By William Wood | In Micah's Say
Manchester City remained top of Group A courtesy of a 0-0 draw with Paris St-Germain in the Uefa Cup, and Micah gave his views on a match he was rested for exclusively with MicahRichards.com.
Having sustained a knock to his ankle in the weekend clash with arch-rivals Manchester United, Micah sat out the Uefa Cup Group A encounter, while teammates Robinho and Shaun Wright-Phillips were also absent as manager Mark Hughes made several changes.
City began the brighter of the two sides, youngster Daniel Sturridge forcing Mickael Landraeu off his line after an incisive ball by Elano within the first five minutes.
Fellow Brazilian Jo, who was recalled to the first-eleven, was looking lively in the opening exchanges, and his pass to Darius Vassell saw the latter flash a shot just wide of the far-post from an offside position.
The pace of the match dropped as neither side looked likely to cause their opponents too much trouble up front, though Mateja Kezman’s one-man mission to foul each City player did raise the temperature within the City of Manchester temporarily.
However, with the visitors requiring three points to haul themselves off the bottom of the table, Paul Le Guen’s side began to force themselves forward, though it was City again – through Vassell and Sturridge – that were asking the most serious questions of their opponents’ defence.
Pablo Zabaleta then went close with an effort after some fine work by Vassell down the flank, while Jo had a header denied by Landreau after he failed to truly connect with the ball.
As the hosts began to ease off – perhaps in the knowledge that their qualification to the next round had already been sealed – the French side introduced their first-choice strike partnership of Ludovic Guily and Guilaume Hoarau.
The move signalled PSG’s most attacking period of an otherwise unthreatening display, Peggy Luyindula forcing a fine save from Joe Hart before Hoarau missed the goal with a tentative flick.
One-time Leeds United loan man Zoumana Camara missed with a close-range header, but that was as close as the hosts came to losing an otherwise uneventful match at Eastlands, with Hughes certainly the happier of the two managers.
“We enjoyed a lot of possession throughout the game,” Micah said. “We got the right result so that we would finish top of our group, and that was the most important thing today.
We’re all very happy with that and looking forward to the next round.”
“The squad showed it’s depth in talent tonight; even though we had key players injured but we were still able to secure at least a point.
I felt the players that came in did a great job.”
Would, in the England international’s opinion, Hughes be happy enough with the point that sustained their position at the top of Group A?
“I’m sure he will be happy as we set out to finish top of our group and we’re still on course to do that,” Micah continued. “A win would obviously have been more pleasing but the point was well earned.”
Next up for City is the weekend clash with Fulham at Craven Cottage, and Micah is hoping to be fit and selected as the side look to move up the Premier League table from their current 15th place standing.
“I’m looking forward to the game,” the 20-year old added. “Hopefully I’ll be fit and, if picked, play to the best of my ability in order to help the team get a win.
“We’re going to Craven Cottage with the mentality to win the game, so nothing less than the three points will be acceptable.”