It’s seems only like yesterday when my time watching Manchester City was one of low (but realistic expectation).
I had accepted that I would never see them win the Premier League and clung onto only the faintest of hopes of any sort of Cup success.
Of course the world has changed a little since then, and in recent years I’ve seen them win the League title a couple of times and the FA Cup, as well as taking the League Cup on two occasions and the somewhat tin pot trophy known these days as the Community Shield.
Added to that I’ve watched them regularly play at the highest level in Europe and just last year reach the Semi Final of the ultimate European club trophy – the Champions League.
The upshot of this is that I’ve been to Wembley quite a few times in recent years, in fact Ive not missed any of their appearances there: including the semi finals and the somewhat farcical defeat in the FA Cup Final against Wigan in 2013.
Yesterday’s win at Middlesbrough in the FA Cup semi final guarantees at least one trip to Wembley this year, making it an annual trip each and every year from 2011 on!
It was the first time that I had been to the Riverside Stadium and to be fair its not in a great location and the surrounding area all looks a little desolate with some odd and rather vile architecture on the walk to there.
All in all it was a splendid performance from the City team and a decent day out with routine and uneventful travel each way, easy parking – and although the Riverside Stadium is pretty featureless, it’s a decent enough venue for watching football.
The 0-2 scoreline somewhat flattered the hosts, on another day City could have won by five or six – that said I have no complaints and already looking forward to the April semi final.
There’s some pictures from yesterday below, clicking on the first will open a scrolable gallery.