1. It’s been a perfect week for City. A clinical if unexciting victory against a poor Cardiff side on Wednesday night, followed by a complete demolition of an astoundingly awful Charlton on the Saturday afternoon. Two games, six points, eight goals, none against, all while both Middlesbrough and Derby had a little stumble.
2. Cardiff first. They arrived with a pretty rotten record away from home, and it was a record they showed little interest in repairing. Negative from the off, they may have gotten away with something had they held City until half-time; once the lead was established, it was never going to be given away.
3. Hernández’s penalty was excellent. They’re always horrible moments, and there was a split-second when you just have time to realise that both ball and keeper are heading in roughly the same direction and you instantly expect the cheers of the other lot to accompany a head-in-hands moment of your own. Not this time, it was a fine penalty at a critical time in the game by a striker in terrific form.
4. City then saw the rest of the game out in a controlled fashion, it must be said. Steve Bruce cannot have been expecting the luxury of withdrawing some players and seeing the rest play at 60% intensity for much of the game, but with a quick turnaround before Charlton we understand why City effectively declared at 2-0 against the Bluebirds, even though another goal or two were on the cards.
5. At least we didn’t want for goals on Saturday. The moment a hapless Addick coughed up to possession and had to watch in horror as Hernández punished him, this was never a contest. One thing we’ve often grumbled about is City converting dominance and chances into goals. We can have no such complaints this time. Six goals. It’s a rare treat.
6. They were all lovely goals in their own way. The cool finish to break the deadlock. The curling right-footer. The curling left-footer. The hat-trick goal after great interplay on the left. The instant curling right-footer. Hayden’s…well, okay, you can’t get full artistic merit for them all. But we scored some fantastically good goals that’ll live long in the memory.
7. It’s not even enough to say that Charlton were dreadful, though they truly were. City have struggled against poor sides before, and doubtless will again. We’d have beaten anyone in the division in that sort of form, and plenty from the division above too. The passing, moving, shooting, intensity and workrate were all an absolute joy. And if you doubted that this was a special day, even the West Stand was observed singing at one point…
8. Now to back that up on the road. Derby have lost form at a bad time, allowing City to move ahead on both points and goal difference. They don’t play until after our match at Fulham, meaning that an ominously wide seven point gap could be present before their next game. Even with games in hand, and the two sides yet to meet at Pride Park, that’s a lot.
9. But even if we don’t win at Fulham, we have three successive League games on the road approaching. You can set your own points target, but it surely has to exceed one per game, otherwise the magnificent home form is all for nothing.
10. That’s down to Steve Bruce. He can get us playing at home, and it’s fair to say that the doubts some raise about his suitability for the post have rather evaporated this week. But he’s sounded unsure about the reason for our occasional malaise on the road this season; he’s had a while to figure it out. Starting with Fulham, we hope he’s got the answer.