches. Courtesy@MCFC

Conceding – Despite the introduction of Fernando as holding midfielder, City continue to leak goals in the Champions League. conceding 18 in their last 10 matches. Courtesy@MCFC

Some cite Roberto Mancini’s dismissal as a precedent, pinpointing CL failure as the key to his sacking. Undoubtedly, it was a big factor, of course it was, but the Italian’s autocratic style had sparked a dressing room revolt.

No one will be more disappointed than Pellegrini if City don’t show progress beyond the last 16 of the competition, but those looking to get shot of him should hold their fire and get a reality check.

Yes, it appears he needs to be smarter with his formations, but there is no player rebellion and those players need to shoulder the burden of blame in Moscow.

Frosty reception - MCFC were made unwelcome by their Moscow hosts. Let's hope we never draw CSKA again. Courtesy@MCFC

Frosty reception – MCFC were made unwelcome by their Moscow hosts. Let’s hope we never draw CSKA again. Courtesy@MCFC

Vincent Kompany is right to decline doing any of City’s laundry in the glare of the praying mantises of the press. The players and the manager need to close ranks and develop a siege mentality.

The Red Army did it at the Battle of Stalingrad for five months, one week and three days between August 1942 and February 1943, to repel the German invaders in World War Two.

If City can hold their position in Europe for as long as the Soviets held the Nazis at bay they will have secured a quarter final place in the Champions League in 2015.

Siege mentality - City can win their last three CL games and put murky Moscow behind them. Courtesy@MCFC

Siege mentality – City can win their last three CL games and put murky Moscow behind them. Courtesy@MCFC

The lessons of history are there to be learned and at least this way we can give the Russians of old one small tick in the box…unlike some of the modern day Muscovite morons.

I for one continue to trust City’s sitting MP and can but hope that City fans take advantage of the 2-4-1 ticket offer for the return match with CSKA. It equates to £12.50 per person to go and watch the Champions of England in the Champions League on Bonfire Night. Let’s light the Blue Moon touch paper, raise the roof and stick a rocket up the Russians!  

2-4-1 TICKET OFFER - Come on City fans let's fill the Etihad on Fireworks Night and stick some rockets up CSKA!

2-4-1 TICKET OFFER – Come on City fans let’s fill the Etihad on Fireworks Night and stick some rockets up CSKA!

#TrustOurMP

By David Walker

www.readbutneverred.com @ReadButNeverRed @djwskyblu

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