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December 5, 2013
• The Hawthorns, West Bromwich
Referee: C. Foy
• Attendance: 22943
West Bromwich Albion
C. Pantilimon 85' (own goal)
V. Anichebe 90'+
S. Agüero 9'
Y. Touré 24', 74'
That's all we have time for from the Hawthorns, as Man City enjoyed a rare Premier League away victory, after beating hosts West Brom 3-2. I've been Simon Harrison, and I hope to see you all again next time.
West Brom failed to turn up for the initial half an hour, before Steve Clark's men spluttering into life in the second period of 45 minutes. Not a great performance from the hosts, but two goals against a top side is surely a positive point.
That gifts Pellegrini's men their second away win of the second, and leaves West Brom in limbo in mid-table. The away side played excellently in the first half, but almost allowed their opponents into the game in the dying embers of the game.
FULL TIME! What was a very comfortable away win for Man City, almost turned a little hairy at the end! A goal for Aguero and two for Toure gave the visitors a commanding lead, before a Pantilimon own goal and a Anichebe stoppage time finish made the game appear tighter than it truly was.
90' + 4'
90' + 4'
GOOOOOAL! ANICHIBE FIRES HOME TO MAKE IT 3-2! The Nigerian backs into his man, using his strength to beat Demichelis, before rolling the Argentine and thumping into the bottom corner beyond the helpless Pantilimon!
90' + 3'
Fernandinho thumps clear from the edge of his penalty area, after good build up play from Berahino and Ridgewell is eventually blocked. The Brazilian really has been solid today, popping up everywhere to make West Brom's life very difficult.
90' + 2'
Two minutes left of this fixture, and City will be looking to close the game out. Pellegrini's men haven't enjoyed themselves on the road this season, but a 3-1 win certainly won't do the visitors' title hopes any damage. This could be a turning point in their season.
Four minutes of stoppage time have been awarded.
BERAHINO! He tests Pantilimon, but that strike looked as though it was always going wide! The Romanian is perhaps keen to make amends for his bizarre own goal, and pulls off a smart stop to his left hand side.
Olsson picks up a yellow card for a late challenge, and he'll miss the hosts' next game against Norwich at the weekend! A rather stupid foul to commit, and the Swede will undoubtedly regret such an action once he is reminded of his disciplinary tally later on.
Yellow CardJonas Olsson
MILNER! The Englishman trades possession neatly with Fernandinho, as the Brazilian feeds his teammate a ball which gets him to the byline, but his eventual cross is straight into the palms of the waiting Myhill.
Own GoalCostel Pantilimon
GOOOOAL! It's an own goal by Pantilimon! Moments after his yellow card, he's conceded an own goal! Kolarov tries to make a clearance out of the six yard box, looking to slide the ball wide of the post, but the ball strikes one of the Romanian's long limbs and rolls into the back of the net!
Yellow CardCostel Pantilimon
Pantilimon receives a yellow card, seemingly for time-wasting, as the Romanian deliberates over a goal-kick. An odd card to pick up, given that City have a comfortable lead, aren't being troubled and there probably isn't enough time left for the Baggies to come back.
BERAHINO! The forward looks to place the ball in the top corner, but the strike deflects off Kompany and loops onto the roof of the net. Moments earlier, Yaya Toure kicked out at Yacob in frustration, much to the annoyance of the tenacious Argentine.
None of Clark's substitutes have had any real effect on this game, with Anichebe being as consistently absent as Long was in the first half. Gera has offered nothing on the right hand side, and again City's second-choice left-back of Kolarov, that is somewhat worrying.
MILNER! The substitute fires a well-struck effort straight at Myhill, who claims with ease. City are happy to sit back in their shape and break at their leisure, and the away fans are now enjoying their comfortable away visit to the Midlands.
The last ten minutes of the game are rapidly approaching, and there's no foreseeable way for the hosts to get back into this game. Any pressure has been rather fleeting and inpenetrative, with Berahino providing the only optimism that the Baggies can improve offensively in the future.
