Manchester City 3 Lech Poznan 1

Europa League Group Stage, Group A
Thursday 21 September 2010, 20.05 KO

City: Hart, Zabaleta (Bridge 85), Boyata, Lescott, Richards, Vieira, de Jong (c), Silva (Touré 75), Wright-Phillips (Jo 78), A Johnson, Adebayor
Unused: Given, Kompany, Milner, Tevez
Goals: Adebayor (14, 25, 73)

Referee: Alexandru Tudor
Man of the Match: David Silva

City rested several key players for the visit of the Polish side Lech Poznan, but the side was still strong and expected to do the business. And it was nearly a perfect start for the home side, as Adam Johnson sent a low cross into the area, but Wright-Phillips couldn’t stretch enough to touch the ball in.

It was the visiting fans making all the noise, but their team started slowly and an early City goal was the key to silencing them. It came from a neat Vieira pass to Adebayor and a fantastic turn by the Togolese forward. He looked up and stroked it into the net to give City the lead.

The goal gave City a boost and they began to knock the ball around the pitch comfortably, keeping possession well. Chance creation, however, was at a minimum, until Adebayor doubled City’s score and his tally for the evening. Silva found him with a beauty of a cross and the big man leapt up to nod home from inside the six yard box.

Bosacki then picked up a yellow card for a late challenge on Zabaleta before de Jong put in one of his trademark tackles on Injac, winning the ball toughly and fairly.

Before the break, Poznan earned a corner that allowed them one of their isolated shooting chances, but it was from the edge of the box and well over the bar, not troubling Joe Hart.

On the stroke of half time, Johnson swung in a cross that was headed out from under the Poznan bar, as City looked to kill the game off before the restart.

But it was City who struggled to start the second half. The first action saw Poznan begin to dominate possession and it lead to them pulling a goal back. Zabaleta dallied on the ball in the box and his clearance deflected off a Poznan forward and fell to the feet of Tshibamba, who had the simple task of sliding the ball past Hart.

With 54 minutes gone, Silva was unlucky not to add another cracking goal to his City collection, as he beat four Poznan defenders on his way into the box and fired off a low shot, that was flicked into the side netting by the keeper.

Two minutes later, a speculative free kick from Poznan whistled past Hart’s post, before Vieira fired over as the ball broke to him on the edge of the area. Boyata then put in a fantastic tackle on Tshibamba to stop an attack, before Silva dinked a beautiful pass over to Zabaleta, but the ball was just too much for him and it bounced behind.

Tshibamba then had a great chance to equalise, but his effort was well off target when he was in the clear in the box, before City sealed the game. With 73 minutes gone, Silva played an early low cross to Adebayor in the middle and he grabbed his third of the game to win it for City.

Five minutes later, it could have been four, as Adam Johnson beat three Poznan defenders to break into the box. With Adebayor waiting to tap his fourth into the net, Johnson elected to shoot from a tight angle and clipped the top of the bar.

With seven minutes to go, a short backpass from Boyata almost spelled trouble for City. Hart came racing out, but could only clear into the shins of the oncoming forward. Fortunately for City, it lobbed Hart and the bar and bounced behind.

With the scoreline in the other Group A match finishing 1-1, City moved to the top of the group at the half-way stage and look good for qualification into the next round.

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