In the build up to Manchester City’s League Cup final against Aston Villa last year (2020) I was somewhat deflated by the way in which some in the media were critical of City fans. There wasn’t any one thing in particular that prompted this but it was something that had been growing for some time. It was all connected with the general stereotyping of City fans and the language being used by some to write negatively about them. I decided to write a lengthy piece on how I felt about this and I published it on my Facebook and twitter accounts the day after the League Cup final (the final was on 1st March 2020).
Sadly, one year on and little has changed. Ah well! So for those who missed it last year here is the piece:
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A year ago today (1st March 2020) I like thousands of other Manchester City and Aston Villa supporters travelled to Wembley for the League Cup final. 82,145 were there that day and now it seems so unlikely that we’ll have anywhere near that figure at a game for some time.
It was the last time I attended a live game of football (I missed the Manchester Derby the week after) although none of us believed that at the time. I enjoyed Wembley that day – as I do every trip (well, at least I do beforehand. 2013 FAC final was not so great, nor one or two semi-finals in recent years!) – and I hope that one day we can all be there again for a major final.
The game itself saw City race to a 2-0 lead within thirty minutes with Rodri (20) and Aguero (30) netting. Villa pulled a goal back 4 minutes before half time and it was a tense match. City did enough to win the game 2-1 of course, becoming the last (and only) team in England to win a major competition in front of a crowd that season.
It’s been a strange year since then for us all and it’s been a difficult year for many of us. I hope that life can return to normal and that football crowds of this size and scale get a chance to gather once more. Here’s hoping.
In September 2019 I was informed of the death of Ray Goble, one of the most significant researchers into Manchester City’s history (and on West Indies cricket too). Ray’s widow Joyce informed me of the news.
Subscribers to this blog can read below the obituary I wrote on Ray at the time and understand why he was such an important figure in Manchester City’s history.
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On this day (18 January) last year Manchester City looked set to take all three points against Crystal Palace when Sergio Aguero netted twice in five minutes late in the game but then Fernandinho diverted a ball from Zaha into the net in the last minute to end the game 2-2.
The Blues had gone behind six minutes before half time.
Aguero’s first goal came in the 82nd minute when he sent home a Gabriel Jesus cross. This was the Argentinian’s 250th goal for the Blues and five minutes later he netted his 251st when he headed home from a Benjamin Mendy delivery.
The game was, on the whole, somewhat frustrating for those of us in the 54,439 Etihad crowd and this was exacerbated when after the break City appeared to have been awarded a deserved penalty. Referee Graham Scott had pointed to the spot for a Jairo Riedewald handball, but then the video assistant referee overruled the decision. It was decided that a replay of the incident showed the ball had came off the defender’s foot first as he blocked Joao Cancelo’s cross. Few City fans were convinced of course!
As well as Aguero reaching 250 goals, the match saw another landmark as David Silva made his 300th Premier League appearance for City.
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