Norwich City's Man of the Match v Manchester City
PUBLISHED: 12:19 16 April 2012 | UPDATED: 13:06 16 April 2012
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Take Giovanni Trapattoni at his recent word and Wes Hoolahan is on the Republic of Ireland's radar.
The Italian has so far resisted any temptation to draft Hoolahan back into his plans for this summer’s European Championships. Trap’s rigid four-man midfield system, populated by the likes of Glenn Whelan and Keith Andrews, held sway through a successful qualifying campaign. But if the Italian wants a plan B for the Euros, Hoolahan demonstrated against some of the best players in European club football he can have an impact from the sidelines.
This second half cameo threatened to turn a procession into a meaningful contest before Manchester City moved back through the gears. Hoolahan’s introduction at half-time, alongside Andrew Surman, gave City a threat from midfield sadly lacking in the first period as the likes of David Silva had profited.
Hoolahan’s first foray across the face of the visitors’ penalty area ended with a routine piece of skill and vision to lift into the path of the unattended Grant Holt who dragged wide.
Hoolahan’s movement caused the Blues a major problem in the early phase of the second period. Another burst down the left and link up with Surman created a chance for Elliott Ward. The Irishman then fashioned City’s best chance of an equaliser with a pass for Aaron Wilbraham, but Gareth Barry intervened with a near post block.