For all the talk of City being the richest club in the world, they are still going away from home and producing some pretty average performances. Yes yes, they gave Portsmouth and Stoke a good thrashing and put the frighteners on Liverpool, but on their travels, they’re barely capable of landing a draw against a ten-man Newcastle team.
Their frustrations continued at the Riverside Stadium on Wednesday night, where a controversial penalty was awarded to Middlesbrough, and Mark Hughes’ men were unable to recover. After the goal had been scored, the Daily Telegraph reports that Gareth Southgate and Shaun Wright-Phillips had a spat where the Boro manager had to be restrained, although it’s the player which could be in hot water with the FA.
The dispute flared when Southgate appeared to accuse Wright-Phillips of play-acting to win a free-kick and the pair traded insults, with Southgate having to be restrained by the fourth official.
The incident occurred shortly after Alfonso Alves had given the home side the lead from the penalty spot just after the interval.
Southgate sought to play down the confrontation after the game but maintained that Wright-Phillips had been guilty of going down too easily.
“I didn’t think he was fouled and he didn’t like the way I spoke to him,” said Southgate. “We were both in the wrong. I saw him in the tunnel and that is the end of it.”
Sounds like handbags at ten paces to me, although just why are Manchester City struggling so much on their travels? I guess that despite their rich owners, most of their players were at the club before ADUG, although the team hardly appear to be making much progress since Sven left last season. Perhaps Middlesbrough deserve credit for the way that they stuck to their task last night, especially after conceding a late equaliser at Blackburn on Saturday.