Just a quick post as I’ve just got finished with the live blog. That would normally serve as a reasonably good account of the game, but unfortunately I was under the impression that this game kicked off at 9.30pm, so I missed the first few minutes, including a 35 yard screamer from Marc Albrighton, and spent most of the first half trying to catch up.
I did get to see Marc’s goal in the half time highlights and it was a bit special, wasn’t it? I’m convinced that Nathan Delfouneso will make the full break through this season and I’m equally convinced that this is Albrighton’s season to make a name for himself too.
Feyenoord equalised fairly soon after we took the lead and while they rattled the foot of the post before half time and forced Guzan to make a fine save just before full time, they didn’t get much of a sniff for the rest of the game.
Which isn’t to say that we looked rock solid at the back, in fact we were a little disjointed and flat footed at times during the early exchanges, but we always looked like we had the measure of this very young Dutch side.
Emile Heskey got the second goal in the second half with a well taken header falling backwards to meet Albrighton’s right sided cross. Sidwell fired in the third emphatically from just outside the box from a left sided corner.
There were a few notable performances among the younger players, especially Albrighton once more, and a few so-so turn outs among the more senior players. In the heat though, this was an intelligent and measured pre-season display and we were never in much trouble of losing.
A good work out, even Delfouneso got a surprise run out on the left in place of Ashley Young towards the end, and now on to the more challenging prospect of Benfica tomorrow night.
With James Milner not even named among the subs, tongues are bound to wag, we shall have to see whether he’s involved tomorrow. We may well need his invention in central midfield to unlock what will be a quality opponent. I’m not going to hold my breath though.
We drew the post match penalty shoot out 4-4 after Eric Lichaj missed the final penalty after Carew, Bannan, Sidwell and Shorey all scored. The penalty shoot out serves as a tie-breaker for the Guadiana Trophy should one be required after the closing game against Benfica tomorrow.
I’ll be back with another live blog tomorrow.
Starting XI: Guzan, Dunne, Cuellar, Warnock, Downing, Young, Albrighton, Petrov, Reo-Coker, Beye, Agbonlahor.
Subs: Friedel, Bannan, Davies, Lichaj, Clark, Sidwell, Shorey, Carew, Delfouneso, Heskey, Weimann.