I am sure that I wasn't the only one who breathed a big sigh of relief after this victory, you could imagine what the papers were going to be saying tomorrow if we didn't.
Our first goal was scored by Martin Petrov, the Bulgarian winger hit home from close range and believe it or not he actually scored using his right foot! Our second goal was scored by Tevez, Zabaleta crossed the ball into Barry who headed into Tevez's path for him to finish in an unorthodox fashion. Goals and highlights Below!
This was a good win for us today considering the events of late, we played OK and deserved to win but there is still a lot of room for improvement.
Our defence was still dodgy at times today but luckily our midfield duo of Barry and de Jong were doing a good job at protecting them, in fact saying that Barry alone made a big difference for us today. It was his first good game for quite some time and he made a major difference, he controlled the ball in the midfield and Stoke were not able to freeze him out of the game.
We missed a big man upfront today, Tevez did a great job on his own but we were certainly restricted from attacking aerially. If we had a big man up top I think that we would have won by a more convincing scoreline.
A huge difference from Hughes's team today was the tactics, Mancini was countering all Stokes changes and also made sure we played much more narrower when we didn't have the ball. It worked great for us because in recent times we have been far to open and the opposition have been able to take advantage of that, not today though!
I think the only thing that I was a bit unhappy with today was not seeing Weiss come on, we were really missing any kind of width on the right hand side. Petrov was going over to that side form time to time but was not very convincing because he constantly has to go back onto his right foot, I think at two nil we should have gave Weiss a run out for twenty or thirty minutes.
Listening to people at the match and on the radio on the way home today it is clear that they have already made their mind up about Mancini, I am not going to do that. It will take a few more games before I say if I like him or not, so far so good for now though!
Goals and highlights.