Barclay’s English Premiership
Sunday 31 January 2010, 13:30 KO
City: Given, Garrido, Touré (c), Kompany (Boyata 59), Zabaleta (Onuoha 38), de Jong, Barry, Ireland, Petrov (Bellamy 73), Tevez, Adebayor
Unused: Taylor, Sylvinho, Ibrahim, Wright-Phillips
Goals: Adebayor (40), Kompany (45+1)
Booked: de Jong
Referee: Martin Atkinson
Man of the Match: Kolo Touré
After a draining game in midweek, it’s hardly surprising that City didn’t get off to a quick start. Though the visitors didn’t look like that were that interested in committing men forward for large spells of the first half.
John Utaka had their first chance, skewing an effort high and wide after Given couldn’t get more than a fingertip on a Danny Webber cross. Jamie O’Hara had an effort on goal after an initial corner cross was cleared, but Given held it comfortably.
With 13 minutes gone, Ireland had an effort deflected over for a corner, after some neat build-up play from the home side. Ten minutes later, a Petrov free kick was straight at the wall and his follow-up effort, after collecting the rebound and cutting inside, was just wide of the post.
City then lost Zabaleta to injury and, while temporarily down to ten men, Vanden Borre broke into the City box, hitting his effort straight at his fellow Belgian, Vincent Kompany. It deflected off the City man, beat Shay Given, but struck the crossbar, with the follow-up belted clear by Kompany as Ireland and Touré guarded the line.
Ireland then played an excellent ball over the top for Adebayor, who was just onside, and his first touch was perfect, allowing him to volley past David James with his second and put City a goal in front.
Then, as the board went up for added time, it got better for the home side. Vincent Kompany was left unchallenged from a left wing corner and he didn’t need asking twice, powering a header straight past the Portsmouth keeper for 2-0.
Portsmouth almost hit back ten minutes into the second half as Jamie O’Hara had a go at Given’s goal, after Touré had initially cleared a corner, but it was just wide of the post.
Just before the hour mark, City lost Kompany to injury after the centre-back had stretched too far to make a tackle. His fellow countryman Boyata was on to replace him, after his excellent performances since breaking into the first team.
Nigel de Jong then picked up a yellow card for a jump tackle on Hayden Mullins, before Martin Petrov had another attempt from a free-kick, but it was straight at David James.
With just over 20 minutes to go, Danny Webber was left embarrassed as he fell over his own feet when trying to slot the ball past Shay Given, after the City keeper had parried an effort across the box.
Tevez was then unlucky not to have added to City’s lead, after receiving an excellent pull back from Bellamy. He kept his cool, stepped around the challenge of Ben-Haim and shot past David James, but the ball hit the outside of the post and went behind.
Gareth Barry should have done better with a free header from a Bellamy corner with just six minutes to go, before Kolo Touré put in a fantastic tackle on John Utaka, keeping City’s clean sheet.