Monday, February 13, 2006

Barton Fink!

Manchester City 3 Charlton Athletic 2

Better, but no banana unfortunately...

A quiet first half, a commonality for Charlton away from home these days, where Charlton conceded a solitary goal to defender Richard Dunne, was followed by a transformed second half, with goals flying in for twenty minutes. The bad news was that Charlton let in as many as they scored in this half, and therefore lost 3-2.

Curbs request to the players to stay in the game lasted just twenty one minutes. A corner wasn't cleared and it fell to Dunne inside the area. Three red-shirted players were close, but none close enough to block the shot past an unsighted Myrhe. This was actually the only shot on target from either side in the first half...

The second half started much brighter - Charlton took the initiative, and were rewarded when a fabulous through pass from El Karkouri (playing in place of the unwell Chris Perry) found Darren Bent just onside. His finish was superb, and bulged the back of David James net. Sadly, parity remained for just three minutes when Samaras, on as a second half sub for Trevor Sinclair, headed a classic goal from a Joey Barton cross. It got worse for the away team as Barton then shot from over 25 yards to score past Myrhe off the post. Charlton rallied though, and a fine move down the right led to Kishishev's excellent cross, and another classic header, this time from Marcus Bent.

Charlton had chances to level, but not much luck after that. In the last minute, El Karkouri thumped a volley toward goal but James saved well at his near post.

So it was another defeat away from home, another in the north-west, and another with three goals in the deficit column. Overall though, a much better performance than some of the others dished up away from The Valley recently.

The game was noteworthy for a couple of very poor refereeing decisions, including one where the ref over-ruled the lino and gave Charlton a throw which led directy to the Bent header, and another, and possibly the worst ever(!) where Marcus Bent dribbled the ball past Luke Young who was given offside. How that falls into line with players not interfering until they move toward the ball is crazy!

Curbs was a little more upbeat afterwards, but most questions were regarding the vacant England managers job, as he, Pearce, and Allardyce (the three English candidates..) were all in one ground together.

In all truth, this defeat probably signalled the end of any European ambition Charlton may have had through a league position this season. The result means that Charlton can concentrate on the Cup for a change, and now look forward to a fifth round tie at home to Brentford on Saturday.

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