Imperious Blues cruise to victory
FA Premier League
Wednesday 29 January 2014, 19.45 KO
City: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany (c), Demichelis, Clichy, Toure (Nastasic 64), Fernandinho, Navas, Silva (Kolarov 80), Aguero (Jovetic 45), Dzeko
Unused: Pantilimon, Lescott, Rodwell, Negredo
Goals: Aguero (15), Toure (pen 51), Dzeko (54), Jovetic (78), Kompany (89)
Booked: Toure, Demichelis, Aguero, Zabaleta
Referee: Andre Marriner
Man of the Match: David Silva
City were out of the traps quickly, taking the game to their opponents. Just five minutes had been played when the Blues fashioned the first good chance to open the scoring, but Aguero’s shot bounced off the post and out to safety, as he fired across Lloris. Dzeko blazed over after a neat one-two with Aguero, as he shot from the corner of the box.
But with 15 minutes on the clock, the visitors opened the scoring. Aguero has been in terrific goalscoring form this season and there was no change at the Lane. Silva slipped a brilliant through-ball for the Argentine, who beat the offside trap to place it past Lloris.
It took a brilliant save from the Tottenham goalkeeper to keep the score at 1-0. Clichy crossed for Aguero to head and it looked like his effort was destined for the net, but Lloris clawed it out before it crossed the line. The Argentine quickly had another header cleared off the line, before his volley from the rebound was a foot over the bar. City could have had a penalty for a handball by Dawson, too.
Tottenham thought they had equalised with ten minutes of the half to play, but the offside flag was up against Adebayor in the build up. A free kick was crossed into the middle where the Togolese striker jumped to head it, but missed – leaving the centre-back to nod home. He was onside, but his striker was interfering with play in front of him.
On the stroke of half time, the Blues lost Aguero to another injury. The striker pulled up holding his hamstring and his game was over. Demichelis was booked for a seemingly fair challenge on Adebayor, before the centre-back headed harmlessly over at the near post.
Early in the second half, the visitors imposed themselves further on the game. Toure had the chance to add the Blues’ second of the night from the penalty spot when Rose was adjudged to have brought down Dzeko. It looked a harsh decision as the full back looked to have timed his tackle well to win the ball, but the linesman waved his flag and Rose was dismissed. Toure sent Lloris the wrong way.
Three minutes later, City added their third. Silva picked up the ball inside the box from a great pull-back by Zabaleta, and, after carrying it across the face of goal, his shot hit the post and bounced out. The deflected rebound fell to Dzeko, who knocked it past Lloris.
Just before the hour mark, the ten men pulled a goal back. A corner was badly defended by the Blues, as Zabaleta missed the ball completely and it fell kindly for Capoue on the edge of the six-yard box. He was never going to miss, blasting his shot past the stranded Hart.
Dzeko could have had two goals in the space of three minutes as two glorious chances to add City’s fourth were spurned by the Bosnian. First, Clichy picked him out with a great cross from deep and the striker’s first touch was perfect for him to hit, but his effort was well wide. Second, Zabaleta picked out the forward after a fine passing move, but Dzeko got his finish all wrong, chipping it wide weakly.
With just over ten minutes to play, the fourth goal came and it was an opening Premier League goal for Jovetic. Silva slid the ball to the Montenegrin on the left flank, where he cut inside and tried to bend a shot around Lloris. It took a nick on the way through, but it didn’t help the home side and it found the bottom corner.
In the closing stages, it was almost five for the Blues, as a brilliant ball slipped Navas in on the right. His low cross was just behind Jovetic and he couldn’t wrap his foot around it to shoot, but it fell to Kolarov. The Serbian belted it, but Lloris was able to block it behind.
Though, in the final minute, the captain added another. A corner fell nicely to Dzeko, who was able to tee himself up to volley at goal. It was blocked ahead of Lloris and fell kindly for Kompany, who was faced with an open goal. He simply stabbed it over the line, despite Lloris’s best efforts to recover.
With Arsenal dropping points the night before, City go to the top of the league.