Dzeko brace seals City win
City's 2-0 win against Hull City last season was arguably a turning point in their quest for title, with the Blues putting on a magnificent performance worthy of champions, despite being reduced to ten men relatively early on in the game. It was a result that gave the players, and fans, belief.
After our indifferent start to the season, there was a sense that yesterday's game had a similar feel. City needed to win, and make a statement of intent to the rest of the league. Manager Manuel Pellegrini opted for Gael Clichy over Aleksandr Kolarov, and Willy Caballero for Joe Hart, but aside from that it was the same team that drew at home to Chelsea last weekend.
Sergio Aguero was rested against Sheffield Wednesday midweek, but was recalled to lead the line and put City up inside seven minutes. The Argentine expertly volleyed home after Pablo Zabaleta had headed the ball into his compatriot's path. City's lead was soon doubled, when Edin Dzeko collected a pass from David Silva on the edge of the box, and curled a wonderful effort over McGregor into the top corner.
At this point it seemed only a question of how many, before slack defending allowed Hull back into the game. Gael Clichy was beaten far too easily by Liam Rosenior before his cross was unluckily headed into his own net by Eliaquim Mangala. The Frenchmen then made another error, gifting Hull a penalty by clumsily bringing down Abel Hernandez just inside the box. The Uruguayan stepped up, and slotted the penalty past Willy Caballero.
City wil have been frustrated to go in level at half-time, but came out for the second side looking determined to make amends. Manuel Pellegrini played a tactical masterstroke, by replacing Fernandinho with Jesus Navas and switching to a diamond, leaving Yaya Toure as the defensive midfielder. City seized control of the game, and in the 68th minute Dzeko restored City's lead, latching onto David Silva's through ball before finishing past Mcgregor. There was also time for City to add a fourth, with Frank Lampard tapping in after good work from Pablo Zabaleta. It rounded off a good week for him personally, and also for Manchester City.