Carling Cup verdict: Wolverhampton Wanderers 2 Manchester City 5

City produced another thumping victory despite Roberto Mancini playing a completely different starting eleven to those who began at Old Trafford. Wolves made nine changes themselves from the weekend and it will be interesting to see who starts on Saturday.

With a Champions League game in Spain next week, Mancini may well turn to some of these players for the weekend. There are plenty to choose from with the side combining youth and experience, and all showing commendable commitment.

The Carling Cup probably represented the best chance of winning a trophy for Wolves, so there could be no taking the game lightly. As a spectacle it didn’t disappoint with a high tempo and both sides showing plenty of desire and attacking intent.

Perhaps one or two in the City ranks were overly keen to impress as Savic in particular made some rash early challenges. Wolves began the stronger and not for the first time City took a while to get going.

Once we did, the game was over as Adam Johnson inspired a blistering spell of passing, movement and clinical finishing. It was like the end of the derby all over again with three goals in four minutes.

Aside from the result, the two most pleasing aspects were the teamplay in our attacking, and the promising performances of our younger players.

With regard the teamplay, it’s noticeable that everyone now appears to understand how Mancini and the coaches want us to play. Everyone seems to know there jobs and where to move, whether attacking or defending. Opponents are being regularly overwhelmed and it’s a joy to watch.

With regard to the younger players, Savic grew into the game and was joined in defence later on by 16-year-old Karim Rekik. As is often the way with promising young defenders from abroad, he looks very accomplished on the ball. If Mancini continues to feel he can cope with first team football, then his game could develop at a rapid rate.

Abdul Razak gave another energetic performance, though he will need to cut out the occasionally careless passing if he’s to make the grade under Mancini. Scapuzzi was a surprise signing in the Summer and has had mixed reviews so far. Here he showed good technique, warranted his goal and partnered Dzeko well.

Denis Suarez came off the bench and showed some lovely touches. It’s perhaps inevitable he’s going to be compared to David Silva, but he looks more like a young Fabregas. Silva started out as a winger and retains that ability to dribble. Suarez appears more of a central midfielder who relies on his passing and timing of his forward runs. It will be great to see more of the 17-year-old.

Once again this proved a hugely satisfactory away victory. We’re into the quarter finals and await the draw. If it’s Cardiff, Crystal Palace or Blackburn then Mancini is sure to field a similar side. If its United, Liverpool, Chelsea or Arsenal then the test will be that much stiffer, and it will be interesting to see if Mancini keeps his nerve with the younger players. It’s to be hoped he does.

External reports:


Carling Cup player ratings: Wolverhampton Wanderers v Manchester City
Preview: Manchester City v Wolverhampton Wanderers

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