The Ped Report - City 1-0 Bolton Wanderers
If ever a match could be termed a 1-0 battering this was it. And how the light of lady fortune shone on Bolton today.
The stage was set from the off when Yaya Toure's through ball found it's way to Tevez, who advanced on goal and hit a cross shot into the far corner.
If Bolton harboured any thoughts of playing 1-9-1-0 it quickly went out of the window. Their need to come out and try to redress the balance left City with room all over the field to ply their trade in wonderful fashion. Fluent movement, ball retention and chance after chance after chance.
Tevez had already decided that every time he saw the penalty area he would have a shot on goal even if new hero Balotelli was better placed..and many times he was. Balotelli demonstrated some quite stunning football, played with an air of confidence not always seen at Eastlands and showed us once again that he is a man in a hurry to become the best player on the planet.
His speed off the mark from a standing start is probably unequalled anywhere in the world. He could and should have had a bagful today. Equally so should Tevez and so could Silva, whose stunning shot rattled Jussi's post, which might still be vibrating now.
Bolton did try hard and the new ethos paraded by Owen Coyle's men certainly added to the game. But today they didn't really look threatening, although they could have gained some profit from a couple of poor punches from Hart.
Today was about City, today was about putting a tricky fixture to bed and hopefully scoring goals. The goals didn't quite happen but a very resolute back four ensured that there would be no slip-ups today (although my heart did sink when Richards entered the field towards the end, with visions of Stoke still in the forefront of my mind).
Referee Andre Marriner took a leaf out of Mark Clattenburg's book and decided quickly that he would give City nothing today other than the odd free kick towards the end of the match in 'dead' areas. Why was the Bolton player raising his arm in the box and making clear contact with the ball not penalised and sent off? Why was Kolarov sent off when there had hardly been a strong tackle in the whole match. I've not yet seen the replays but no doubt some Ashburton Assassin will correct me.
From top to bottom today City were very worthy of a win but a bigger one than 1-0. The woodwork seemed to move towards the ball and every time that Jussi spilled one, not even Balotelli was quick enough to get onto it.
So the plaudits go once again to Carlos Tevez. A cute goal plus a complete all energy performance deserving of the ovation as Mancini allowed him his accolade close to the end of the match, before going nuts about his 'greedy' players. If Tevez or Balotelli or both score regularly who cares?
Despite everything I thought that Silva was awesome again today. I have been a purveyor if this man's talent for weeks and the only thing he didn't do today was set one up for Balotelli. None of his through balls found the six yard line where Balotelli hovers.
At the back what more can anyone say about Vincent Kompany? It is quite fascinating that the big boys of the press haven't latched on to this young man yet. He is probably the most consistently good centre back in the Premier League this season and he regards himself as a midfielder! If any chips are down, VK puts in a shift. He even set up, was it, Barry with a very cheeky back heel which should have finished up in the net.
Kolarov before his unfortunate dismissal was a colossus. He is a very strong man, a robust tackler with a ferocious shot. He can motor up the touchline, he can defend, he can join up with the attack.
It is starting to come together now and we are not far from where Mancini wants us to be. Because we can now defend well, it is only about goals for City and if we can get a few more, we could be carrying our flag to the top of the hill by New Year especially if those above dilute their pickings by taking draws off each other and nobody gets three points.
We have to go to West Ham minus Tevez and Kolarov, but now we have the men to cover. We should still be too strong for the Hammers.