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By Doug Higginbottom, Tue 20 March 2012 14:11
A squad of 21 on view for starters today including Vinnie and Rekik but no Lescott. I heard Mancini had ruled Lescott out for tomorrow so assume he was working inside. Although Vinnie started with the group he did have a long chat with the boss before he went off on a one to one with a physio, just running.After a little initial work it was keep ball circles really close to where I stood. Uneven numbers to start but when Zaba moved over he got the customary sarcastic applause. Lots of fun during this part with Sergio doing a dance at one time, one group got up to 40 passes which Micah celebrated with a forward roll and then a pass, Nigel was nutmegged (not a happy bunny). Good touch play and great playground fun.Off to one and two touch games in small nets before the full nets game where headers only can score and then into some more exercises before the game started. Looking around there are photographers still getting decent positions to get their snaps, Sharon doing her work as ever, the Inside City cameras rolling away and a bunch of guys from Puma watching how their new boots were faring!So onto the game and the only key rule was no backpassing to the keeper. Milner got a great early cross in which Edin nearly converted but Kolo was livid the cross had been allowed at all. Nigel went over a leg appealling as he went down but Lombardo waved play on but soon after a foul went the way of the Nigel team, with Joe letting Lombardo know what he thought of the decision. Milner shot just wide when the defenders were appealing for offside. Who would be a ref?It was a strong very competitive game and next to come close was Yaya when he interecepted a pass. Zaba was standing out for me both with his commitment and defending but then from a corner Edin scored with a great header. Strong defending also from Kolo kept the score to one nil before AJ equalised from a pass by Silva. Controversy again then when Carlos was brought down by Kolo. In the area but local rules determined it was just a free kick?Then Silva fed Yaya for another goal and within a minute Yaya intercepted again to score. Then a Micah surge and great cross from close in forced an OG to effectively end the game. Carlos got one back from a great Milner low cross and Edin did squeeze one in only to be given offside but there it ended.Some left but there were two groups staying out. One for shooting from 20 yards and the other taking free kicks with a mannequin wall to clear. Nigel started in one group then went to the free kicks to be greeted by Joe's "who invited him"? The Inside City cameras got a close up from behind the goal for the free kicks so maybe some will be shown soon.Good positive feel around the place today and lets hope its the same on Thursday after a good win.