Jovetic double secures three points
FA Premier League
Monday 25 August 2014, 20.00 KO
City: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany (c), Demichelis, Clichy, Fernando, Toure, Silva (Navas 65), Nasri, Jovetic (Fernandinho 80), Dzeko (Aguero 68)
Unused: Caballero, Sagna, Milner, Kolarov
Goals: Jovetic (41 & 55), Aguero (70)
Referee: Michael Oliver
Man of the Match: Stevan Jovetic
The first home game of the season provided a chance for City to make a statement against a fellow title rival, and show just why we are the Premier League Champions.
The City starting XI heralded the return of the imperious Pablo Zabaleta, with Gael Clichy starting at left-back at the expense of Serbian Aleksander Kolarov. Fernando, after his impressive debut, regained his place alongside Yaya Toure. In an attacking sense it was the same four who started against Newcastle, with Stevan Jovetic handed a chance to shine in a big game.
Liverpool announced the signing of a certain Mr Mario Balotelli just before the game, and they also included new signings Dejan Lovren and Alberto Moreno, with Brendan Rodgers eyeing a potential scalp at The Etihad.
City, however, showed why they are the champions. Despite being under pressure for the majority of the first half, the Blues went ahead courtesy of Stevan Jovetic, the Montenegrin striker lashing home a volley after poor defending from Liverpool new boy, Alberto Moreno. Jovetic needed a moment like that in a big game, and his moment had well and truly arrived. City went in ahead at half time, and this gave us a platform in which to show our attacking suave.
The second half showed City's quality despite arguably being nowhere near our best, and it was the Montenegro striker who rounded off a wonderful free flowing move to double City's advantage. The night became even better for City, with Sergio Aguero scoring twenty-three seconds after coming onto the pitch. Aguero used his first touch to cushion Jesus Navas' wondeful through ball, before slotting past Mignolet to send the Etihad into raptures.
Liverpool did, however, manage to pull a goal back, courtesy of an own goal from Pablo Zabaleta. The Argentine could do nothing as the ball rebounded off his leg and crept over the line. Liverpool could, and maybe should, have added a second, with Lambert opting to pass rather than shoot when presented, rather fortuitously, with a glorious chance.
City controlled the rest of the game, playing it in Liverpool's half, stopping them breaking and ensuring that the first game at the Etihad ended in a victory. The worry for the rest of the league is that City didn't even get out of third gear, and with everybody still to find full match fitness, it could become ominous for their rivals.