City Beat Bolton
City Of Manchester Stadium
Sunday 24th May 2009, 4pm
Manchester City fans watched their team finish the season off with a win after Equadorian striker Felipe Caicedo fired home inside 10 minutes.
It was a fantastically worked goal, Stephen Ireland's chip over the Bolton back line was acrobatically crossed in by Micah Richards with Felipe Caicedo on hand for a simple tap in.
City's record signing Robinho managed to strike the post from an acute angle after a surging run from the busy Caicedo.
Bolton keeper Juusi Jaaskelainen was saved late on from Robinho and Shaun Wright-Phillips as City pushed hard for another goal.
The game started slowly with all the hallmarks of a game with nothing to play for until Robinho brightened things up in the Manchester sunshine as he forced the first chance of the match, finding suprise inclusion Shaun Wright-Phillips on the edge of the box- his effort comfortably saved by the Bolton keeper.
City began to look more industrous going forward and shortly after they took the lead.
Robinho passed a free kick to Ireland who chipped the ball behind the Bolton defense to find Micah Richards. Richards skillfully crossed in an overhead kick with the grateful Caicedo meeting the ball to fire home from close range for his eighth goal of the season.
The goal set the wheels in motion and Wright-Phillips was involved again, this time hitting a 25-yard shot only to be thwarted once again by the heroics of Jaaskelainen.
Gary Megson's side had a penalty claim when the ball appeared to hit the arm of Caicedo but it was unintentional and referee Mark Clattenburg waved play on.
Bolton continued to push forward with Kevin Davies their main threat. The final ball just wasn't there and it was City who looked most likely to score.
Caicedo broke down the wing from deep in his own half, the Manchester City striker passing across the face of the goal eluding everybody. Ireland picked it up on the far post and played in Robinho, the Brazilain smashing his shot against the near post.
Minutes later Robinho took advantage of a mistake by Shittu, a perfectly timed intervention by Samuel denying him a supurb chance on goal.
Robinho then delighted the bumber crowd with his samba skills as he hit a backheel over his head while lying on the pitch.
Micah Richards was the next City player to bring the crowd to their feet, his effort denied by the brilliant Jaaskelainen to ensure the score stayed at 1-0.
Bolton almost managed to pull level when Shay Given punched the ball out to Gary Cahill on the edge of the box, the Bolton man hit a low volley pash Given but Richards was on hand to clear off the goal line.
As the half came to a close, the hard-working Wright-Phillips had another oportunity as he set about on one of his trademark runs that finished with a tame shot straight at Jaaskelainen.
Half-time: Manchester City 1 Bolton 0
The second half was not nearly as entertaining as the first, the Manchester sun reminding players that they were 45 minutes away from hitting the beach.
Bolton kept things tight at the back and chances for both sides were few and far between.
Just before the hour mark, Robinho created yet another opportunity as his long run ended with a pass to Wright-Phillips, his shot sweeping wide across the face of goal.
On 66 minutes, Garry Cahill went down injured and the fans were treated to a pitch invader, the scallywag running a third of the pitch before heading back into the stands.
Hughes brought off Stephen Ireland with 20 minutes to go, the OSC's Player of the Year recieving a standing ovation.
Ireland was replaced with Premier League Debutee Vladimir Weiss, the former academy player becoming the 27th Manchester City player to graduate into the first team.
Wright-Phillips and Weiss created a couple of good opportunities to excite the fans, the latter ending an adventurous run with a powerful shot that was blocked by Samuel.
Bolton came close to clawing a goal back inside the last 10 minutes although McCann's effort was deflected away.
Manchester City broke immediately from the Bolton attack, the ever impressive Caicedo backheeling to Robinho, whose long range shot was saved by Jaaskelainen with an incredible flying save to keep Bolton in the game.
Moments later, City fans gave the biggest cheer of the afternoon as another debutee stepped out onto the Eastlands pitch.
Brazilian bench warmer and fan favourite Glauber Berti came on for Wayne Bridge, the cult hero cheered with every touch of the ball.
The final whistle blew and the win was a welcome one for the fans who had great expectations this season but were left disappointed. Fortunately we are still 'The Richest Club In The World', and fans have more than enough to look forward to in the busy transfer market as we step up our ambitions of breaking the 'big four' monopoly.
Full-time: Manchester City 1 Bolton 0
He is a cult hero amongst City fans and while he has sat on the bench for the whole of the season, this last few minutes that he graced the field was greeted by the fans with a true hero's welcome, their appreciation for his patience raising the roof off of the stadium.