Smash & Trash – Manchester City’s Yaya puts Bolton to the sword
Yaya Toure has arguably been Manchester City’s best player this season and, even though they won games without him, he was certainly missed whilst representing his country during the recent African Nations Cup. The Manchester City manager, Roberto Mancini, recently admitted that the Ivorian midfielder is irreplaceable and admitted that City don’t have anyone like him. On Saturday, Toure gave testimony to his manager’s assertion, he was at the heart of everything City did well and highlighted what City have missed in his absence. His link up play with Mario Balotelli, Adam Johnson, and the ever improving Samir Nasri, was impressive; his pace and power was too much for the Bolton defence to handle. In truth City eased to a victory and probably should have scored more, Balotelli was particularly wasteful with his finishing. City, though, will be pleased to finish the day five points clear at the top of the table.
Trash – Bolton Wanderers
Admit it, who really believed that Bolton would be in a relegation dogfight when the season first started? I expected mid-table at best, and I’m sure Bolton fans too had similar expectations. They are now well and truly in the thick of it, and after today’s performance it’s hard to see a change in their fortunes. The Trotters offered little in the way of a challenge to city and had to contend with a few long range efforts. Zat Knight, in particular, had a poor game and the Bolton defence looked uneasy all afternoon. Bolton fans are in for an anxious end to the season and it has surely been made worse with the sale of England Defender Gary Cahill. Bolton need results, and quick.
Bobby Manc will be pleased at the ease of City’s win, but he will be delighted that he was able to rest Sergio Aguero and David Silva and still be comfortable. City are now in the driving seat to win the Premier League and it’s surely theirs to lose. Owen Coyle, on the other hand, would probably have expected nothing from this game, but his team’s lack of invention and desire will have left the Glaswegian desperately disappointed.