October 20, 2012
Platt hails game-changer Dzeko
Manchester City assistant manager David Platt hailed the importance of super-sub Edin Dzeko after his two late goals earned victory at West Brom."If you look at Edin's career for Manchester City, the goals he has scored, he has got a lot of heavy goals, goals that are very important," he said. "I remember goals at Blackburn the season before last which more or less gave us Champions League qualification."You look back at last season as well and he got some vital goals. To win the league, Aguero's goal will always be the one but remember Edin equalised. He has been a threat all season and his form has been very good all season.''Platt felt City deserved their victory after controlling the game for long periods despite their numerical disadvantage after James Milner was dismissed for bringing down Shane Long."Watching it live it didn't seem a goalscoring opportunity to me for the sending-off. Equally, you can see why it was given," Platt said. "But we can't sit there for 70 minutes grumbling about a decision."For the rest of the first half we were affected by it to a certain extent and no one was controlling the game. We said at half-time if we keep our control and discipline, stay together, we know we can impose our play on them and in that second period we controlled the match."If you look at the stats of efforts on goal and possession, you wouldn't have thought we'd had a man less than them.''Platt admitted City had been tempted to substitute striker Mario Balotelli at half-time after he had been booked early on for bringing down Claudio Yacob.Referee Mark Clattenburg then spoke to City captain Vincent Kompany after Balotelli escaped a second yellow card for a challenge on Long."The temptation is there [to substitute Balotelli]. He got booked inside 20 minutes," Platt said. "We looked at it at half-time but he was causing them a problem and we felt confident just by speaking to him that there was not going to be any loss of head. He looked pretty calm.''The Baggies surrendered their 100% home record and manager Steve Clarke admitted they paid the penalty for chasing the winner in the closing stages."I thought we deserved something out of the game. I thought we played well, stood up to Manchester City, but they showed when they went to 10 men that they are champions for a reason," Clarke said. "Credit to them, their performance with 10 men was excellent and the only feeling I have now is being disappointed to lose the game so late."It was maybe a bad decision to go chasing the winner rather than settling for a point. We still wanted to win the game. It is a mindset and characteristic we have got here and are trying to put into the players. We wanted to win the game but you get a corner in injury time and think you can win it. Maybe we should have been a bit more careful and maybe settled for a point.''Speaking on Milner's red card, Clarke said: "It was a marginal one. If it had gone against us, maybe I would have been disappointed.''