Having scored in his previous two Premier League games, David Silva is a player in form. Whilst not known for his scoring prowess, he’s ability to create and overall link up play with the team as a whole has helped the blues look dangerous on the break. He has now established himself as a regular starter for Roberto Mancini’s side. After an initial difficult couple of months settling in, he has gone onto win the clubs Player of the Month award for a record 3 months running from October to December 2010.
How they set up ?
Chelsea had an extra day’s rest and also had the luxury of having entered there European match two goals to the good and were comfortable enough to rest Fernando Torres. Carlo Ancelotti made 5 changes to the team with David Luiz, Michael Essien, Florent Malouda, Salomon Kalou and Torres all returning to the line up. Drogba and Anelka started from the bench. Ancelotti claims to have chosen his team for this game before the midweek game and then chose backwards. Chelsea started the game in a 4-4-2 with Kalou partnering birthday boy Torres up front.
Roberto Mancini made just two changes from the side which failed to knock Dynamo Kiev out of the Europa league. Bad boy Mario Balotelli dropped to the bench and Carlos Tevez missed the game due to a groin strain. James Milner and Edin Dzeko replaced the pair. With Man City having played for 55 mins with 10 men on Thursday whilst chasing the tie, fatigue was possibly going to affect them late on in this game. There formation was their usual 4-3-3.
David Silva started in the left-wing position, where he likes to drift in field. He would be marked by Ivanovic who was at right back and prefered to the more attack minded Boswinga who started on the Wednesday.
Silva got he’s first touch of the ball after 90 seconds with a one two with Kolarov which mounted to nothing. He saw plenty of the ball in the opening 10 minutes as he looked to cause problems with his position between the lines. As City broke on the counter attack in the 22nd minute, Silva carried the ball up the field constantly looking up to see what was around him but a misplaced cross field ball not only frustrated team mates but clearly annoying himself. As the half played out he began to pop up in more central positions and on the right-hand side in a bid to see more of the ball. Silva didn’t interchange with Dzeko at all, where as he’s almost telepathic play with Tevez has been an important part of City’s attack this season. Defensively he looked to nick the ball a number of times in order to spring-board an attack but as Ivanovic rarely ventured to far forward he wasn’t pinned back for very long. Overall City offered little going forward and that showed as most of David Silva’s touches were in deep positions but he wasn’t the only one who hadn’t got a grip on the game in a dull first 45.
He’s first contribution in the second period came when he broke up the play in front of his own penalty area. City started to look more threatening on the left hand side as Kolarov pushed on and used the space which Silva had vacated by being in a more central position. On the 55th minute Silva pounced on a mis-placed pass from Malouda and ran out the Chelsea defence, he’s little poke through almost finding Toure as Cech slid out. Silva intercepted the ball a number of times through a mixture of good positioning and poor Chelsea passing at times. The game began to become more stretched, which would suit Silva if he was able to get the ball in the right positions. He’s vision and ball with the outside of he’s left foot to Dzeko on the 65th minute was sublime. A mixture of good link up play and sloppy passes were not only the story of his 2nd half but summed up his game. The first goal came from a set piece, due to Silvas frame he’s job at free kicks is to stand in the wall or at the edge of the area with the view to break. In the last 10 minutes as City chased the game, he operated more in the hole.
For the most expensive game in world football, the match was devoid of attacking flair and goal mouth action. With just 5 attempts on target during the whole game, it was always likely to be a set piece that made the difference. With Torres on his worst scoring run since arriving in England and Dzeko not yet adapted to the league and he’s new side, the game was less than spectacular. Man City had just 3 attempts on the Chelsea goal and were poor going forward. Whilst David Silva was not the worst player on show, he didn’t have his greatest of games. Their reliance on Tevez was there to see and as their main flair player Silva had little impact. For Silva to cause more problems he needed to receive the ball further up the pitch more often, other players needed to carry the ball out of defense more and better movement was needed from Dzeko.