UEFA Europa League, Playoff Round, Leg Two
Thursday 26 August 2010, 20.00 KO
City: Hart, Richards, Kompany (c), Boyata, Zabaleta, de Jong (Cunningham 62), Vieira, Wright-Phillips, Silva, Jo, Adebayor
Unused: Given, A Johnson, Barry, Lescott, Tevez, Y Touré
Goals: Wright-Phillips (42), Boyata (57)
Referee: Jorge De Sousa
Man of the Match: Dedryck Boyata
With an away goal to his side’s name and a comfortable, if not spectacular, performance last week in Romania, Roberto Mancini gave some of the fringe players a chance to shine in the second leg of the tie with FC Timisoara. And it was another game that turned out to be a comfortable City win.
City dominated possession in the opening stages, but struggled to really test the visiting goalkeeper, with Zabaleta having a close range shot blocked after Jo slipped him in and Pantilimon making a meal of a cross from Wright-Phillips, just getting enough on it to punch it away.
It felt like the second leg of a Europa League tie, with City content to keep the ball, making their opposition doing the chasing and just waiting for the openings to appear.
With just over half an hour gone, David Silva provided a beauty of a cross for Jo, who nodded towards goal. But it was straight at Pantilimon, who pushed it over the bar with a strong left hand.
Minutes later, Adebayor could have given the home side the lead as he was found by Silva running into the box. But he stroked his shot just wide of the far post, with the keeper beaten.
From an almost identical through ball, this time from the veteran Patrick Vieira, City took the lead. It was Wright-Phillips running into the box to collect the perfectly weighted pass and he touched it first time past the defenders and into the bottom corner.
Just before half time, the visiting captain, Alexa, fired a shot over Hart’s crossbar, warning the home side that the tie wasn’t quite won yet, even if a Timisoara comeback was very unlikely.
The first action of the second half saw City double their advantage. A perfect delivery from David Silva at a right wing corner landed right on Dedryck Boyata’s head. The young Belgian nodded it back across goal and past the keeper, grabbing himself his first senior goal.
From the restart, it should have been three, as Adebayor latched onto a short passback in the box, but he could only poke the ball wide when it seemed easier to score.
Then, on the hour mark, Jo could have extended City’s lead with a header from a corner, but it flashed just past the post and the fight appeared to have died from the visitors.
The final action of the game, which, since the second goal of the night, had become a training session, saw David Silva go close to scoring his first City goal after a mazy run in the box. After jinking one way and then the other, his shot at the near post was heading in until the goalkeeper touched it over the bar.
It will be City in the hat for the group stages tomorrow.