The word for today is workmanlike.
As in “the squad put in a workmanlike performance and were rewarded for their efforts.”
7 cards shown, including one red. 1 offside total. 4 shots on goal combined. This game was played almost entirely outside the boxes, with one true moment of quality coming through a nicely worked corner kick from Perotti to Escude, who flicked on from the near post and Kanoute finished unmarked from the 6.
On the positive side, well, just about everything today. Nothing magical or anything, but a solid three points earned away from the RSP. Palop had as little to do today as I can remember. Escude was very solid and was unlucky to put a nice header off the crossbar early in the match. Dabo had a very strong first half paired with Konko in front of him, and played well, if more conservatively, in the second. Zokora was Zokora, and that was good. It seemed to me that Manzano had our defense keeping a somewhat higher line and challenging balls and closing down earlier than usual. Offensively, we maintained a lot of possession without looking particularly threatening. As the game wore on we pulled back a little, with Romaric coming on for Kanoute, and tried to counter, but Karpaty struggled to get players forward and the middle of the pitch remained congested for the duration.
Concerns? Not really. Yes, we still do not have an attacking midfielder. Perotti didn’t do much again, and I am surprised by that considering how well he was playing before the international break. Fabiano came on for Negredo in the 72nd minute, and to be honest, neither looked particularly thrilled about it. The one issue I see brewing is on the LuFa front: he needs to be in form to play, but needs to play to get into form. At this point, Negredo is rightfully first choice, but an in form LuFa is potentially our most valuable non-Navas asset, either playing for us or being sold on. Anyhow, concerns for another day…we’ve got the three points and six from two gritty away wins…all is good.