Tag: Yaya Toure

Premiership: Man City 3-2 Sunderland

Frank Lampard claims dramatic winner for Man City

Frank Lampard showed why Manchester City were so keen to keep him by scoring a dramatic winner as the champions beat Sunderland 3-2.

The former England midfielder, whose short-term move from sister club New York City was extended late on New Year’s Eve, came off the bench to settle a remarkable Premier League game at the Etihad Stadium.

A dull contest burst into life after Yaya Toure broke the deadlock with a stunning strike after 57 minutes.

Four more goals followed in the next 16 minutes as Stevan Jovetic added a second for the hosts and Sunderland hit back through former City players Jack Rodwell and Adam Johnson.

It then fell to Lampard, who had dominated the build-up to the game as his switch from New York was ratified, to make the headlines with a fine headed winner.

It was the former Chelsea player’s seventh goal for the club since joining City on what was assumed to have been a loan from New York at the start of the season.

It has now emerged that the 36-year-old was on a short-term contract before moving to Major League Soccer, and manager Manuel Pellegrini will feel the decision to extend the arrangement has immediately been justified.

What unfolded in the second half came in remarkable contrast to the first half.

City, who had Willy Caballero in goal in place of the rested Joe Hart, dominated possession but Sunderland played deep.

City created an early opening with Jovetic flashing a shot wide after combining with David Silva but their opportunities were to be few and far between.

Toure, who gave City control of midfield after being rested for Sunday’s draw with Burnley, sliced one chance from distance well wide and high.

After more patient probing, Silva found space to curl in a shot but Costel Pantilimon – Hart’s deputy last season – saved well. The Romanian was also in the right place to deal with another Toure shot.

Sunderland’s best opportunity of the first half came from a set-piece after they controversially broke from deep while City’s Samir Nasri lay injured.

Pablo Zabaleta brought down Jordi Gomez just outside the area and Sebastian Larsson took aim from the free-kick, but Caballero was equal to his effort.

City tried to up the tempo in the second half, and Jesus Navas shot wide within a minute of the restart, but the game appeared to be changing little until Toure finally struck.

City again seemed to be getting little joy as they looked to prise an opening in the Sunderland defence – but Toure opted for power.

The Ivorian – who heads off to the African Nations Cup next week – was lurking just outside the area when he raced onto Jovetic’s lay-off and smashed an unstoppable shot into the top corner.

City then seemed to have made the game safe as Jovetic released Gael Clichy down the left and then sprinted into the area to take his return pass and beat Pantilimon with a neat flick.

But with the game having suddenly come to life, Sunderland produced a remarkable response to level with two quickfire goals.

Emanuele Giaccherini extended Caballero with a good shot but Rodwell got a firm header to Larsson’s cross from the resulting corner to pull a goal back.

City lost their discipline and were pulled apart moments later as Sunderland attacked again.

Ricardo Alvarez drove the ball across the box and Zabaleta felled Billy Jones attempting to stop the inrushing defender. Johnson made no mistake from the penalty spot.

But after Sunday’s frustration against Burnley, when City drew after also surrendering a 2-0 lead, the hosts found another gear.

Typically Lampard provided their inspiration as, just moments after coming off the bench, he arrived in the box at the right time to nod home a Clichy cross.

Lampard might even have had more as he twice forced Pantilimon to save while Navas and Fernandinho were also frustrated by the keeper in an eventful finish.

Read more at ESPN

Premiership: West Brom 1-3 Man City

Manchester City cruise to win over West Brom in difficult conditions

Champions Manchester City again made light of the absence of strikers as they cruised to a 3-1 win at West Brom.

Fernando, Yaya Toure and David Silva did the damage in the first half at The Hawthorns, scoring inside the opening 34 minutes, as City kept up the pressure on Premier League leaders Chelsea.

Snow made conditions difficult in the second half and West Brom earned reward for showing some late spirit as they scrambled an 87th-minute consolation from a corner, Brown Ideye getting the final touch.

The scrappy end – albeit mitigated by the weather – took the gloss off an otherwise impressive display by City, who raced out of the blocks and led after just eight minutes.

Their victory was their ninth in succession in all competitions, equalling a club record and was the perfect response to Chelsea’s defeat of West Ham earlier in the day.

It was also all the more impressive coming without forwards Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko and Stevan Jovetic and captain Vincent Kompany.

Jovetic did make the bench after overcoming a hamstring injury but was not needed as makeshift centre-forward James Milner and the impressive Silva, operating behind him, led the attack.

