CITY 0 SHEFFIELD UNITED 0
FA Barclays Premiership
14th October 2006
Ref Mike Dean
City Hart, Richards, Dunne, Distin, Jordan, Trabelsi, Barton, Hamann, Sinclair, Samaras, Corradi – Subs Miller(45), Dickov(70), Reyna(58), Schmeichel(unused), Johnson(unused)
Sheffield United Kenny, Bromby, Davis, Jagielka, Armstrong, Gillespie, Tonge, Quinn, Leigertwood, Hulse, Kazim-Richards – subs Webber(72), Morgan(unused), Kabba(unused), Kozluk(unused), Nade(unused)
JOEY SHOWS HIS CLASS BUT CITY MISFIRE
AT LEAST Joey Barton wasn’t pants. The Scouser was one of the few to shine in what was the perfect illustration of how not to win a game. But the Manchester City midfielder, fined £2,000 by the FA for dropping his shorts a fortnight earlier at Goodison, will have been tempted to deliver another similar jibe. Had he done so this time, it would have been directed at some of his own team, and in particular at the hapless Bernardo Corradi.
Corradi missed three clear chances, and allowed Sheffield United to pick up their first away point of the season, Manager Stuart Pearce, his ship steadied following the recent rocky rider can at least point to the fact that his side have still to concede a goal at home this season. But unless his strikers start putting their chances away, it won‘t be long before he is right back under pressure again. However, Pearce firmly believes that Corradi will produce in the end. The City manager said: “He showed himself to be aggressive in the box and he wants to get on the end of things, our service to him must improve.
“But I do think United deserved a point in what was a fairly scrappy affair. “We should be playing better than this and we should be winning games like this. But the flip side is that its another home game without conceding. and it shows we are getting some things right?
Given the Blades usual game plan, based on the more agricultural side of the beautiful game, it was surprising that it took them until five minutes into the second half to try to exploit the nerve of replacement goalkeeper Joe Hart, Called in yesterday morning after Nicky Weaver failed to recover from an injured back, the 19 year old was making his entrance to the Premiership, having arrived at City in a £600,000 move from Shrewsbury. He had not expected no make his senior debut so early in his City career but; will surely have been told by Pearce to fully expect, an aerial barrage from the start yesterday. But it took Neil Warnocks side 43 minutes to create a clear chance of any sort, Rob Hulse hitting the bar with an optimistic overhead kick.
In the early stages after the break, a nervy Hart first misdirected a simple clearance, then dropped a throw-in that should have been an easy task to collect, substitute Ishmael Miller hacking the ball clear.
It should already have been all over with the points in the bag for City, had Corradi‘s finishing suggested he was worth anything like the £1m fee paid for him to Valencia. Twice in the space of seven first half minutes he wasted chances set up for him from Barton’s excellent free-kicks, volleying the first over from 12 yards then missing the target with a close range header, He got it badly wrong in the 57th minute too, spuming the best opportunity of all as he headed straight at Paddy Kenny after Hatem Trabelsi’s cross only needed a modicum of guile to be put away.
The Italian was not the only City striker to embarrass himself. His starting partner Georgios Samaras shot wide after a one-two with Corradi had provided a clear opening, and earlier shot straight at Kenny after Dietmar Hamann had carved out the chance with a clever through-ball.
Warnock, like Pearce with Beanie the Horse. now has a good luck keepsake from his daughter to carry with him, but suggested that he was ready to throw Scotty the Teddy out of the pram at times yesterday. The Blades boss said: “At least we are out of the bottom three. but I’m actually disappointed because I thought we lacked a little conviction going forward. We had a few chances which we should have done better with. “But I thought Joey Barton’s deliveries were excellent and they will also feel a bit disappointed” he added.
KEN LAWRENCE WRITING FOR THE SUNDAY MIRROR