OFFSIDE! Dzeko looks to race in behind a very high Baggies' defensive line, but the linesman raises his flag immediately. The Bosnian will presumably want to turn this game into a rout, and get himself on the scoresheet, to prove that he merits a starting place ahead of Negredo.
Penalty GoalYaya Touré
GOOOOOAL! YAYA TOURE CONVERTS THE PENALTY! The Ivorian smashes the ball rather centrally, but it's too powerful for Myhill to deal with! West Brom have improved in the second half, and that goal is a definite sucker punch! City lead 3-0!
PENALTY! Kolarov is brought down by Yacob, and the referee makes no mistake, pointing to the stop immediately! The Serbian danced around the outstretched foot of Yacob, and was caught by the midfielder!
West Brom are slowly starting to press more players forward with every attack and set piece, leaving themselves very open to the counter attack. Given the amount of time left and the result, Clark is clearly beginning to try his luck at getting back into the game as a contest before it's too late. One goal now could make all the difference.
Slightly more than 20 minutes left on the clock, and Pantilimon is yet to be troubled in this game. Aside from watching several skidding shots fizz wide of the target, the Romanian has had very little to do, and looks well on his way to an easy clean sheet.
City have gone quiet in terms of creating chances, but remain very comfortable. With Fernandinho and Toure screening the defence, and West Brom not managing to break at pace, Pellegrini's gameplan is continuing to work well. All that needs to be done is the continual injection of fresh legs.
Gera receives a very warm reception on his return from injury, and rightly so given his contribution to West Brom as both a top flight and second-tier football club. He'll need to produce something special to drag the Baggies back into this game, however.
Brilliant tracking back from Fernandinho yet again. The Brazilian has been everything this evening, picking up the pieces and slowing the Baggies' breaks whenever they look to hit City on the counter. Certainly an unsung hero in a very talented squad.
Clark looks to change the game with a double substitution, throwing on Anichebe and Gera. The Nigerian striker is capable of acting as an attacking catalyst, as his physical ability should keep him ever-presently in the game, battling with the likes of Kompany and Demichelis. Something extra for Kompany and Co. to worry about.
Half an hour left on the clock, and this game still looks a bit beyond West Brom. The home side have given a better account of themselves in the second half, but it's a little bit too late, given City's sizeable goal cushion. Long continues to be anonymous, it would be unsurprising to see Sessegnon or Anichebe introduced soon.
Fernandinho tracks back excellently to deny Amalfitano! The Frenchman is picked out behind City's defensive line, but the Brazilian does well to pick up the pieces from Kompany's block to clear the danger! Berahino then fires harmlessly wide from range.
Good defending from McAuley! A clever piece of skill from Navas creates a bit of space for Zabaleta to deliver a back post cross, but McAuley is there once again as an aerial presence.
AGUERO! Absolutely delightful skill and control from the former Atletico striker, as he dances around two West Brom defenders with consummate ease. Rolling the ball past the first, before weaves his way past the second. Beautiful footwork.
Steve Clark won't be too disappointed with how his side have started the second half, but there's certainly a sense that City are allowing West Brom greater space and freedom, to invite them forward. Such an action would draw the home team out, making them susceptible to City's pacey breaks.
Great through ball from Brunt! The Northern Ireland international slots his pass inbetween Demichelis and Kolarov, allowing for Long to chase, but his teammate is outsmarted by the former Bayern Munich centre-half. Another brief opening for the hosts.
LONG! The lone West Brom striker goes down in the penalty area, after squeezing between two visiting defenders! The referee didn't look interested whatsoever, but the crowd are incensed! I think that official was right, Long did look to dive there!
AGUERO! Myhill does well to pluck the Argentine's cross from the air, as Dzeko shaped to attack it at the back post yet again. The Baggies' goalkeeper has done well to disrupt the harmony between the City striking partnership when he can.
