Yesterday was pretty gutting. We had been the best team and Stoke fluked a last minute (or few seconds might be more accurate) goal. Both teams played well and it was an exciting, entertaining, end to end game but nobody likes to lose like we did and that is why so many fans have become more vocal than they usually would have.
I can understand the Heskey sub this time. Gabby was knackered, Carew was injured and we needed someone to hold the ball up and put some pressure on the defenders. Personally I would’ve preferred Delfouneso, but I don't think Kevin MacDonald rates him that much. Weimann was preferred to Delfouneso prior to his injury to the Dogs of Vienna.
Dunne has looked like a liability on more than one occasion this season and for the first goal this was possibly the case. It did highlight how Friedel is past his best - he just wasn’t able to force himself to dive across for it. He might not have got it, but by not diving he gave himself no chance whatsoever.
Petrov was and still is a liability. His constant fouling breaks up play but needlessly gives the ball away. I’m not entirely sure that Pennant dived for the free-kick that led for the goal. If Petrov hadn’t made another clumsy challenge, we almost certainly would’ve got a draw, which wouldn’t have been an unfair result for either team.
I thought Downing was very good. He had good movement and passing and his finish was sublime. Even class you might say. I know Downing doesn’t have many fans, but I honestly thought he was our man of the match yesterday. Like him or not, he did more than most. Albrighton and Young also deserve a lot of credit for their work rate. Albrighton is going to have a long career with England – he has pace, tricks, skill and vision in abundance and is no one-trick pony. If he watches Ronaldo and not Young he’ll get even better.
So, the bottom line is we lost. But it is not that we were a shambles or that MacDonald is a fool and all the rest – it was down to not holding onto the ball, giving away one or two needless free kicks and bad luck. You only have to look to Manchester United and Everton on Saturday to see how dominating a game can mean nothing in a very short time.