Monday 01, October 2012
Super sub Dzeko bags three points for City
MANCHESTER CITY had to be rescued by
an 86th minute Edin Dzeko substitution on Saturday afternoon, as
they came from behind to take three points at Fulham writes Liam McCallion.
The game finished 1-2, but Mancini’s
men had to fight back from a 10th minute Mladen Petric penalty, to
pick up their first three points away from home.
Dzeko, soon to be known as City’s
‘Super Sub’, was brought on with only 4 minutes left in the second half,
replacing Javi Garcia.
It only took 60 seconds for the Bosnian International to make an important impact on the game, smashing home a Gael Clichy cross to seal the win for the blues.
The visitors started the brighter out
of the two sides, but a foul by Pablo Zabeleta on John Arne Riise inside the
penalty lead to the obvious outcome.
A clean penalty strike from Petric, saw Joe Hart go the wrong way as the ball crashed into the right side of the net.
Yet again the defence, lead by Vincent
Kompanny, had failed to keep a clean sheet, something Mancini will certainly be
wanting to improve come Wednesday when they play German Champions, Borussia
Dortmund in the Champions League.
But despite going behind early on to a
harsh penalty, the Italian manager will be encouraged by his team’s commitment
The return of key players such as
David Silva, Yaya Toure and Sergio Aguero alongside Carlos Tevez, who kept his
place from midweek, clearly proved to be what was missing against Villa on
Tuesday, as the majority of attacks from the visitors came through the powerful
forces up front.
Aguero went close with a header from
Silva’s cross and Tevez also saw his shot from 18-yards go wide. Schwarzer kept
his side in front through a scrambled save on the goal line, as Aguero tried to
force through a Silva pass.
Eventually, the hard work of the first
45 minutes paid off as City levelled with two minutes to go until half time. A
Zabeleta cross was met by his fellow Argentine, Aguero, who slotted home at the
far post to make it 1-1 going into the interval and see Fulham concede their
first goal at home this season.
The visitors continued to mount the
pressure on the Cottagers after the break, with City relentlessly attacking.
But Fulham began to counter their opponent’s attacks with Ruiz forcing Joe Hart
to rush off his line to clear danger.
A short lived Fulham attack led to
normal service being resumed as Aguero again, narrowly missing with his header
going inches wide of the far corner.
Balotelli came off the bench and
instantly caused havoc for the home keeper as his shot went wide left, which
concerned the diving Aussie. Bryan Ruiz then had a powerful right footed strike
saved by Harts quick reactions, in what was a rare Fulham attempt at goal.
Mancini then made his intention very
clear in the dying minutes, putting Dzeko on the pitch to try and force a
winner in a cameo appearance.
Within a matter of seconds the sub had
made the impact his manager wanted. A Clichy cross was met first by a Balotelli
header which was poorly cleared by Riise, as the ball landed in the feet of
Dzeko who was 5 yards from goal.
The striker lashed home the ball into the top right hand corner, to score his 4th goal of the season and his 3rd off the bench, as his side went into the lead for the first time.
Late pressure from the hosts wasn’t
enough to bring the score back level as City held on to win the match,
returning the blues to winning ways.
The result of this game could give
Manchester City the boost they need for next week’s game against Borussia
Dortmund, as they look to gain their first points of this year’s Champions League.
A relentless effort paid off for the
big spenders, as they were able to shut out Fulham for majority of the game.
While Fulham will be a bit disappointed with the amount of chances they were able to create, having recently scored 8 in their last 2 home matches this season.
They go to St. Marys next Saturday and manager Martin Jol will be hopeful of picking up three points from the newly promoted side.
Quays News Man of the Match: David
Silva – The Spaniard was outstanding in this match, being involved in nearly
every attack City had. His flawless attacking mentality helped his team mates
go forward continuously and because of this he is a must to start for the game
FULHAM: Schwarzer 7, Riether 6, Hughes 6, Hangeland 6, Riise 6, Baird 7 (Karagounis 3), Sidwell 6, Duff 6, Ruiz 7, Petric 8 (Kacaniklic 5), Rodallega 6.
Subs not used: Stockdale, Kelly, Kasami, Briggs, Smith.
MAN CITY: Hart 7, Zabaleta 6, Kompany 7, Nastasic 6, Clichy 6, Javi Garcia 6 (Dzeko 8), Barry 7 (Nasri 5), Silva 8, Y Toure 7, Aguero 8, Tevez 7 (Balotelli 5).
Subs not used: Pantilimon, Lescott, Milner, Kolarov.
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