Barclay’s English Premiership
Monday 28 December 2009, 19:45 KO
City: Given, Richards, Kompany, Touré (c), Zabaleta, de Jong, Barry, Ireland (Garrido 55), Petrov (Robinho 85), Bellamy, Tevez (Sylvinho 90+2)
Unused: Taylor, Weiss, Vidal, Boyata
Goals: Tevez (33, 85), Garrido (68)
Booked: Zabaleta, Tevez
Referee: Michael Jones
Man of the Match: Carlos Tevez
After a comfortable victory against Stoke at home, Mancini’s City side travelled to Molineux to take on Wolves who would be a physical side and no pushovers, despite being new to the division. City, though, rolled their sleeves up and got on with the job and produced an excellent performance to boot.
The first action of the game saw the home side win a free kick on their left wing, but, straight from it, Doyle was pulled up for a foul and City had the ball back. The home side then had the first shot of the game, after 13 minutes, but it was well over the bar from Surman, as Richards closed him down.
Two minutes later and City had a free kick in a promising position after Bellamy was fouled, but the Wolves defence was organised and got the ball away comfortably
With 21 minutes on the clock, Given was called into action to make the first save of the night. A long, driven shot from Henry was bending away from the Irishman, who got down well to hold on.
Just before the half hour, Tevez screwed a shot well wide of the goal after some neat play from Bellamy, before the little Welshman should have given City the lead, hitting the ball over from inside the six yard box after some excellent work from Tevez, with Hahnemann nowhere in sight.
But then City took the lead, thanks to a deflection on a Carlos Tevez and the little Argentinean had his seventh goal in as many games. Bellamy crossed for Tevez who somewhat scuffed his shot, but it hit Berra and sent Hahnemann the wrong way.
Tevez’s fellow countryman Zabaleta then found himself in the book for a foul on Zubar and Surman swung the resulting free kick into the box, but Richards was there to clear.
Just before half time, Hahnemann made a mess of collecting a corner, but there was no City player close enough to capitalise and he got it behind for another corner kick. This time, though, he took Petrov’s cross cleanly.
Wolves had the first chance of the second half, but Henry hit the ball over the bar from the edge of the box. City should then have doubled their lead seconds later, after Petrov’s excellent pass sent Bellamy through, but he could only poke the ball wide of the goal.
An excellent block from Zabaleta then went unnoticed by the officials, who awarded City a goal kick after the full back superbly sent Iwelumu’s shot from just inside the box over the bar with his toes.
Just before the hour, City broke a spell of good Wolves possession with a counter attack, but Tevez elected to shoot inside of play in Bellamy and his shot was an easy take for Hahnemann.
On 64 minutes, Given was called into action as Kevin Doyle outmuscled Kolo Touré to get to the ball first and fire low, with his fellow countryman making the block with his knees to concede a corner.
City then doubled their lead from an unlikely source. Mancienne bodychecked Gareth Barry as the England international tried to break into the box and, from the resulting free kick, Javier Garrido curled the ball around the wall and into the net, leaving Hahnemann standing.
Hahnemann then went into the referee’s notebook for a bizarre dissent, throwing the ball fiercely at Tevez as the City man was offside. He was feeling aggrieved that Bellamy wasn’t flagged for offside in the build up to City’s second goal, but the Welshman never became active as Barry was fouled.
With 79 minutes on the clock, City were knocking the ball around comfortably and the travelling support were clearly enjoying themselves, cheering every successful pass – and there must have been thirty or so cheers.
City then should have made it three, as some fantastic one-touch football produced the move of the match, with Petrov finding Bellamy and he, in turn, finding Tevez, who tried to chip Hahnemann, but it landed just wide.
Robinho then joined the action and will have done his case for a place in the starting line-up no harm when he crossed for Tevez to double his tally and score City’s third. The Brazilian fired it in low to the Argentinian’s feet and he skipped to the left and fired it into the bottom corner of the net.
It was a battling performance from City, who had just a little bit more quality than Wolves on the night and could have scored more. It was a deserved victory and a busy Christmas is looking period is looking good for the new manager.