Audacious from Nasri! The Frenchman weaves past Reid and Morrison, before shimmying back inside the Republic of Ireland right-back and nutmegging the Scot once again! The former Arsenal man is full of confidence here tonight.
We are back underway for the second half! City dominated the opening 45 minutes, grabbing two well-deserved goals for their efforts, but the Baggies showed in the final ten minutes that they can threaten Pantilimon's goal. Long has been quiet, but Clark has options on the bench.
Pellegrini will certainly be buoyed by what he has seen in the opening 45 minutes, as the combination of Dzeko and Aguero upfront has worked excellently. Chances have flowed for the away side, and the Chilean coach will definitely be hoping that a lack of killer instinct won't come back to haunt his team in the second half.
HALF TIME! An imperious display from City in the first half, with West Brom only being allowed into the game in the final ten minutes of the half. The visitors lead 2-0, courtesy of good finishes from Sergio Aguero and Yaya Toure.
45' + 1'
OFFSIDE! Amalfitano wriggles through the dense City defensive line, but the linesman's flag is raised, and rightly so! Three blue and white striped shirts were in offside positions, but the Frenchman still has to complain a little.
West Brom have started to contest the game in the last five minutes or so, but they're sorely lacking an offensive presence in and around the box. Long is being physically dominated and has touched the ball extremely rarely. Perhaps the more durable Anichebe would be an interesting alternative for the second half?
LONG! The Republic of Ireland international gets the ball caught under his feet and the chance escapes him! Great work from Brunt to wriggle free of Zabaleta's attentions on the left flank, before a delicate cut-back to his teammate, but Long is wasteful.
Five minutes until the break, and West Brom need a goal if they are to claw themselves back into this game. A couple of corners and chances in quick succession for the likes of Brunt and Berahino are lifting the home crowd's spirits somewhat.
Excellent defending from Kompany! Berahino opens the ball up onto his left foot on the edge of the 18-yard-box, but as the young forward pulls the trigger, a sizeable Belgian centre-half throws himself into the block, and it cannons away from danger. He's been sidelined, but you can never lose your defensive instinct!
BRUNT! A very, very ambitious effort from the West Brom midfielder, who arrows a long-range strike into the City fans behind Pantilimon's goal. He's probably still full of confidence from his goal against Newcastle at the weekend, but to try his luck from there was rather wasteful.
FERNANDINHO! The Brazilian wastes yet another opportunity for City! Aguero releases Navas on the right flank, before the Spain international cuts a chipped ball back to the former Shakhtar man, who was arriving on the edge of the box. He tries to strike a volley towards Myhill's goal, but instead fizzes the ball over the crossbar.
DZEKO! Non-existent marking from the home side allows for Dzeko to rise unchallenged and nod a header over the bar from eight yards out! The City striker should really be doing better than that, he had a run at the delivery, and still couldn't get over it.
AGUERO! The Argentine manages to get away from Olsson with ease, before trying to finish across Myhill from a very tight angle! The Welsh goalkeeper gets a slight touch to give away a corner, but Dzeko wanted the ball delivered to the back post!
BERAHINO! The youngster looks to turn on the edge of the 18-yard-box, but a crafty nudge from Fernandinho puts the Baggies' forward off-balance, causing him to fire wide of the target.
BRUNT! The Northern Ireland midfielder strikes from the edge of the box, but Demichelis makes the block! The rebound falls to Amalfitano, who loops a cross into the penalty box, but Long can't get on the end of it! A few niggling fouls are creeping into this game too.
DZEKO! The Bosnian is inches away from making it three for City! A great cross to the back post from Kolarov looks to find his teammate sliding in to finish off the move, but the delivery narrowly escapes its intended target! City are in overdrive here!
Well beaten away by Pantilimon! A sliced clearance by Fernandinho loops the ball high into the air, causing his goalkeepers all kinds of problems! The Romanian punches clear under plenty of pressure from Long.
