Barclay’s Premier League
Saturday 13 November 2010, 15.00 KO
City: Hart, Boateng, K Touré, Kompany, Kolarov (Zabaleta 82), de Jong, Y Touré, Milner (Santa Cruz 67), A Johnson, Silva, Tevez (c) (Barry 84)
Unused: Given, Richards, Vieira, Jo
Booked: Tevez, de Jong
Referee: Michael Jones
Man of the Match: Vincent Kompany
After a disappointing Manchester derby, the fans at the City of Manchester Stadium wanted a good start to the match with Birmingham. But, to their disappointment, the game started flatly, as if a continuation of the fixture from midweek.
In fact, aside from exchanging corners neither side could find a shooting chance until midway into the first half. Kolarov found Tevez with a beautiful ball over the top and he laid it on to Johnson. Crowded out, Johnson couldn’t get a shot away, but it broke to Tevez and he fired low and hard across the box. It was begging for a touch, but it never came.
Kolarov then shot straight at Foster after his corner kick was cleared straight back to him, before City were perhaps fortunate not to concede a penalty as Johnson clipped Ridgewell in the box.
As half time quickly approached, City had the ball in the net, but it was ruled out for a handball by Tevez as he nipped in front of Ben Foster. The skipper was booked and the game stumbled to the break.
The first minute of the second half almost had City in front. A brilliant ball into the box for Milner to chase put him through and he got a touch to get past Foster, but his shot was cleared off the line by Carr, after his goalkeeper was beaten.
Kolarov then smacked a free kick straight at Foster, before Larsson did the same at Hart for Birmingham. Johnson then had a shot blocked from a Kolarov corner, before Silva almost slipped Kolo Touré through, but his pass was just too strong.
Just after the hour mark, Tevez almost broke the deadlock, but his shot was just wide of the post as Foster scrambled down. Fahey then forced Hart to stretch as he sent a snap shot towards goal, but it was comfortable for the City keeper.
Tevez’s first touch then let him down as a drilled Kolarov cross reached him in the box and Santa Cruz rose well in the area, but he couldn’t get enough power on the header and it didn’t trouble Foster.
With ten minutes to go, Cameron reminded City that Birmingham were dangerous on the break as he latched onto a long ball ahead of Kolo Touré and fired in a shot into the side netting.
De Jong was denied his first City goal by Foster, as he curled one towards the top corner, before Foster made a meal of a shot from outside the box, but Santa Cruz couldn’t get there before the Birmingham defence.
After a disappointing performance in midweek, the fans weren’t happy with this showing by Roberto Mancini’s men. Nevertheless, City sit in fourth place and have another clean sheet this season.