By William Wood | In Match Reports - Home Games
Just as the title appeared to be disappearing from Manchester City’s grasp, Roberto Mancini’s men thrashed West Brom 4-0 at the Etihad Stadium and saw rivals Manchester United suffer a 1-0 defeat away at Wigan Athletic.
The night’s events reduces the Red Devils’ advantage at the top of the table to five points, with the derby still to come, and ensures the fat lady’s voice is rested for a little longer yet.
Micah lined up at right-back for Mancini’s men whilst Carlos Tevez made his first start since his return to the fold, and the home faithful had just six minutes to wait before the opening goal. Sergio Aguero – who was impressive throughout – evaded several West Brom challenges before blasting home a 25-yard drive to make it 1-0.
David Silva, who was back to his mercurial best, then went close as he rounded the keeper only for his touch to take him wide, and Aguero’s follow up effort was saved by Ben Foster. Soon after, a Micah effort was blocked on the line by Jonas Olsson.
The hosts were dominant but saw several chances go begging as they went in at half-time just the one goal to the good, but their obvious quality would shine through in the second-half as they cruised to a four-goal advantage.
The advantage was initially doubled minutes after the restart just as news of Wigan’s goal filtered through, and a classy second it was. Samir Nasri slotted the ball through to Aguero who turned and curled beyond Foster sublimely to make it 2-0. It could immediately have been three as Aguero turned provider for Nasri, whose miscued shot went agonisingly wide.
An Argentina international grabbed the third but rather than Aguero it was that man Tevez. Nasri picked out Aguero who cut the ball back to Tevez, and he did the rest to put clear daylight between City and West Brom and make it 3-0.
Roy Hodgson’s side were really on the ropes and City seized on the opportunity with an exquisite fourth, Aguero once again involved as he carved open West Brom’s defence allowing David Silva to deftly flick over Foster to make it 4-0.
Substitute Adam Johnson saw Aguero go close with a header that would have sealed his hat-trick before cutting a shot across goal himself, which was parried by Foster at full stretch, whilst Nasri saw a tame effort equally denied.
The final whistle went sparking wild celebrations in light of the news from the DW Stadium too, and it appears that the tile race is back on!
Man City: Hart, Richards, Kompany, Lescott, Clichy, Silva, De Jong, Barry, Nasri, Aguero, Tevez. Subs: Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Milner, Pizarro, Dzeko, Johnson, Kolarov.
West Brom: Foster, Jones, Dawson, Olsson, Shorey, Cox, Mulumbu, Scharner, Andrews, Dorrans, Long. Subs: Daniels, Tchoyi, McAuley, Odemwingie, Hurst, Fortune, Roofe.