City look majestically comfortable, with their full-backs having free reign and Yaya Toure and Fernandinho seeming to have endless amounts of time on the ball in the centre of the field. The visitors appear to be able to break forward and craft themselves a chance whenever they wish.
AGUERO! The Argentine blasts the ball well off target yet again, but there's certainly a possibility that the former Atletico man will get on the scoresheet again tonight. He's popping up in worrying areas constantly as City push forward relentlessly.
DZEKO! McAuley does well to rise above his marker and head the ball from danger! Moments earlier, Amalfitano goes down in the penalty area, looking for a spot-kick, but the referee waves away his claims. It did look to be a hopeful dive from the loanee.
GOOOOAL! YAYA TOURE CONVERTS TO MAKE IT 2-0! The away side carve West Brom apart yet again, with Yaya Toure slotting home Kolarov's cut-back absolutely beautifully! Excellent, excellent finish from the Ivory Coast international!
Excellent defensive contribution from Dzeko! The striker makes his way back to his own penalty area, to nod away a Brunt free-kick delivery, following Kolarov being penalised for a rather naughty and cynical foul on Amalfitano. City aren't allowing the Frenchman nor Long a moment on the ball.
AGUERO! It's wide again from the Argentine, but Dzeko's lay-off is again encouraging for City. Their two strikers are combining well, and Aguero looks likely to grab the second goal of the evening. The home fans are perhaps getting a little restless, their side look like the away side.
Poor delivery from Navas! The Spaniard's cross is turned away easily by Olsson, after the former Sevilla man was played into plenty of space on the right flank by Nasri. One-way traffic at the Hawthorns, with the subdued home atmosphere mirroring the performance of their side.
Still no real signs of a West Brom resurgence, as City continue to monopolise the ball effectively. Dzeko turns on the edge of the penalty box, but Olsson steps in efficiently to block the Bosnian's strike. Even then, the rebound falls to a City player. Everything is going brilliantly for the visitors.
Good defending from McAuley! Kolarov is allowed to overlap on the left, before Reid doesn't get close enough to prevent the cross. Aguero and Dzeko are lurking in the penalty area, but a good sliding interception from the former Ipswich central defender turns the delivery away from danger.
BERAHINO! His shot is always going wide, skidding off the turf and thudding into the advertising boards behind Pantilimon's goal. The Romanian goalkeeper is forced to cover his post, but I suspect that the City man is simply keen to not make any mistakes to gift Hart a way back into the starting line-up.
The first quarter of an hour has been packed full of action, with City certainly having the better of the opening exchanges. Dzeko and Aguero are too much for the Baggies to handle, with Amalfitano and Berahino the only likely catalysts for the hosts. Long has been anonymous.
AMALFITANO! Awful effort from the loanee! A pocket of space opens up on the edge of the penalty area, with both Kompany and Demichelis reluctant to close down the opposition midfielder, but the Frenchman drags his eventual shot well wide of the target.
DZEKO! Myhill does well to claim the Bosnia international's header, after a good cross into the target man by Aguero. The Argentine was initally picked out by a lovely diagonal ball from the returning Kompany, showing that City are prepared to attack directly if allowed.
The dream away start for the away side, as dominance has been rewarded with the breakthrough goal. West Brom look unable to repel the visitors when they're in possession, with the likes of Dzeko and Aguero working extremely well together to find gaps in the Baggies' defence.
GOOOOOOAL! WHAT A GREAT TEAM GOAL! City take the lead, with Aguero smashing beyond the helpless Myhill, following a delightful range of passing. Dzeko slides Zabaleta in behind Ridgewell, before the Argentine squares for his compatriot! City lead 1-0!
NASRI! The Frenchman pops up in the centre of the penalty area and is picked out by Aguero, but his touch lets him down, allowing for McAuley to clear. Pellegrini's will be satisfied from what he's seen thus far, the fluid front four he has deployed are working well.
