What a week for City fans.

May 19, 2011 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: A Season To Remember, All Posts, Blog 

Well was  a long and memorable week,  for me a long week of  travel.

First over to the Spurs game and a great goal from the very man who denied City Champions league last year. Peter your a star. With one of the teams season goals reaching forth spot out of the way, City turned all attention to the F.A. Cup final.

Off down to London with me and what a day the build up was tense as both Man City and Stoke alike wondered how the match would unfold. It was to be a Man City victory with Yaya Toure man of the day in Wembley again, one goal between the two sides was enough to lift the cup. City were the better team on the day which was pointed out by Stoke manager Tony Pulis.

Sunday seen Arsenal mauled by Aston Villa from early on in the game. Villa held out as Arsenal tried desperately in vein to get back on leveling  footing pushing City into a position of taking third spot with a win against F.A. Cup rivals Stoke City.

Flight back to Manchester for the last game of the season. City play football like their life depended on it two of the best from Tevez and they really were cracking goals, and a towering header from Lescott. Lescott has come in for flack in the past but he is getting stronger all the time and starting to look like the player he was at Everton. Was well happy that City kept a clean sheet a 3 nil up in the past City fans have watched them switch off  and give away a soft goal spoiling

City are now in 3rd spot with a point advantage on Arsenal, now lets not get carried away last game of the season both teams play away City at Bolton and Arsenal at Fulham. Fulham would never roll over would they ? Remember Hughes would have a little laugh to himself I’m sure should Arsenal finish third. City can still finish 3rd even with an Arsenal win just beat Bolton simple at that and no team Owen Coyle manages would dare take to the pitch with defeat in their mind. Comes down to Sunday.

C’mon you Blues.

The 1991/92 Season: Fifth Place Finish For Blues

April 15, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: A Season To Remember, All Posts 

The death knoll of the Football League had been sounded and City entered the final season before the Premier League began. The previous season, City had finished fifth but the season wasn’t without its ups and downs.

Howard Kendall had started the season in charge but, because of an escape claus in his contract, left to return to Everton after less than a year as City manager. Peter Reid had been installed, guided the blues to fifth and was looking forward to his first full season on charge.

August

His first test would be at Coventry City. City had only won five games away the previous season, during which they lost 3-1 at Highfield Road and they were eager to avenge that defeat and get off to a good start. Keith Curle made his City debut and Niall Quinn scored the only goal of the game in the first half as City won 1-0.

Next up was Liverpool at Maine Road, where a brace by David White, one on each half, gave City a two goal lead. White’s second was controversially given by the linesman who appeared to claim the ball hadn’t crossed the line but then consulted with the referee and the goal was given. Future blue Steve McManaman gave Liverpool a lifeline and Dean Saunders had a chance to equalise form the penalty spot but hit the bar instead to give City a 2-1 win.

The blues hit the top of the league with a 3-2 win over Crystal Palace at Maine Road. Mark Brennan scored two penalties and David White the other. Four days later, City travelled to Norwich and earned a 0-0 draw before Arsenal brought them down to earth with a 2-1 win at Highbury. But even after that defeat, the blues were still third in the league as August came to a close.

September

Quinn and defender Andy Hill got September off to a good start as City beat Nottingham Forest 2-1 at Maine Road but a second defeat was waiting in the next game. City travelled to Elland Road and were beaten 3-0. Player Manager Reid missed a penalty but scored from the rebound, only to have it disallowed as no-one else touched the ball. Another two defeats followed, both at home and both 1-0 to Sheffield Wednesday and Everton. Michael Hughes missed a penalty in the last minute against Everton, while future blue Peter Beardsley scored the only goal.

A 2-1 away win at West Ham stopped the rot. Steve Redmond slipping as he took a penalty which somehow trickled over the line and Colin Hendry scored the winner in the last minute and the blues also overcame Chester City in the First Leg of the League Cup, but September’s last game saw  a 2-1 home defeat to Oldham Athletic.

October

City found themselves in twelve place in the league by the time their first game in October came. Notts County was the venue and a Clive Allen double secured a 3-1 win for the blues and City secured their passage to the League Cup third round with a 3-0 second leg win at Chester. That was followed by a 1-0 win at Spurs, a 3-2 home win over Sheffield United sent the blues into third, four points behind leaders Leeds but in the League Cup, the blues could only draw 0-0 at home to QPR, meaning a replay at Loftus Road.

November

November started with another win, this time 3-0 at Southampton. The first division leadership had changed and United were the new leaders by the time they arrived at Maine Road. Adrian Heath missed a sitter near the end as the derby ended 0-0 but the League Cup replay at Loftus Road saw the blues progress with a 3-1 win. November ended with two more draw. 2-2 at Luton and another home goalless draw, this time with Wimbledon.