City needed little time to get into their stride and stretched the hosts early as Silva and Jesus Navas burst forward. Bacary Sagna delivered a dangerous cross but West Brom managed to scramble clear from the feet of Silva and Milner.

The respite did not last long as City attacked again with Navas finding space in the area. His deflected cross should have been claimed by Ben Foster but the England goalkeeper fumbled and Fernando acrobatically hooked in from close range.

The damage soon got worse for West Brom as Silva skipped into the area and was adjudged to have been fouled by former team-mate Joleon Lescott.

Toure stepped up to rifle home the penalty with just 13 minutes gone and City began to look rampant, with Navas darting through and shooting at Foster soon after.

West Brom showed some spirit as the recalled Saido Berahino drove across goal but City went close again as Silva fired over after a good move.

Samir Nasri twice needed treatment, first for a head injury after being caught between Lescott and Gareth McAuley, and then for a leg problem after a strong challenge by Mulumbu.

City were hardly disrupted and went 3-0 up as Fernando seized possession and drove forward to release the ever-threatening Navas. Navas almost casually picked out Silva on the edge of the area and he finished with a superb first-time shot just into the far bottom corner.

That finally seemed to spark West Brom into life as Craig Gardner tested Joe Hart and Berahino again shot wide.

It came too late to prevent them being booed off by the home fans at half-time but they carried some momentum into the second period.

For a spell the Baggies dictated the play and they almost earned reward when Silvestre Varela slid in to meet a Gardner cross at the back post but diverted the ball wide.

James Morrison troubled Hart with a fizzing low shot from distance which the England number one clutched only at the second attempt.

As the snow began to thicken and settle, City switched their focus to seeing out the game.

Silva, perhaps also as a precaution after an earlier knock, was replaced just after the hour by defender Aleksandar Kolarov.

West Brom went close to replying as Lescott headed over and Stephane Sessegnon shot across goal.

They finally got on the scoresheet as Hart missed a corner and the ball rebounded in off the back of Ideye’s head. It was highly fortuitous, but the Nigerian had at least opened his Premier League account.

City saw out the rest of the game with little alarm and Milner celebrated by throwing his shirt to the away fans.

Read more at ESPN

Premiership: Man City 3-0 Crystal Palace

David Silva double lifts Manchester City to win over Crystal Palace

David Silva struck twice as Manchester City made light of their absence of strikers to brush troubled Crystal Palace aside 3-0 at the Etihad Stadium.

Yaya Toure also got on the scoresheet as the champions moved level on points with Chelsea at the top of the Barclays Premier League.

It was in-form City’s eighth successive win in all competitions – one short of equalling a club record.

Palace offered little in what was a routine victory for City, who will be pleased to have won so comfortably without injured strikers Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko and Stevan Jovetic, and captain Vincent Kompany.

Without a recognised forward, City packed their side with six midfielders.

James Milner operated in the most advanced role but Silva and Samir Nasri also got forward in support.

The system worked well against a Palace side who have now won just once in 11 games, but their lack of cutting edge was evident in a scoreless first half in which they got none of their eight attempts on target.

Nasri had the first of them when he stabbed an effort narrowly wide in the second minute after good work from Jesus Navas and Pablo Zabaleta.

Palace were limited but did possess some threat in the shape of the skilful Yannick Bolasie, who was by some distance the visitors’ most dangerous player.

Bolasie jinked past Martin Demichelis on the right but Joe Hart, fresh from signing a new contract, parried his cross to safety.

City survived a scare when Bolasie headed back into the area from a half-cleared free-kick and Fraizer Campbell, onside and unmarked, put an overhead kick across goal and wide.

City played a patient game as they looked to pick their way through the Palace defence and the chances eventually came – although most went begging.

Toure twice shot over from outside the box and Silva had a close-range effort deflected wide after Nasri wriggled through the defence.

Silva then miskicked in front of goal before Zabaleta spurned a great chance when he broke through and clipped the ball over Julian Speroni and wide.

Bolasie fired into the side-netting but little else came from Palace as City noticeably stepped up a gear in the second half.

They were ahead within four minutes of the restart as Zabaleta again burst into the box but this time pulled back for the inrushing Silva.

The Spaniard made a firm connection but he still benefited from a large slice of luck as his shot took a deflection off Scott Dann and looped over Speroni.

City looked hungry for more after that and Toure blasted over again as they kept up the pressure.

