Barclay’s English Premiership
Tuesday 9 February, 19:45 KO
City: Given, Zabaleta, Bridge (Wright-Phillips 69), Touré (c) (Lescott 55), Kompany, de Jong, Barry, Vieira, A. Johnson (Sylvinho 85), Tevez, Adebayor
Unused: Taylor, Onuoha, Ireland, Petrov
Goals: Tevez (pen 32), Adebayor (73)
Referee: Michael Jones
Man of the Match: Adam Johnson
After the disappointment of the KC Stadium, City needed a good performance to bounce back. In truth it never looked like coming, though Bolton seemed content to contain the home side for large spells. City began the brighter, with Kompany cutting out a pass to Davies and an Adebayor bicycle kick landing just wide of the post.
With 13 minutes gone, Adam Johnson had the chance to get a shot in after some neat play between Adebayor and Tevez, but his low effort was deflected into the side netting for a corner.
City’s new signing then jinked past one Bolton defender like he wasn’t there before breaking towards the box. With fans in the ground looking for him to take on the next Bolton man, he looked for Adebayor outside, but the big front man had just strayed into an offside position.
Just after the half hour, Johnson was central to City taking the lead. He skipped into the box by the right by-line and was brought down by Ricketts. Tevez stepped up and blasted the penalty down the middle. It hit Jaaskelainen, who will feel he should have saved it, and just found the back of the net.
Touré and Given then combined to deny Elmander in the box, before the City keeper had to be on his toes to change his body position quickly to push away a shot from Muamba that had deflected off Kompany.
Just before half time, Adebayor should have done better when a misplaced pass could only be flicked on by Ricketts to the City striker, but he snatched at his effort and it was well wide of the Bolton goal.
Right on half time, Bolton had the chance to equalise after a dubious handball decision against Barry. Almost all of the City side were in Given’s man wall, but it was enough to block the ball to safety.
With 55 minutes gone, Tevez had a go at goal from a free kick from about 30 yards. It looked like it was going well over until it dipped at the last moment and hit the top of the bar, with Jaaskelainen stranded.
On the hour, Adam Johnson was a Jaaskelainen fingertip away from opening his City account, as he cut inside from the right and chipped a ball at the back post. It was going in until the Bolton keeper tipped it wide, as Tevez loomed.
Bolton were trying to force a City mistake at the back with many crosses, but Kompany, Touré and Lescott dealt well with anything in the air. Cohen tried a back-heel from a corner, but it was wide, before a Tevez back-heel set Barry free in the box, but he couldn’t get a shot in thanks to an excellent Muamba tackle.
With 73 minutes gone, two former Gunners combined to give City a two goal cushion. Vieira played a neat pass over the top to Adebayor, who was just onside, and he brought it down superbly, before vollying it straight past the onrushing Jaaskelainen.
Four minutes later, Paul Robinson was lucky a yellow card wasn’t worse after his not-so-pretty challenge on Wright-Phillips, which had the England winger tumbling head over heels. Fortunately, the City man was fine and was able to be flattened by Taylor shortly after.
Kevin Davies then headed over for the visitors, before Elmander poked a Bolton free kick onto the post. Zat Knight then wasted the chance to pull a goal back from a corner, well into stoppage time.