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Played
January 18, 2014 4:00 PM WAT
Etihad Stadium — Manchester
Referee:‬ N. Swarbrick‎
Attendance:‬ 47213‎
 
Top of the Match
Yaya Touré
Yaya Touré
Manchester City
Edin Dzeko
Edin Dzeko
Manchester City
Flop of the Match
Ben Turner
Ben Turner
Cardiff City
Negredo
Negredo
Manchester City

Manchester City 4-2 Cardiff City: Unstoppable hosts maintain perfect home run

Edin Dzeko scored the 100th goal of a prolific season for Manuel Pellegrini's men before Jesus Navas, Yaya Toure and Sergio Aguero netted to seal another three points

Edin Dzeko Manchester City Cardiff City Premier League 18012014
Getty Images

Manchester City racked up 100 goals for the season before overwhelming Cardiff City 4-2 in a pulsating contest at the Etihad Stadium.

Edin Dzeko's 14th-minute opener ensured City reached their century in 34 games across all competitions – quicker than any English team in the Premier League era.

Cardiff refused to lie down, with Craig Noone a constant menace and unfortunate not to add to his 29th-minute equaliser.

Yet Jesus Navas quickly restored the hosts' advantage before Yaya Toure and Sergio Aguero added a slightly flattering late gloss to the scoreline.

VIEW FROM THE ETIHAD STADIUM
By Peter Staunton

It was closer than it should have been in the end for City, who switched off in injury time to allow Cardiff to put gloss on the scoreline.

It was that kind of day for Manuel Pellegrini's men, who found the going somewhat tougher than they would have expected, but a good intervention from Yaya Toure in the second half gave them the platform to succeed.

From there, it was all about City's ability to once and finally supress the Cardiff spirit.

The Welsh side had bright performances themselves in the shape of Craig Noone and Jordon Mutch but in the end were outclassed.

You get the feeling City could go several gears beyond this.

Cardiff grabbed a second in injury time as Fraizer Campbell scored from a corner, as he had done twice against City in August's reverse meeting.

City talisman Aguero started on the bench once more following his goalscoring return from a calf injury versus Blackburn Rovers in midweek, while Aron Gunnarsson - a goalscorer in Cardiff’s 3-2 win over Manuel Pellegrini's men earlier in the season - was included in one of four changes made by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

The hosts might have brought their century up within the first minute when Kevin McNaughton clumsily bundled through Dzeko as the Bosnia striker looked to convert David Silva’s left-wing cross. Navas prodded the loose ball wide.

Cardiff goalkeeper David Marshall appeared primed for a busy afternoon as he beat a Dzeko shot away before reacting well as recalled centre-back Ben Turner almost put Navas' centre through his own net.

Given the swashbuckling nature of City's attacking play this season, it was perhaps inevitable their 100th goal would arrive in scruffy fashion.

Silva controlled Aleksandar Kolarov's throw-in amid suspicions of handball and spun his way into the Cardiff box to tee up Dzeko, whose badly scuffed effort crept inside the far post. McNaughton hacked clear but the goal-line technology system confirmed City had taken the lead.

With Pellegrini's side having clicked ominously into gear, Cardiff stunned the Etihad with a superb 29th-minute equaliser. Gunnarsson deftly touched Kevin Theophile-Catherine's pass into the path of Noone, who skipped effortlessly beyond Vincent Kompany to produce an assured low finish.

Cardiff enjoyed parity for little more than three minutes as Dzeko collected Toure's sumptuous throughball and evaded the attentions of Turner and Steven Caulker for the on-rushing Navas to side-foot home.

Joe Hart was forced to beat away a deflected 50th-minute drive from Jordon Mutch and Cardiff’s enterprising start to the second half continued as Pablo Zabaleta was forced into a last-ditch header to deny Campbell.

Silva should have extended the home team’s lead following an exquisite one-touch lay-off from Dzeko, but Pellegrini had seen enough with an hour played to bring Aguero on for Alvaro Negredo – the striker suffering an untypically frustrating afternoon in front of goal that might have been compounded when he escaped with a yellow card after an ugly first-half lunge on Gunnarsson.

Still Cardiff pressed, and Noone once again left Kompany in his wake to draw a fingertip save from Hart.

Aguero's introduction was ultimately decisive as he exchanged passes with Toure, who smashed in left-footed to conclude a trademark storming run from deep, and the roles were reversed for the Argentina international to plant his 22nd of the campaign into the top corner.

Campbell's late strike proved nothing more than a consolation.



Manchester City

1
Joe Hart
Goalkeeper
3.00
4
Vincent Kompany
Defender
3.00
5
Pablo Zabaleta
Defender
3.00
13
2.50
26
2.50
14
Javi García
Midfielder
3.50
15
3.50
21
David Silva
Midfielder
14′ 80′
4.00
42
Yaya Touré
Midfielder
77′ 79′
4.00
9
Negredo
Striker
18′ 62′
2.00
10
Edin Dzeko
Striker
14′
4.00

Cardiff City

3.50
1
David Marshall
Goalkeeper
3.00
4
2.00
6
Ben Turner
Defender
2.00
25
2.00
7
2.50
8
Gary Medel
Midfielder
3.50
16
Craig Noone
Midfielder
29′
2.50
17
3.50
18
Jordon Mutch
Midfielder
2.50
10

Substitutes

30
 - 
6
 - 
22
Gael Clichy
Defender
82′
2.50
33
 - 
7
James Milner
Midfielder
80′
3.00
25
Fernandinho
Midfielder
 - 
16
3.50

Substitutes

 - 
32
Joe Lewis
Goalkeeper
 - 
5
Mark Hudson
Defender
2.50
42
 - 
13
Bo-Kyung Kim
Midfielder
2.50
15
M. Eikrem
Midfielder
78′ 93′
 - 
9
2.50
39

Coach/Manager

-
 - 

Coach/Manager

 
  • Goal
  • Own Goal
  • Penalty
  • Penalty Missed
  • Yellow Card
  • Assist
  • Penalty Save
  • Penalty Shootout Goal
  • Penalty Shootout Miss
  • Yellow Card / Red Card
  • Red Card
  • Substitution IN
  • Substitution OUT
  • Injury
  • Goal.com Rating
  • Goal.com Man of the Match
  • Goal.com Flop of the Match
  • Top & Flop Global Ranking
  • Fans' Man of the Match
  • Fans' Flop of the Match
Results
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Luis Suárez Luis Suárez
Striker
Liverpool
29 0
Daniel Sturridge Daniel Sturridge
Striker
Liverpool
20 0
Yaya Touré Yaya Touré
Midfielder
Man City
18 6
Wayne Rooney Wayne Rooney
Striker
Manchester United
15 2
Sergio Agüero Sergio Agüero
Striker
Man City
15 0