Sunday 21, October 2012
10-man City snatch dramatic late win at The Hawthorns
Substitute Edin Dzeko scores a late double to clinch three points for ten man Manchester City at West Brom.
Dzeko replaced Gareth Barry with only 11 minutes left of the second half, as Mancini took drastic actions to get something out of the game. The rethink of tactics truly paid off as City came away with a third consecutive league victory.
The home side were sure to test their opponents from the get go, as Marc-Antoine Fortune fired a shot from 25 yards out but it drifted wide after 21 seconds of play. City replied with efforts from Mario Balotelli and Micah Richards, but both were dealt with by Ben Foster, despite the latter attempt forcing a finger tip save over the bar.
Midway through the first half, the champions went down to 10 men after James Milner saw red for his defensive actions on Shane Long. Vincent Kompanny lost possession near the halfway line, as James Morrison went on the counter, feeding a pass through to the Irish forward.
Milner tracked back to try and regain the ball but his tackle was deemed to have prevented a goal scoring opportunity after bringing Long down just outside of the City penalty area. Controversy over Mark Clattenburg’s decision was argued, as it appeared the midfielder wasn’t the last man, with Joleon Lescott not far behind his team mate to cover.
Leading up to the interval, City never seemed phased at being down in numbers. Samir Nasri saw his scuffed shot saved whilst Balotelli again tested Foster, after weaving through three West Brom defenders to get his shot away. With minutes left in the first half, Claudio Yacob nearly gave the Baggies the lead after an ambitious shot from 30 yards, but Joe Hart scampered across his goal line to steer the ball away from danger.
As the second half went underway, Carlos Tevez had an early effort parried away from the former Birmingham City keeper, as the visitors started the more positive. Shortly after a Nasri free kick eventually lead to a Yaya Toure header going over by inches, after a scramble in the box.
To prevent the away side dominating play, Steve Clarke brought on Peter Odemwingie to help his front men. This proved effective as the Nigerian, assisted Long from his scuffed shot. The Irishman picked up the wayward attempt and netted from close range after sneaking past the City back line to make it 1-0.
But it wasn’t over, Mancini decided to bring on Dzkeo who has recently been known as ‘Super Sub’. The big number 10 was on for a matter of seconds, before heading home the equaliser, after getting on the end of a Tevez free kick.
Foster was nowhere near the ball as he left a huge gap behind him which made it easy for the substitute to get his fifth goal this season. City where now looking for the three points as Richards had his header cleared off the line.
As the game went into injury time, West Brom sub Roman Lukaku had an overhead kick go out for a corner, which City broke from, Aguero sprinted down the pitch with pace, to set up Dzeko for his second of the game and his sixth of the 2012-13 campaign.
A lovely delivery from the Argentine was controlled well by the Bosnian International who slotted home past Foster with ease, to give his team a remarkable late lead at the Hawthorns. Lukaku nearly equalised immediately but his shot was cleared off the goal line by Kolarov after lovely link up play with Olsson, but City hung on for the three points.
West Brom: Foster (6), Ridgewell (6), Olsson (6), McAuley (7), Tamas (5), Yacob (6), Mulumbu (6), Dorrans (5) (Odemwingie 63’,7) , Morrison (6) (Gera 72’,6), Fortune (5), Long (8) (Lukaku 81’,6).
Subs not used: Luke Daniels, Popov, Rosenberg, Jara Reyes.
Booked: Tamas, Yacob, Long, Fortune.
Goal: Long 67.
Man City: Hart (6), Clichy (6), Lescott (6), Kompany (5), Richards (6), Milner (4), Barry (6) (Dzeko 79’,9) Nasri (5), Toure (6), Balotelli (6) (Aguero 63’,7), Tevez (7) (Kolarov 82’,6).
Subs not used: Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Sinclair, Toure.
Booked: Balotelli, Y Toure.
Sent off: Milner.
Quays News Man of the match – Edin Dzeko
into the game with only 10 minutes left until full time and manages to score
two goals. His cameo appearance clearly altered the result and saved the
blushes of the champions. This kind of form shouldn’t see him sit on the bench
week in week out. Mancini uses him as an impact sub and it definitely works
when City get into sticky situations, but Dzeko would rather start the game
than finish it.
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