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West Ham United
21 December 2011
• Etihad Stadium, Manchester
Referee: M. Dean
• Attendance: 46321
S. Agüero 29', 54'
A. Johnson 36'
That's it Manchester City have won comfortably here by three goals to nil. Two goals from Sergio Aguero and a wonderful strike from Adam Johnson have given them the victory that will see them lead the Premier League at Christmas. For Stoke it's one to forget as they struggled to deal with City's passing game all evening and were suitably punished.
90' + 3'
Sorensen again denies City late-on with a good save to deny Johnson after Aguero had run rings round the Stoke defence and put him through one-on-one with the keeper.
90' + 1'
City look to add the cherry on top of their good performance as James Milner looks to add a fourth as he runs through the Stoke midfield and fires an effort at goal which is well saved by Sorensen low down to his left.
Yellow Card Adam Johnson
Stoke finally register an effort at goal through Dean Whitehead but the ball flies miles wide of the target. A poor effort which sums up this performance from the Potters.
City are taking the shine off an excellent performance with some loose passes in the last few minutes however Stoke don't look convincing going forward at all as they haven't managed a shot in anger all game.
City have let their foot of the gas and Stoke are coming into the game a bit however Kompany and Lescott have been solid at the back all evening and are breaking up the attacks at will.
Stoke substitute Ricardo Fuller shows some attacking initiative as he leaves Kompany for dead and takes the ball to the City box but has no support and is crowded out by Lescott.
The possession stats for the last five minutes tell the story of the game as City have had a staggering 95% of the possession while Stoke have amassed just 5%. Excellent play from City, stuff of nightmares for Tony Pulis and the Potters.
Yellow Card Ricardo Fuller
It's nearly four for City as Gareth Barry latches onto a ball over the top of the Stoke defence but his volley is well saved by Sorensen. If not for the Dane the score could be out of hand, he's been Stoke's player tonight.
City seem quite content to just pass the ball around. As games go they can't have been mush easier for Mancini's side this season. Very simple as Silva, Aguero and Toure are pulling all the strings for the league leaders.
Handbags as Jon Walters and Yaya Toure clash. The Stoke man was not happy as the Ivorian was pulling his shirt and reacted by shoving the 6ft 4in City midfielder. If I was picking a City player to clash with it wouldn't be Toure.
Aguero nearly nets his hat-trick as he latches onto Toure's through ball but the Argentine can't poke his effort goal-wards as the ball creeps just wide of the post.
If they weren't comfortable before City are certainly now. Mancini's side are passing the ball around at will. This could get worse for Stoke who haven't been in the game at all. The visitors have offered nothing going forward and this performance will definitely give Tony Pulis food for thought.
Assist Samir Nasri
Goal Sergio Agüero
GOAL!!! Its a third for Manchester City and the second of the night for Sergio Aguero as he strikes home from close range converting Samir Nasri's pinpoint cross. The Frenchman was put behind the Stoke defence by Gareth Barry, he put the ball on a plate for Aguero who made no mistake from six yards.
The 20,000th Premier League goal has been scored at Villa Park with Aston Villa's Mark Albrighton getting the goal.
City break forward and Aguero gets the ball on the edge of the area but his shot is straight at Sorensen who saves well. Mancini's side look a threat from anywhere on the pitch, Stoke need to step up defensively.
Stoke break forward with Walters who finds Shotton out wide but again the Potters are halted by good defensive work from City this time Clichy gets his body in the way of the cross and clears the danger.
Man City get us back underway at the Etihad Stadium.
Our man at the Etihad Stadium Greg Stobart reports: “Half-time at the Etihad and it's as easy as they come for Manchester City as they go in at the break with a 2-0 lead over Stoke. A predatory close-range effort from Sergio Aguero and a rasping strike by Adam Johnson have rewarded City for their complete dominance in the first 45 minutes. Stoke have defended in numbers but made costly errors for both goals, while offering virtually no threat whatsoever in attack.”
