Late Milner equaliser spares City blushes
FA Premier League
Saturday 7 February 2015, 15.00 KO
City: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany (c), Demichelis, Clichy, Fernando (Navas 45), Fernandinho, Nasri, Silva (Jovetic 74), Aguero, Dzeko (Milner 65)
Unused: Caballero, Mangala, Kolarov, Lampard
Goals: Milner (90)
Booked: Nasri, Fernandinho
Referee: Jon Moss
Man of the match: Clichy
After last week's promising result at Stamford Bridge, Manchester City hosted Steve Bruce's Hull City at the Etihad Stadium. It was a chance for Manuel Pellegrini's men to pick up some much needed form, building on last weekend's positive result and putting pressure on Jose Mourinho's men.
Edin Dzeko was handed a start, as was the returning Samir Nasri, replacing James Milner and Jesus Navas respectively. The idea from Manuel Pellegrini was clear, to press Hull from the front, and give both David Silva and Samir Nasri space to manoeuvre. Unfortunately the plan failed. Aguero and Dzeko didn't press well enough, and when in possession City's tempo was lethargic, often taking too many touches and allowing Hull to organise.
The defence has been an achilles heel for City all season, and yesterday was another classic example of this. Hull took the lead with a freak goal following a catalogue of errors from Pablo Zabaleta, Fernandinho, Vincent Kompany and Martin Demichelis. David Meyler could hardly believe his luck when he swept the ball home.
The crowd expected a strong response from the Premier League champions, but it never really materialised. As with the Arsenal game, City struggled to up the tempo, and showed little ideas to break down a stubborn Hull defence.
There was salvation for City, when James Milner whipped in a late free kick to rescue a point for Manuel Pellegrini's side, but they will have rued dropping two points at home. Unless a solution to the lack of cohesion is found, the title will be heading to London this year.