Saturday, 5 February 2011

Manchester City 3 West Brom 0

Carlos Tevez's first-half hat-trick helped Manchester City see off West Brom and end a three-game winless run.
The Argentine had already hit the post from Aleksandar Kolarov's cross when he slotted home from the spot after Steven Reid hauled Kolarov down in the box.
David Silva set Tevez up to make it 2-0 and he celebrated his 27th birthday with a third goal, converting another penalty after Jerome Thomas handled.
Marc-Antoine Fortune wasted West Brom's best chance when he fired wide.
City could have been further ahead at the break, and would have been but for Baggies keeper Boaz Myhill tipping a Kolarov thunderbolt on to the bar and also denying David Silva when he was clean through.
The second half was a different story, with the home side seemingly happy to sit back but, given the recent defensive fragility that has undermined his side's title bid, City boss Roberto Mancini will no doubt be satisfied with a clean sheet to go with the three points they collected.
On an emotional day at Eastlands that saw City mark the death of former star Neil Young with a minute's applause before kick-off, Mancini's men were quickly into their stride.
With £27m striker Edin Dzeko starting on the bench, Kolarov was operating in a more advanced position down the left and he got forward well to send over the cross that Tevez volleyed against the post after four minutes.
England goalkeeper Joe Hart has come under some criticism of late for his part in City's wobbles at the back but he was at his best to push Chris Brunt's free-kick wide and then tip Jonas Olsson's header over the bar from the resulting corner.
It was still City who were looking the more dangerous coming forward, however, and they made the breakthrough in the 17th minute.
Following a quick free-kick by Kolo Toure, Reid brought down Kolarov in the left-hand corner of the area and, after referee Martin Atkinson pointed to the spot, Tevez made no mistake to roll it into the bottom corner.
Tevez did not have wait long to add his 19th goal of the season, rounding off a neat build-up involving Vincent Kompany and Silva by hurdling a sliding Reid challenge and firing confidently home.
By now, City were rampant and only a series of super saves by Myhill stopped Kolarov and Silva adding to their tally.
But Myhill could do nothing to prevent Tevez completing his fourth hat-trick in English football shortly before the break when Atkinson awarded another penalty.
Pablo Zabaleta's cross span off Nicky Shorey and hit Thomas's arm, and this time Tevez stepped up to despatch the ball high to the goalkeeper's right.
West Brom, who came to the game with only one win in their last nine games and sliding rapidly down the Premier League table, might have feared an avalanche of City goals after the break.
But it was the Baggies who came out with more attacking purpose after the break and were arguably unlucky not to find the net at least once.
Peter Odemwingie sent a shot bouncing wide with Hart scrambling across his goal and, after Brunt blasted over, substitute Marc-Antoine Fortune fired into the side-netting after running clear and Carlos Vela headed wide when well placed.
Hart, who had made another good save from Brunt just before the break, again played his part when he pushed a Shorey free-kick round his post.
City rarely looked interesting in adding to their tally but still created a golden chance for Tevez to add a fourth before the end, with the Argentine blazing wastefully over.

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