Manchester city kept their title hopes alive with a comfortable 3-2 victory over a West Bromwich Albion team who put up a brave fight in the latter stages of the game.
The mancunians took control of the game from the off and despite a few half chances from the home team, they struck first after nine minutes. The sheer speed of the passing by the home team was too much and a long ball from the returning captain Vincent Kompany fell into the path of Yaya Toure on the edge of the box who played a perfectly weighted ball to the full back Pablo Zabaleta on the by-line. The Argentinian cut the ball back to his fellow countryman Sergio Aguero and he fired the ball past keeper Boaz Myhill who was left helpless in goal.
The away team doubled their lead on 24 minutes as another long ball from central defender Martin Demichelis was controlled by Toure. He played another perfectly weighted ball but this time to the left hand touchline where full back Aleksander Kolarov played a cutting ball across the box and the big Ivory Coast man Toure was there again and cleverly opened up his body to guide the ball past keeper Myhill to state City's dominance of the game.
And to kill the game off they added a third with just 18 minutes of the game left. A bursting and powerful run into the left hand side of the box by Koloarov resulted in a mistimed challenge by Baggies defender Steven Reid. Referee Chris Foy pointed straight to the spot much to the disgust of the home fans. Toure stepped up and converted cooly into the bottom left of the goal and ensured that the away fans were heading back up the M6 with all three points.
Despite this seemingly insurmountable score line the home team, who were without treasured midfielder Youssuf Mulumbu who was absent due to suspension, mounted a comeback with six minutes of the 90 remaining. Some creative work on the edge of the box by substitute Matej Vydra released Liam Ridgewell on the left corner of the 18 yard box. His dangerous cross along the floor was too much for the city defence and substitute Victor Anichebe poked the ball against six feet eight goalkeeper Costel Pantillimon who was in the wrong place at the wrong time after sprawling for the original cross and the ball rebounded off him for a consolation goal for the Baggies.
The comeback looked to be gathering steam on 90 minutes. After receiving a pass on the edge of the box, Anichebe spun off his marker Demichelis and thumped the ball into the bottom right corner past Pantillimon to ignite some hope for a West Bromwich Albion team who looked beaten until that stage of the game.
However the referee blew his whistle a few seconds later to record a second win in seven on the road for title chasing city. The Baggies seem to have hit a blank spot in recent times without a win in four games