December

City started December by being knocked out of the League Cup 2-1 at Middlesbrough. In the league, three successive draw meant City had lost ground on the leaders and a 3-1 defeat at Villa Park didn’t help the blues. City then contrived to throw away a two goal lead at home to QPR before David White haunted Liverpool again at Anfield. With the home side leading 1-0, White’s brace gave the blues a 2-1 lead but a Steve Nicol goal meant the points were shared. A 2-1 Boxing Day win over Norwich put the blues back on course and City ended the year with a 1-0 home win over Arsenal.

January

New Years Day saw City at Chelsea an earning a point in a 1-1 draw. Three days later, the blues again travelled to the North East to face Middlesbrough in the FA Cup third round. Peter Reid opened the scoring but two lat goals again knocked the blues out at Boro’s hands.

City returned to London for a 1-1 draw at Crystal Palace, before beating Coventry 2-0 as they ended January out of the FA Cup and fourth in the league.

February

A 1-0 win over Spurs at Maine Road was swiftly followed by a 4-2 defeat at Sheffield United, Paul Lake’s brother Michael opening the scoring. City squandered many chances in their next game at home to Luton, but still beat the Bedfordshire side 4-0. A 2-1 defeat at Wimbledon was followed by a 2-0 home win over Aston Villa. Although still in third place, City were nine points behind leaders United and effectively out of the title race.

March

March got off to the worst possible start with a 4-0 hammering at QPR. This was followed by a 1-0 defeat by Southampton at Maine Road and a 2-0 loss at Forest. A 0-0 home draw with Chelsea compounded a miserable month for City but April would be much better.

April

Leeds United were in second place, one point behind United when they arrived at Maine Road in the first match of April 1992. Eric Cantona was in the Leeds side but even he could do nothing to prevent a thrashing. City won 4-0 with two goals either in each half to almost send the title to Old Trafford. Almost. For City’s next game was at Old Trafford and despite Ryan Giggs opener and having Neil Pointon sent off for trying to castrate Giggs, Steve Bruce brought David White down in the area and Keith Curle smashed home the penalty to take a share of the points.

A 2-0 defeat at Sheffield Wednesday meant City’s title hopes were definitely over but the blues still won their last four games. West Ham were first at Maine Road and were beaten 2-0, while Everton were next being beaten by City 2-1 at Goodison Park. Notts County were then beaten 2-0 at Maine Road before City’s final game of the season took them to Boundary Park.

May

City’s only game in May was the last of the season at Oldham and despite going a goal down, recovered well to lead 2-1 at the break. David White hit a hat-trick as the blues won 5-2 to avenge their 2-1 defeat earlier in the season.

City’s ended the season in fifth place with a points total of 70, twelve points behind eventual champions Leeds United.  And with the new Premier League ready to start, City had a bright future ahead.

Or not.

A Season To Remember – 1987/88 Season

February 1, 2010 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: A Season To Remember 

For our first Season to Remember, we take a trip back to the start of the 1987/88 season and another rollercoaster season on the Manchester City Express.

City were back in the second division. And after suffering relegation from Division One the previous season, the blues were looking for a new manager after Jimmy Frizzell had taken the reigns following Billy McNeill’s resignation on a caretaker/manager basis. They found it in the shape of Norwich assistant manager Mel Machin as the club attempted to regain their top flight status at the first attempt.

In their ranks, City had the combative midfield general Neil McNab, the well travelled Imre Varadi, hotshot striker Paul Stewart and new signing Tony Adcock. Elsewhere in the team, the blues were bringing through some of their youth team players. Paul Lake had emerged along with Andy Hinchcliffe, David White, Ian Scott, Ian Brightwell, Steve Redmond and the ever popular Paul Simpson. Also in the squad was Eric Nixon, ex-United defender John Gidman and veteran Kenny Clements as Machin attempted to mix youth with experience.

City began their campaign at home to Plymouth Argyle, a team the blues would play four times over the next nine months. A crowd of just over 20,000 watched as Plymouth took a 1-0 lead into the half time interval and City fans would have been forgiven for thinking that it was going to be a long, hard season. But with eight minutes left to play, Paul Stewart grabbed an equaliser while almost instantly, Plymouth had a second goal disallowed for offside. In the last minute, Imre Varadi scored to send the crowd wild and give City their first win of the season.

A week later, the blues drew 1-1 at Boundary Park, Oldham before travelling to Birmingham and a 1-1 draw with Aston Villa. City’s first defeat was at home to Blackburn Rovers where Ian Scott gave the blues a 1-0 lead within the first few minutes but Blackburn came back to level before Simon Garner gave the visitors all three points with a last minute goal.

A goalless draw at Shrewsbury was followed by two straight wins; 4-0 over Millwall and 3-0 over Stoke, Varadi scoring a hat-trick in front of the Maine Road faithful.

City were in for a shock in the League Cup when fourth division Wolves visited and won the first leg 2-1, after Eric Nixon’s mistake allowed the visitors to take control of the tie. The result meant City had to go to the Black Country and win by two goals, which was a bit of a problem. City’s away form was abysmal. The blues had failed to win any of their away games for the whole of the previous season, scoring just eight goals in the process and the last away win came at White Hart Lane in January 1986.

