Date:Wednesday March 4 2009
Manchester City dominated their midweek game to take a comfortable three points away from Aston Villa. City`s performance will certainly raise even more questions into how they can play so well at home but fail to show anything away.
The game started well for City and especially Shaun Wright-Phillips who managed to wriggle past a couple of challenges before firing his shot past Brad Friedel`s right-hand post.
City`s began to dominate all the possession within the first 15 minutes, and Friedel was certainly the busier keeper. Elano, who looked very impressive, found Stephen Ireland with a world-class ball, but the Irishmen failed to catch his shot cleanly and the danger was clear.
All the worry of an under strength team were quickly disappearing as City really began to open Villa up. Zabaleta delivered a great cross, deep into the Villa box, which forced Cuellar to hack the ball clear before Caicedo could set himself for the shot.
However like past games, City were missing great chances. Nigel de Jong started a move on the 21st minute which should have been concluded with a Wright-Phillips goal. The "wee" lad managed to skew his shot wide when it would have been easier to score.
However what they failed to do against West Ham, they managed to do here tonight. City did manage to take the lead but only from a dead-ball situation. Great work from Wright-Phillips forced Milner to commit in a tackle inside the spot and the Ref had no hesitation into pointing to the spot. Elano stepped up and fired a perfect penalty beyond the despairing Friedel.
City where completely in control of this game now but seemed to take their foot off the gas for the rest of the half. Although SWP did manage to which across a fantastic cross that Ireland nearly converted at full stretch.
Halftime: Manchester City 1 Aston Villa 0.
With no shots at all through-out the first half, everybody knew Aston Villa would come out with something to prove. Their halftime sub proved how unhappy their manager was, as Carew who has a habit of scoring against City, took to the field.
Villa began to keep the ball better but failed to really penetrate any sort of attack. City where not helped when de Jong ran off to be replaced by Fernandes. Nigel ran straight down the tunnel with Hughes`s approval? It will be interesting to see what was wrong with him.
The ever impressive Wright-Phillips continued to be a menace. Another trademark run sent Fernandes to the byeline, and although nothing came of this attack, the signs were still good for City.
Ched Evans then replaced Caicedo after 73 minutes. The Bulky forward played a very good game and looks like a very good prospect. However Evans almost created the second goal with his first touch! He passed the ball from his chest to Elano who forced a fantastic save from Friedel.
The forty thousand odd fans in the stadium started to believe that City could take the points with only ten minutes left. The fans where on their feet shortly after when Bojinov was brought on to replace Elano who also had a very impressive game.
A couple of good crosses were all City really had to deal with, as the clock began to tick down to the fulltime whistle. However there was still time for my man of the match to score. Shaun Wright-Phillips exchanged passes with Ireland before slotting the ball past Friedel. Job done! Great goal!
City then almost had another chance to add insult to injury when Ireland could have scored, but the keeper managed to scramble the ball clear.
Fulltime: Manchester City 2 Aston Villa 0
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Date:Wednesday March 4 2009
|2. Man City||23||14||6||3||+23||48|
|3. Man Utd||23||12||7||4||+17||43|
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