Date: 18th October 2010 at 10:32am
Written by:

Blackpool had to again deal with another hard luck story at home after the 3-2 defeat to Manchester City.

In a game which the Seasiders dominated, two goals from Carlos Tevez and one from David Silva were enough to move the Citizens up to second in the Premiership table.

Pool boss Ian Holloway was left fuming at the full time whistle, complaining that three massive decisions went the visitors` way and influenced the game hugely. One of which was to disallow Gary Taylor-Fletcher`s cute finish for offside when he himself was on, and the other two were City`s opening goals – both suspect.

Ollie is right to vent his anger at the unlucky circumstances but that cannot detract from what was a brilliant performance.

Pool started with the same team as they did at Anfield two weeks ago and looked like the millionaires right from the start. Charlie Adam was dictating play in the middle of the park with ease and too much time on the ball, with Craig Cathcart seemingly pocketing Adebayor.

Lacking was the usual movement up front with DJ Campbell perhaps on his heels but the Blackpool midfield didn`t worry about that, bringing the fullbacks Crainey and Eardley into play with great effect (both of whom had defensively sound games too).

Not once in the opening period did you see Wayne Bridge of Jerome Boateng venture further and the way Pool play with defenders bombing on can only be described as refreshing for the league as a whole.

Both sides traded blows early on, with Adam Johnson going close before Charlie struck wide. From then on it was the home side that were making all the noises, with Luke Varney then Campbell next to go close.

The best move of the match involving all the usual suspects of Adam, Vaughan, Eardley and co, found its way to Taylor-Fletcher on the edge of the box but he could only scuff wide as he tried to find the corner with a bending strike.

Luke Varney was the biggest tangerine threat throughout the first half with his harrying of defenders and complete control on the ball. His trickery and turn of speed had the City fullbacks chasing shadows and he made them to look rather ordinary.

However, one criticism of the way the team attacks has to be the lack of thought when we get runners into the box. There seems to be a lack of thought of positioning which means it is extremely hard for a wide man such as Varney to pick a pass. Interestingly, the reintroduction of Keith Southern could see this all change as he floats in and around the area.

Anyway, at half time it was looking good for Pool at 0-0, although they may have felt they deserved a little more.

It was the same sluggish Blues who came out for the second period and the game was in a similar pattern to that of the first.

What was ultimately Blackpool`s downfall was the opening up of the game which left greater holes in midfield which City exploited with devilish effect.

Looking back, there were two defining moments of the game and neither resulted in a goal. The first was the miss by DJ Campbell just after the break and the second being the substitution of Adebayor for David Silva.

Campbell`s miss in front of the North Stand was one of those needed to be seen to be believed. After fantastic work again by Luke Varney to latch onto a long ball, draw two defenders away with him and then find DJ unmarked six yards out, it was the turn of the striker to do his part. Unfortunately, the former Leicester man saw the onrushing Joe Hart, panicked, and his effort trickled wide.

Roberto Mancini`s sub changed the game. David Silva dropped off Tevez slightly, meaning Adam and Vaughan didn`t have as much time on the ball but also meant there wasn`t this huge gap between midfield and attack we had seen when Adebayor was playing.

It didn`t take Silva long to work his magic. A beautifully crafted ball on 67 minutes to Tevez was back heeled into the right hand corner of Matt Gilks` goal to give the visitors a 1-0 lead. Naturally it came with its controversy. When the ball was played – and in fact at every stage of the attack – Tevez had stolen a yard on last defender Craig Cathcart, leaving him offside.

That came just minutes after a Blackpool goal was disallowed for offside. Although open to interpretation, Taylor-Fletcher`s lob over Joe Hart was legal. GTF was standing in an onside position when the long ball found him, but went past Elliot Grandin (who was marginally off) in the build up. Grandin did shake a leg at the ball but failed to touch it. It would have been tricky for the linesman to tell if he had touched it or not, so the benefit of the doubt with the officials on this one perhaps.

Pool found a way back into the game when Luke Varney was sent sprawling by Wayne Bridge for a freekick in a dangerous position. Charlie Adam was over it (after almost scoring a peach from a deadball 10 minutes earlier) and his wicked cross found the head of substitute Marlon Harewood whose backward glancing header was one of a true prowess in front of goal; game on 12 minutes left.

What has happened in the three home games so far this campaign is a distinct lack of concentration at key moments in the game. Against Fulham and Blackburn we conceded two late goals to lose four points and against City the team switched off straight after equalising (with Glad All Over still playing – nice one!). Wayne Bridge was allowed to run the whole length of the pitch unchallenged before Ian Evatt intervened on the edge of the box. Instead of finding row Z and regrouping, he dallied on the ball as Tevez fouled him and saw his shot deflect past Matt Gilks. Despite Evatt`s doddering, the foul was blatant.

A third City goal followed when David Silva jinked his way around Pool defenders for fun before curling into the corner. And there was even time for a reply from the home side, with Taylor-Fletcher getting a deserved goal from a well-worked corner.

All in all, a brilliant Blackpool performance with little things (mainly mentally) needed to be tweaked at home. Concentration is a huge part of Premiership football, and if they don`t learn to hold it, points will be lost regularly.

What am I saying though? Surely this match report should end with something about Phil Dowd. Maybe it is best to say nothing…