Man City Daily – Man City still searching for consistency

Having recorded a comprehensive win against an under-strength Aston Villa in the fifth round of the FA Cup, Manchester City return to Premier League action this weekend with a home tie against Wigan. This is a game that should garner a straightforward three points, but considering results throughout the season, when consistency has been lacking, a win is far from guaranteed.

Coming off the back of a disappointing home draw with Fulham last weekend, City have also drawn at the City of Manchester Stadium against Birmingham in November and Blackburn in September. They beat Wolves 4-3 in January, having been 4-1 up at one point, laboured to a 1-0 win against Blackpool on New Years Day, beat Bolton by the same score-line in December and required a late Adam Johnson winner to seal victory against Newcastle in October. City also recorded a disappointing home defeat to Everton in December and lost heavily to Arsenal in October, having had Dedryck Boyata sent off after only 5 minutes.

Comprehensive wins by five, four and three goals were chalked up against Notts County, Aston Villa and West Bromwich Albion respectively, with comfortable victories against Leicester in the FA Cup, Aris Salonika, Red Bull Salzburg, Lech Poznan and FC Timisoara in the Europa League. City’s most significant triumphs came early in the season with an impressive 3-0 win against Liverpool in August and in beating Chelsea 1-0 thanks to a Carlos Tevez goal in September.

Away from home, City have been just as consistently inconsistent, drawing at Birmingham, Notts County, Leicester, Arsenal, Juventus, Stoke and Tottenham. There were confident away wins at Newcastle on Boxing Day, with Carlos Tevez scoring twice in a 3-1 win, at West Ham in December by the same score-line and 4-1 at Fulham in November, with Tevez bagging another brace. Wins were recorded at relegation strugglers West Brom, Blackpool and Wigan, also in away legs at Red Bull Salzburg and FC Timisoara. Darren Bent scored both goals in 1-0 losses at Aston Villa in January and Sunderland in August, with further losses at Lech Poznan in November and Carling Cup elimination came at the hands of West Brom in September.

Their most recent loss was the result of Wayne Rooney’s wonder strike at Old Trafford last month and Manchester United have now won 13 and drawn one of their 14 homes games thus far. It is their Manchester neighbours that City will need to emulate if they are to achieve the level of consistency required to mount a serious title charge, while also juggling the demands of European and domestic cup competitions. The Manchester City squad remains a work in progress and players will need time to adjust – to new team mates and in some instances, a new country and footballing culture. With so much investment, Champions League football and trophies are expected, and while they may have vast financial reserves, time is a luxury that Man City cannot afford.

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