Their terrible away form was highlighted when they lost 2-0 at Leeds and 3-1 at Hull before the return leg at Molineux. Following his display in the first leg, Eric Nixon had been dropped for the following league games and replaced by Bobby Mimms, on loan from Everton. But Nixon returned for the second leg and full backs John Gidman and Andy Hinchcliffe saved the blues with a goal each as City won 2-0.

Two defeats, at home to Sheffield United (2-3) and Ipswich Town (0-3) brought City down to earth before they embarked on an amazing 13 game unbeaten run starting at Bradford City where the blues claimed their first league away win since the Spurs game with a 4-2 win. A drab 1-1 draw at home to Barnsley was forgotten a few days later as first Division Nottingham Forest visited in the League Cup. Two goals by Varadi and one by Stewart sent City through and Varadi was on target on target again a week later in a 4-3 win at Swindon. Hinchcliffe scored at home to Middlesbrough in a 1-1 draw before the City goal machine roared into action as Huddersfield Town visited Maine Road. 4-0 up at half time, City ran riot in the second half as Stewart, Adcock and White all scored hat-tricks following Neil McNab’s 13th minute opener. Andy May scored the smallest of consolations for the visitors as City ran out 10-1 winners.

Plymouth returned to Maine Road three days later in the Full Members Cup and were hammered 6-2, Adcock helping himself to another hat-trick and Stewart got both goals as City won 2-0 at Reading. First division Watford were taken apart by Paul Lake in the League Cup (3-1) Birmingham hammered 3-0 and Bournemouth beaten 2-0 at Dean Court with a 1-1 draw at West Brom sandwiched in between.

Then it all came crashing down. Leading 1-0 at home to Crystal Palace, Eric Nixon got himself sent off for punching Palace striker Mark Bright. The City keeper, as well as the fans, had grown tired of Bright’s on-field antics and when he saw Bright rushing towards him at full speed after picking up a back pass, Nixon had had enough and lashed out, flooring Bright in the penalty area. Nixon saw red and Palace scored the penalty past stand-in keeper Steve Redmond and eventually won 3-1.

The blues won at Millwall (1-0) a week later but their home form suffered. A defeat to Chelsea in the Full Members Cup (0-2) was followed by two straight home league defeats to Oldham and Leeds (both 1-2). Two goals by Stewart helped secure a 3-1 win at Stoke but at home City lost again, this time Shrewsbury the winners 3-1.

In the FA Cup third round, City were paired with Huddersfield at Leeds Road. The blues took the lead through Ian Brightwell but Huddersfield came back to lead 2-1 and only a last minute Gidman free kick earned the blues a replay, which ended 0-0 and a second replay at Leeds Road, which City won comfortably 3-0.

In between the game at Maine Road and the second replay, City lost three games. A 3-2 defeat at Plymouth was followed by being knocked out of the League Cup at Everton (2-0) while their dismal home for continued as Aston Villa took three points back to the Midlands.

Bloomfield Road, Blackpool was the next stop in the FA Cup and a last minute Paul Lake equaliser again earned the blues a replay. Paul Stewart scored against his former club but missed a penalty as City finally won at Maine Road (2-1) to progress to the fifth round. A 2-1 defeat at Blackburn was followed by a league win on 13th February, which was City’s first home win since November 21st. Bournemouth were beaten 2-0 that day and a week later, Plymouth were beaten 3-1 at Maine Road in the FA Cup and the blues would face their biggest challenge of the season in the next round.

Hull and Ipswich were both beaten at Maine Road (both 2-0) while City won 2-1 at Sheffield United before the FA Cup quarter final. And it couldn’t have been any tougher for City as Liverpool arrived at Maine Road. The reds had been in unstoppable form all season and took a 1-0 lead into the break. There was more than a suspicion of handball as John Barnes turned Gidman and played the perfect cross for Ray Houghton to score.

In the second half, Paul Lake’s brilliant challenge was on Craig Johnson was deemed a penalty by the referee and Liverpool went 2-0 up. Further second half goals saw the Mersey giants through 4-0 and City’s FA Cup dream crushed. A home draw with Swindon (1-1) was followed by a defeat at Barnsley (3-1) and Huddersfield gained some sort of revenge by winning 1-0 at Leeds Road.

Reading visited Maine Road and were beaten 2-0 but City lost 2-1 at Middlesbrough and drew at Home to Bradford (2-2). A blues achieved a Midlands double win at Birmingham (3-0) and at home to West Brom (4-2) before the season ended on a low note with a 2-0 defeat at Crystal Palace.

A lot of positives were taken from the season, in particular the emergence of talent such as Paul Lake and the other youngsters blooded by Machin. Paul Stewart had become hot property and in order for City to mount a more sustainable campaign the following season, he was sold to Spurs for £1.7m.

City finished ninth but with money in the bank from the Stewart transfer, City would be ready for the following season.