It paid off with a second Silva goal on the hour, the playmaker this time diverting the ball in from six yards from a good low cross by Aleksandar Kolarov. It proved Silva’s last significant action as he made way for Frank Lampard soon after.

Palace got the ball in the net when James McArthur headed firmly past Hart from a Bolasie cross but the flag was raised for offside.

It was a tight decision and City sought to ensure Palace did not get so close again.

They began to close the game down in a professional manner and made it 3-0 with a swift break nine minutes from time.

Navas released Milner with a fine through ball and the England man did well to hold up play and wait for Toure to take over. Toure collected possession on the edge of the box and powered forward to smash in a shot off Speroni’s near post.

Palace almost forced Demichelis to concede a late own goal but City held onto a clean sheet.

Read more at ESPN

Premiership: Man City 2-1 Swansea

Manchester City came from behind to beat Swansea City and keep the gap between themselves and Premier League leaders Chelsea to eight points.

City, third in the league, were stunned inside 10 minutes as Wilfried Bony chested down Nathan Dyer’s sublime pass and finished calmly.

The champions levelled when Stevan Jovetic clipped in Jesus Navas’s cross.

Gael Clichy hit the bar for the hosts before Yaya Toure latched on to Fernandinho’s back heel for the winner.

Bafetimbi Gomis poked wide for the visitors and Jonjo Shelvey’s deflected free-kick was inches away from levelling in the dying seconds.

City, who entertain Bayern Munich in the Champions League on Tuesday, move a point behind second-placed Southampton, who are in action on Monday at Aston Villa.

Home striker Sergio Aguero had scored 13 goals in his last 13 Premier League games, but it was Swansea’s Bony who made the first mark on the game with his fifth goal in six league matches.

The Ivorian, who signed a new deal at the Liberty Stadium this week, controlled Dyer’s audacious chipped through ball before slotting past goalkeeper Joe Hart for Swansea’s first ever goal at the Etihad.

Swansea had already won in Manchester this season, a 2-1 opening-day victory at United, but were without a win on their travels in the Premier League since.

Despite that lean run, they had not conceded the first goal in any of their league away games this season and, sure enough, their opener again proved a false dawn as Jovetic prodded in the leveller from Navas’s cross.

The hosts then pushed for the lead as Aguero saw a shot saved by Lukasz Fabianski, before Clichy had a fierce 30-yard strike brilliantly tipped onto the bar by the goalkeeper.

The breakthrough came when Toure combined with Fernandinho to finish low under Fabianski just past the hour mark.

Nerves were frayed as Swansea pushed for the leveller but, holding on, City achieved the win that was needed having won just one of their past six games in all competitions.

Read more at BBC Sport

Champions League: Man City 1-2 CSKA

Manchester City’s Champions League campaign reached crisis point as they were beaten by CSKA Moscow on a desperate night at Etihad Stadium.

Not only did they lose to two first-half goals from Seydou Doumbia, they also saw midfielders Fernandinho and Yaya Toure sent off after the break and ruled out of their next home game against Bayern Munich.

Toure had equalised Doumbia’s first goal but that was a rare high spot in a dismal performance by Manuel Pellegrini’s side, who simply cannot solve the Champions League puzzle.

City now have no wins and only two points from four group games and could still be eliminated even if they win their final two group games – against Bayern Munich and Roma.

They will be out before the final round of matches if they fail to beat Bayern and there is a winner in the match between CSKA and Roma.

And on the evidence produced so far, it is hard to see a team that mysteriously looks so ill-at-ease in this tournament turning their performances around to produce the results to qualify for the knock-out stages.

City’s fans were furious with Greek referee Tasos Sidiropolous at the final whistle, not only for the two red cards but also for a case of mistaken identity that spared CSKA’s Pontus Wernbloom a dismissal.

The bottom line, however, was that this was a shocking performance from the Premier League champions, especially in defence in the first half when they conceded the goals that condemned them to another defeat.

CSKA were without midfield man Zoran Tosic because of problems with his visa, but it was City bogeyman Doumbia who did the damage as he now has five goals against them in four Champions League games.

It was exactly a year ago, on Bonfire Night 2013, that Alvaro Negredo’s hat-trick gave City a 5-2 win here against CSKA, but this was a far cry from that as this performance summed up all the struggles they have had in this tournament.

City face a huge task against all odds to escape this group because nothing they have offered up in the Champions League suggests they will see off Bayern and Roma.

It will also leave Pellegrini facing awkward questions because their efforts this season suggest they have gone backwards in their attempt to challenge Europe’s elite.

Read more on BBC Sport