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Played
December 22, 2012 3:00 PM GMT
Etihad Stadium — Manchester
Referee:‬ M. Dean‎
Attendance:‬ 47007‎
 
90+3′ Gareth Barry
 
Top of the Match
Adam Federici
Adam Federici
Reading
Adam Federici
Adam Federici
Reading
Flop of the Match
Jobi McAnuff
Jobi McAnuff
Reading
Sergio Agüero
Sergio Agüero
Manchester City FC

Manchester City 1-0 Reading: Barry grabs dramatic late win for champions

Roberto Mancini's side kept their title hopes alive as an injury-time goal gave them all three points while the Royals will spend Christmas on the bottom of the table

By Nicholas McGee at the Etihad Stadium

Barry, Shorey
Getty
Manchester City kept pace with title rivals Manchester United as they claimed a last-gasp victory over Reading thanks to an injury-time header from Gareth Barry.

The Premier League champions were in command for the vast majority of the game but were only able to make their advantage tell when the England midfielder headed in David Silva's left-wing cross in added time.

City boss Roberto Mancini made two changes to the side that won at Newcastle last weekend, with 18-year-old defender Karim Rekik making his full debut in place of Gael Clichy, and Gareth Barry coming in for Samir Nasri. Reading meanwhile, made four changes from their heavy defeat against Arsenal, as Chris Gunter, Alex Pearce, Jem Karacan and Ian Harte were all named in the starting line-up.

The hosts made the brighter start to proceedings and after half-chances from Carlos Tevez and Matija Nastasic, Mancini's men should have taken the lead but were denied by Adam Federici, who produced a superb close range save from Tevez after the Argentinian had latched on to compatriot Sergio Aguero's fine flick-on.

Reading defended resolutely following that early opening, and frustrated City for much of the first half, however the champions were able to create some opportunities, most notably when Barry powered a header towards goal from a Tevez cross, only to see his effort comfortably held by Federici.

City continued to pile the pressure on the Reading goal, but the opener continued to elude them, Yaya Toure had a claim for a penalty turned down after Tevez and David Silva combined beautifully on the right, and Pablo Zabaleta was also unlucky not to have netted when his deflected shot looped just over Federici's bar.

The Royals had been on the back-foot for the entirety of the opening period, but they almost grabbed the advantage early in the second as Pearce headed just over from a Harte corner.

Still it was the home side who carried the much greater threat, and will have wondered just how they had not taken the lead when Zabaleta's ball evaded both Tevez and substitute Edin Dzeko with the goal gaping. The introduction of Dzeko appeared to galvanise City and he was at the hub of another attack minutes later, heading inches above the bar from a Tevez corner.

The visiting defence remained stern in spite of City's dominance however and although Mancini's men dictated the play, Reading could perhaps have taken all three points had they been more clinical on the counter. Indeed, Brian McDermott's side again went close as Pearce directed another header just wide from a fine set-piece delivery from Harte.

Aguero, the hero of City's title winning campaign last season, almost gave the home fans another late showing as he broke free before firing into the side netting. However it was Barry who delivered the finale when he powered a header into the net with just minutes to play to maintain the Citizens' title tilt.


Manchester City FC

1
Joe Hart
Goalkeeper
3.00
5
Pablo Zabaleta
Defender
3.50
4
Kolo Toure
Defender
3.00
33
Matija Nastasic
Defender
2.50
44
Karim Rekik
Defender
84′
3.00
14
Javi García
Midfielder
59′
2.00
18
Gareth Barry
Midfielder
93′
3.00
21
David Silva
Midfielder
93′
2.50
42
Yaya Touré
Midfielder
70′
2.00
16
3.00
10
Carlos Tévez
Striker
75′
3.00

Reading

4.00
1
Adam Federici
Goalkeeper
3.00
2
3.00
26
Alex Pearce
Defender
3.00
3
2.00
23
Ian Harte
Defender
87′
3.00
20
Jem Karacan
Midfielder
71′
3.50
8
1.50
11
Jobi McAnuff
Midfielder
3.00
14
Jimmy Kebe
Midfielder
3.50
16
Jay Tabb
Midfielder
2.50
29

Substitutes

29
Richard Wright
Goalkeeper
 - 
4
 - 
6
 - 
7
James Milner
Midfielder
84′
1.50
62
Abdul Razak
Midfielder
 - 
10
Edin Dzeko
Striker
59′
3.00
21
Scott Sinclair
Midfielder
75′
1.50

Substitutes

 - 
12
Stuart Taylor
Goalkeeper
1.00
20
 - 
17
 - 
19
1.50
35
Danny Guthrie
Midfielder
71′
 - 
9
 - 
10
Noel Hunt
Striker

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
Manchester City
18 6
Wayne Rooney Wayne Rooney
Striker
Man Utd.
15 2
Sergio Agüero Sergio Agüero
Striker
Manchester City
15 0