How much should we read into City's poor performance against Hull?

Manuel Pellegrini’s men beat newly promoted Hull 2-0 on Saturday, but the game could have went either way with City failing to impress.

Manchester City bounced back from the unexpected defeat to Cardiff with a 2-0 win over Hull on Saturday, but failed to impress in the clash. The Etihad Stadium crowd were anxious as their side made hard work of breaking the visitors down and it appears that the new-look City are not the finished article just yet.

City got their transfer business done early this summer with the additions of Fernandinho, Alvaro Negredo, Stevan Jovetic and Jesus Navas, with many hailing the new stars as the players that the side needed to compete for the Premier League title this term.

Despite their dominant opening day win over Newcastle, City have looked far from convincing since then. Although luck went against them in their defeat to Cardiff, the team lacked the cohesion expected of a side fighting for the Premier League title. Defensive frailties were cruelly exposed.

In the game against Hull, the visitors were expected to roll over and be heavily beaten, however Steve Bruce’s men gave as good as they got. City had the lion’s share of the ball as expected, but the visiting midfield and defence made it difficult for the multi-million pound hosts.

Hull had chances of their own to get the opener with the game tied at 0-0, with Danny Graham providing a tough opponent for the City rearguard. On another day the hard-working forward could have had a hat-trick, but Bruce would have settled for one of the forged chances to hit the back of Joe Hart’s net and count.

There was a spell in the second half that Hull looked like the more-rounded side, as they pinned City back and looked dangerous. In the end, Hull’s inability to take one of the chances they created came back to haunt them, as Negredo and Yaya Toure got the goals to secure three points.

Despite the win, Pellegrini was rightfully concerned about the mediocre performance that his side displayed.

“First of all, the most important (thing) is the points,” the Chilean manager said.

“In our friendly matches in pre-season we tried to work on different things, but when we start the Premier League the most important thing is to win the three points.

“I am very happy with the win but of course I think we must improve.

“We had too many difficulties in the first half (in creating chances) to shoot at the Hull goal.

“They defended very well and without the movement, we need to try to be a dangerous team.

“Everyone told me last week (after) we lost a game to two set-pieces that I now know the Premier League.

“But I know the Premier League is very difficult every match. You must concentrate and play 100 per cent to beat any team.

“I am concerned but 2-0 is a good score. We can't win every game 4-0 or 5-0. The Premier League is tough.”

The win shows that City certainly have the individual players to win close games, but the side have yet to display the form that will allow them to wrestle the Premier League title away from their cross-town rivals.

image: © geetarchurchy

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