We tuned into the Man City v Aston Villa match for one reason today, to watch Villa’s American right back Eric Lichaj. The 22 yr old was impressive in shutting down Gareth Bale in their loss to Spurs two days ago, and we though maybe he could replicate the performance today. No such luck. Against Spurs, Lichaj showed pace equal to Bale, made a number of impressive stops, and even had a chance at the end of the game to pull back a tying goal.
Lichaj’s first contribution today against City was to offer Mario Balotelli the chance to flop and earn a penalty. The cocky Italian felt a hand on his should and went down as if a piano had fallen on him. He then converted the penalty kick to put City ahead. City’s next goal was probably not a goal as it looked to be headed off the line, and then their third, a Balotelli tap-in, came from an offside position.
Gifted three goals City played keep away and Villa didn’t have much chance to get back into the flow. Balotelli then converted another penalty to score a hat trick, pumping his head full of more hot air after just receiving the World Young Player of the Year award last week. His closest competition for that trophy was 18 yr old Jack Wilshire who has been playing well, and holding down a starting role at Arsenal. Had Balotelli heard of him?
“What’s his name? Wil…? No, I just don’t know him, but the next time I play against Arsenal I’ll try to be careful. Maybe I could show him the Golden Boy trophy and remind him that I won.”
He’ll have a chance next week when Arsenal meet City, though it’s unlikely Balotelli – the man who has proclaimed himself the best player in the world besides Messi – will get on the field earlier than the 70th minute.