It's half-time at the Etihad Stadium and Manchester City are good value for their 2-0 lead. Their first goal was slightly fortuitous but was coming as they had so much possession in the first-half- Johnson's strike was sublime as he fully justifies his recall to the starting line-up with an excellent performance so far.
Roberto Mancini's side looking very comfortable and have barely broken a sweat in the first half. Every time they go forward they look dangerous as Stoke look at breaking point.
Good save by Sorensen as he dives to his right to stop Adam Johnson's 20-yard free-kick as the ball looked like it was creeping into the bottom corner. City are in control of this game and Stoke have a lot to do to get back into this one.
Goal Adam Johnson
GOAL!!! No doubt about this one as Adam Johnson doubles City's lead with a great left-footed strike from outside the area which flies into the bottom corner of the net. Stoke were warned earlier when he hit the bar but have not heeded this lesson as the England man adds to their woes tonight.
Stoke are trying to get out of their own half getting forward and are putting together some passes but as soon as they get near the City box Kompany and Lescott are there to stop them in their tracks.
Assist Vincent Kompany
Goal Sergio Agüero
GOAL!!! Segio Aguero breaks the deadlock at the Etihad Stadium as he taps home from close range after latching onto Yaya Toure's cross. There is slight controversy about this strike as the Argentine looks to be offside as Vincent Kompany has the first stab at Toure's cross which is saved by Sorensen. But Aguero is at the back-post nonetheless to give City the lead.
David Silva's seeing a lot of the ball so far in this game but he hasn't produced his usual magic with the ball. Stoke are defending well man-to-man giving the City attackers little space. Stubborn stuff from Tony Pulis' side.
Yellow Card Micah Richards
This game is being played in the Stoke half as City are passing the ball around at will. The Potters are defending well and are well organised as they have 10 men behind the ball. Decent stuff from both teams so far.
City are really upping the ante here as Samir Nasri comes close with a shot from just outside the area which goes narrowly wide of Sorensen's post. The Frenchman linked up superbly with Aguero with a neat one-two.
Off the Bar!! Johnson gets the ball on the right and cuts inside onto his favoured left-foot. His shot takes a deflection off Mark Wilson and crashes into the bar with Sorensen beaten. A close shave for the Potters they won't be giving Johnson that sort of room again.
Adam Johnson gets his first chance to run at the Stoke defence on the right as he dummy's onto his right foot before firing a cross into the box which evades his team-mates and is cleared by Robert Huth.
Manchester City are starting to click into gear and Toure, Silva and Aguero string a few passes together near the Stoke box before resolute defending from the Potters forces an error and they clear the ball away.
A misplaced pass by Yaya Toure allows Stoke to break with Ryan Shotton who tries to find Jonathan Walters in the box but he can't get any power behind the header and it's easily claimed by Joe Hart. Sloppy from City early on.
Slow start here as both sides are feeling their way into the game. City as expected have seen a lot of the ball but are yet to do anything constructive going forward.
Both teams have set up as expected with City playing with Sergio Aguero as the lone front-man supported by David Silva and Adam Johnson either side of him.
We're underway at the Etihad Stadium.
Manchester City have made three changes from the team that beat Arsenal 1-0 on Sunday with Joleon Lescott, Gael Clichy and Adam Johnson replacing Mario Balotelli, Pablo Zabaleta and Kolo Toure in the starting line-up.
Stoke City (4-4-2): Sorensen; Woodgate, Upson, Huth (C), Wilson; Shotton, Whitehead, Palacios, Jerome; Walters, Jones. Subs: Begovic, Delap, Diao, Arismendi, Pennant, Etherington, Fuller.
Manchester City (4-3-2-1) Hart; Richards, Kompany, Lescott, Clichy; Y.Toure, Barry; Johnson, Silva, Nasri; Aguero. Subs: Pantilimon, Zabaleta, K.Toure, Savic, de Jong, Milner, Balotelli.
Welcome to Goal.com's live commentary of tonight's Premier League clash between Manchester City and Stoke at the Etihad Stadium. I'm Simon Sinclair I'll be taking you through all action as it happens in this crucial game.
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