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Manchester City 3 - Red Bull Salzburg 0

Cold and Blustery Eastlands

20.05

Attendance: 37,552

City Ease Through Group Stage

Manchester City guaranteed Europa League Group Stage qualification with a crushing 3-0 victory over Group A opposition Red Bull Salzburg.

Two goals from the ever-entertaining Mario Balotelli and a perfect solo goal from Adam Johnson demonstrated City`s control on a cold, frosty Manchester evening.

The City faithful who braved the blustery and treacherous conditions were treated to an entertaining and attacking game which could have easily provided more than the three goals we were treated with.

Constant flurries of City`s potent attacking play - despite eight changes from the draw at Stoke - caused the Salzburg defence uncontrollable problems and City`s profligacy was the only concern.

Balotelli lead the line with dominance and power and when Zabaleta crossed into the visitor`s box, one delicately guided leg from the Italian forward illustrated his destructive technique and ensured his left foot volley found the net.

City continued to control proceedings and dominate their weaker opponents, but failed to make their openings count. Balotelli, Shaun Wright-Phillips and James Milner- the heart of City`s attacks - all had chances thwarted.

When City`s second goal arrived it was again courtesy of the charismatic Balotelli. His power and speed were proving difficult to manage and after Patrick Vieira`s shot-come-cross was deflected into his path, he comfortably slotted home.

Rewarded with a start after seemingly disappearing into the abyss, Wright-Phillips tormented his opposition and delighted the home side with his speed, drive and energy.

Wright-Phillips was constantly switching wings with Johnson causing mass confusion amongst the defensive ranks.

However, when Wright-Phillips operated on his more-favoured right hand side he was excellent. This tactical switch also allowed Johnson to switch to the left where he netted an inspirational solo goal.

After collecting the ball on the touch-line the skilful winger cleverly skipped past two challenges with ease before moving the ball onto his right foot where he curled home.

The chances continued to come in quick succession, but three goals were enough to earn City a safe passage to the last 32.

Star Player

Wright-Phillips. Ran his heart out and if he can match the display consistently he does have a future at the club.

Player Ratings


Given-6

Had very little to do on a rare start.

Boateng-7

Was always a difficult opponent.

Toure-6

Lead the side, but had no worries.

Lescott-6

Nothng to do on a quite night.

Zabaleta-6

His 100% effort wasn't needed in a very comfortable win.

Wright-Phillips 8

Ran his heart out and if he can match the display consistently he does have a future at the club.

Milner- 8

Ran the heart of midfield.

Vieira-6

Defensively sound.

Johnson-7

His crossing let him down on occasions, but his skill and goal provided great entertainment.

Jo-6

Had chances to score but didn't take them.

Balotelli-8

Two goal hero and could have had more. His talent is undoubted, lets hope he remains consistent.

Adebayor-5

Did very little when he came on and missed one great chance.

Richards-5

Had absolutely nothing to do.




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The journalist

Writer: Yak Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday December 1 2010

Time: 10:46PM

Your Comments

Great summing up QAB it was snow joke Liked Milner & SWP was it a poo for Johnson ..redeemed himself after early crap corners and passing
taggarts nose
An easy win and I would agree with most assessments, except it pains to me to say SWP. He was entertaining as he ran and showed his skills but once again his end product was non-existent and if that isn't there, the most important fragment of the game is missing. Milner was great today, his best performance in blue so far, probably as he was in his best position for once.
StuMCFC
glad we've qualified now & get on with the league
arthur7171
Brilliant! Nice to see SWP get a game. You improve with games.. well I do...
roy harper
Personally would have given Jo more than a 6 - if Balotelli had passed to him instead of going for glory he'd have had a tap-in. Stand out moment for me was when he ran all the way back to his own corner flag to make a perfect sliding tackle on a Salzburg player. Very impressed with the way Jo is playing, his touch and passing have improved immensely and I reckon Mancini will try to keep hiom for a bit to see if he can develop him some more. SWP did some nice things, but as Stu says, his end product was sorley lacking. Would love to see him do well for us, but if his lack of sharpness is down to not getting much playing time then it's a catch-22 situation I'm afraid.
fifthcolumnblue
We've got something very special in Balotelli. Mancio looks to be bringing him along cautiously.
Johnny Baguette
 

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