By William Wood | In Micah's Say
Manchester City were in irresistible form as they hammered high-flying Hull City 5-1 in their Boxing Day clash, and Micah shared his views on the much-needed victory exclusively with MicahRichards.com.
Prior to the fixture, Mark Hughes’ men had gone six games without a win and were looking for an improved performance following the disappointment of last weekend’s 2-1 loss to West Brom.
Robinho returned to the starting-eleven for the first time in five weeks, joined by compatriot Elano who was dropped for the trip to the Midlands in the side’s last outing, while Felipe Caicedo filled the berth left absent by Benjani.
Despite The Tigers’ sixth-place positioning in the Premier League, they appeared to suffer from a Christmas hangover at the City of Manchester, and Robinho could have handed the hosts an immediate lead as he watched his shot sail just over.
Phil Brown’s team responded, Marlon King weaving his way through The Citizens’ defence before placing a shot towards goal which required Joe Hart’s full attention.
However, that was about as good as it got for the away side in a first-half illuminated by Micah and his teammates, and after 15 minutes the home fans were celebrating as Caicedo opened the scoring courtesy of a delightful pass by Robinho which instigated the move.
The latter almost doubled the lead soon after, though his shot was saved by Boaz Myhill, but it was Ireland that set-up his and City’s second as he cut the ball back to Caicedo who did the rest.
It got worse for shell-shocked Hull, Ireland dispossessing the experienced George Boateng in midfield and laying the ball off to Robinho who, after beating Michael Turner with ease, slotted the ball passed the helpless Myhill.
There was a further goal to celebrate before the opening 45 minutes came to a close, Shaun Wright-Phillips racing through to slide a pass to Robinho and watch as the Brazil international netted his second of the afternoon.
Provider could and perhaps should have turned scorer as Wright-Phillips then spurned an opportunity to continue the festivities for the Eastlanders as he burst through on goal but failed to capitalise on the chance, but Hughes used the benefit of his side’s margin to rest Richards – who sustained a knock – and double goal-scorer Caicedo after the interval.
Such was his frustration with the inept performance on display that Brown kept his players on the pitch for the first few minutes of the break, publicly berating several members of the side, and when they returned they looked more composed during the opening period.
As City continued their hunt for further goals via, among others, a deflected Elano free-kick which struck the post, substitute Craig Fagan finished off a scrappy run of play in the 79th minute to score a consolation for Hull.
However, there was still time for Robinho to re-pay serial assistor Ireland as he used his trickery to evade the Hull defenders and set up the Republic of Ireland midfielder, rounding off an impressive victory.
The occasion was made all the more special for Micah as it was watched by his grandmother for the first time, and Hughes will have been delighted with the style and substance of City’s win in front of a bumper crowd.
“It was a great way to round off a really good Christmas, and hopefully on the back of today’s fantastic win we can climb the table,” Micah said.
We played well today across all positions I felt, and made a good side in Hull look ordinary.”
“We showed a lot more positive intent, defended and attacked as a team, and we showed what we are capable of.
“The win will give us a much-needed boost. Everyone sees today as major turning point in our season, and the confidence around the club has certainly been lifted.
“On a personal level, the win gives me a massive boost, it was great that my nana came along to watch for the first time and I’m really looking forward to the next game which is in a couple days time.”
The only negative from the game was the absence of Micah for the second-half, though the 20-year old moved to reassure City fans.
“I was taken off to decrease the risk of injury as I felt a twitch in my hamstring,” he added. “I really hope I’ll be fit to play against Blackburn.”