An all-action start of the Hawthorns, and despite the absence of plenty of supporters who are presumably stuck in the traffic outside the stadium, the game has sprung into life early on. End-to-end stuff from two sides with interesting attacking options.
AGUERO! Wonderful interplay from City, as Dzeko feeds Aguero following some excellent control from the Bosnian. His strike-partner races through of goal, but can only drag his shot wide of Myhill's right hand post.
Great play from Berahino! The youngster causes plenty of problems for Fernandinho, beating the Brazilian with ease, before the Englishman's cross can only find the gloves of the tall Pantilimon. So excellent until the end product!
Good defending from McAuley! The West Brom man gets a flick onto a Navas cross, turning it away from the awaiting head of Aguero. That was so nearly an opening goal for the away side.
OFFSIDE! The linesman has his flag raised to deny the central defensive duo of McAuley and Olsson from having a run at a good free-kick delivery from Brunt. The two defenders rose well, but the official was very quick to give the offside decision, and right too.
NASRI! The Frenchman is rather unbalanced as he strikes the first effort of the game towards goal, but the ball balloons off target. City have seen all of the ball thus far, and Clark's men will presumably want to disrupt the visitors before they get into any sort of rhythm.
We are finally underway in the first half of tonight's game! Man City welcome some much-missed and interesting faces into their starting line-up, while Berahino will be keen to prove that his contract renewal was worth West Brom's hard-earned money. Hard to call which way this game will go, with Man City having already been defeated four times on the road this season!
We've been delayed here tonight, with kick-off now being pushed back by fifteen minutes due to traffic problems. Not to worry, as we'll be continuing as planned, but unfortunately we won't be getting underway for a little while longer!
Under ten minutes to go until kick-off, and Pellegrini will hope that a win here tonight will allow Man City to keep pace with the early front runners of the Premier League, Arsenal. The Gunners are steaming through the season quite frighteningly, and City need to keep their winning run going to hang onto their coattails. The Baggies need a win to elevate themselves from the potential relegation mire.
Edin Dzeko interestingly gets a start ahead of Negredo for the away side, with Kolarov given an opportunity at left-back ahead of Clichy. Berahino celebrates signing a new long-term deal at the Hawthorns with another Premier League start, with Reid replacing Jones at right full-back too. With both Vydra and Sessegnon starting on the bench tonight for Clark's side, the Scot certainly has the ability to change the game.
Man City substitutes: Hart, Richards, Lescott, Milner, Negredo, Javi Garcia, Rodwell.
Man City starting line-up: Pantilimon; Zabaleta, Kompany, Demichelis, Kolarov; Fernandinho, Toure; Navas, Aguero, Nasri; Dzeko.
West Brom substitutes: Popov, Lugano, Anichebe, Daniels, Vydra, Gera, Sessegnon.
West Brom starting line-up: Myhill; Reid, McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell; Morrison, Brunt, Yacob, Amalfitano; Long, Berahino.
TEAM NEWS: Vincent Kompany returns at the heart of City's defence, with Pantilimon continuing in between the sticks for the visitors. Silva, Nastasic and Jovetic remain absent through injury. The Baggies are missing two key players of their own, with Ben Foster still in the physio room, and Mulumbu sidelined through suspension.
I'm Simon Harrison, and I will be keeping you up to date with all of the action this evening, as City look to continue their recent momentum. Four wins from their last five games have positioned Pelligrini's outfit only two points off second-placed Liverpool. West Brom, on the other hand, ended a three game unbeaten run with a defeat to Newcastle last weekend, a blow that the home side would like to recover from as quickly as possible.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of Manchester City's visit to the Hawthorns, as the Premier League's third-placed side search for three points against Steve Clarke's stuttering West Bromwich Albion. The hosts have had patchy form of late, while City arrive in rather potent goalscoring form. Whether Manuel Pellegrini's side can recreate their high-scoring home exploits tonight, remains to be seen.
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