Carling Cup Round 2
Thursday 27 August 2009, 20:00 KO
City: Given, Richards, Lescott, Toure (c), Bridge, Wright-Phillips, Ireland, Barry, Robinho (Bellamy 72), Tevez (de Jong 86), Adebayor
Unused: Taylor, Zabaleta, Onuoha, Petrov, Weiss
Goals: Wright-Phillips (50), Tevez (70)
Referee: Darren Deadman
Man of the Match: Stephen Ireland
The second round of the League Cup has been a stumbling block for City in recent seasons, with the blues going out at this stage to Doncaster, Colchester and Brighton in three of the last four seasons. So Mark Hughes fielded a full strength side to make sure it didn’t happen again.
But it was the home side who started the better, with City unable to get a foot on the ball. Clint Hill had the first chance of the game, but his header was powered straight at Shay Given, just before Micah Richards picked up a yellow card for a foul on Victor Moses.
Moses then forced a fine save from Given, from more Palace pressure. City should then have taken the lead through Robinho, but the forward was flagged offside despite being in his own half when the ball was played.
Freddie Sears then wasted another excellent chance for Palace, when he broke the offside trap and faced Given in a one-on-one. But the Irish keeper stood up well and blocked his shot with his chest.
The visitors then had a spell of possession, before the offside flag was raised against Robinho once more, but this time it was the correct decision.
City were on top, as the half came to a close, with Julian Speroni in the Palace goal pulling off a fine save from Adebayor to keep the score at 0-0. He then stopped a Tevez shot with a brave save, after the little Argentinian had played a neat one-two with Stephen Ireland.
Palace had the most of the early second-half possession, but it was City who used the ball best. Some neat play from Robinho and Stephen Ireland found Wright-Phillips unmarked and he was able to lash a shot into the back of the net, giving the visitors the lead.
It could have been two and then three almost instantly, as first Speroni denied Adebayor and then the crossbar denied Wright-Phillips, as City began to take control of the game.
City added a second to their total 20 minutes from the end from a corner. New signing Lescott made a run to the near post, dragging two defenders out of the way for Carlos Tevez to get his first goal for City, neatly nodding the ball home from close range.
Palace’s Shaun Derry then had a chance saved by Given, before the referee turned down two late shouts for penalties for the home side and City were able to see out the game comfortably.
It will be a relief for Mark Hughes to get through to the next round. The tie was a potential banana skin and, despite some early pressure, City coped well and were able to convert their chances to take them into round three.