Friday, 26 December 2014

West Bromwich Albion 1-3 Manchester City match report Friday 26th December 2014

Manchester City kicked off the busy Christmas period with a comfortable 3-1 boxing day victory over West Bromwich Albion to keep the gap on leaders Chelsea to just three points.

With a run of three games in a week, the Citizens, who were without a recognised striker for the second consecutive match needed all three points to keep the pressure on their main title rivals Chelsea.

It was David Silva, Fernando and Yaya Toure who scored the goals which saw City stroll to an easy win at a snowy Hawthorn’s.

A stronger second half performance by the Baggies’ eased the pressure on manager Alan Irvine who after a string of inconsistent performances, most notably last Saturday after letting slip a two goal lead to Queens Park Rangers, was under a lot of pressure from the home fans.

The champion’s of England only needed eight minutes before they were ahead. A good one-two on the right corner of the penalty area between Jesus Navas and Bacary Sagna resulted in a cross from Navas which deflected up into the area and was dropped by Baggies’ keeper Ben Foster into the path of Fernando who acrobatically scored from three yards out.

Five minutes later City’s lead was doubled. Former Sky Blue Joleon Lescott was adjudged to have brought down David Silva just inside the penalty area and Toure converted coolly from 12 yards.

The game was put beyond any doubt after 34 minutes when Fernando fed Navas on the right hand side who easily found his fellow countryman David Silva who took one touch and then curled a beautiful effort into the far corner.

On the turn of the half, as forecasted the snow started to fall over the West Midlands which made conditions much more difficult. With their three goal lead, the Sky Blues’ sat back in the second half which allowed their opponent’s more possession to create more chances. A cross from the right was placed wide by Sylvestre Varela at the far post wasting their best chance.

They got a mere consolation goal four minutes from the end. A corner from the right hand side saw Joe Hart attempt to punch it away but missed it and rebounded in off an unwitting Brown Ideye to give the Nigerian his first goal since his summer move.

The goal proved to be meaningless as the game finished 3-1. As the old cliché goes it was men against boys and City took all three points back to the North West without expending much of the capacity of their multi million pound squad.

Alan Irvine said “the players are human at the end of the day and they are going to make mistakes” and “it was very difficult to come back in these circumstances. It was pleasing the players showed their mental strength”

Manuel Pellegrini said “to score three goals with no striker, we’re doing very well. We’re not thinking about Chelsea though”.


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