Ffion Thomas takes you through City's first away win of the season. What a day, with added Srbenyfreude.....
Biggest positive to take
Everything. Christoph Zimmermann is back and it showed, Alex Tettey doing Cruyff turns in midfield, Kenny McLean winning headers against players twice his size, Tim Krul pulling off big saves and even bigger fist-pumps in front of the away end, Sam Byram bossing it, Dennis Srbeny sealing the deal.
That all our games can’t come immediately after an international break.
Moment of the match
What’s the German word for the feeling when you’ve been 1-0 up away from home after 90 minutes and five minutes has gone up on the board so you’ve started the stopwatch on your phone to count down every second but then Dennis Srbeny has danced into the area and got fouled but curled it past Jordan Pickford anyway then he’s run towards you doing the salute by which time you’re standing on your wooden seat giving it some trying not to fall over then Farke’s done the wave and you’ve gone home well chuffed and then hours later you’re looking at your phone and find your stopwatch is still going? Yeah, so what’s the word for that admittedly quite specific feeling? If there isn’t one, how about Srbenyfreude?
Random star performer
Todd Cantwell, who was absolutely everywhere. Unlucky not to score in the first half when his hammer of a shot was deflected over, his crunching but completely clean tackle on the halfway line just before half time was a sight to behold and then there he was steaming through the middle to latch on to Pukki’s clever pass, keep his head and slide it just inside the far post. When you’ve lost your starting place for a couple of games, that’s exactly how you win it back for the foreseeable.
Some big selection decisions but no arguments that it paid off, and a game management masterclass – with us well on top in the first half and still looking pretty comfortable after taking the lead there was no need to rush into substitutions, so we had plenty in hand for when Todd got a knock and proceedings needed to be slowed down in the dying minutes. Third game in which we’ve scored first this season, third win.
Six away games on the bounce without a goal but the support was unconditional, starting well before kick-off and continuing throughout the game. One to remember for the 1,715 who made the trip.
I genuinely didn’t travel with hope, let alone expectation – but then days like Saturday are why you do it anyway. To have Zimbo back to full fitness so much quicker than expected is huge, and the defence looked very much more assured with him in the middle of it. The league table looks a bit better now, the upcoming fixtures look a bit better now, everything looks a bit better now.