By William Wood | In Match Reports - Away Games
Micah scored his first goal of the season – and a great one at that – but it was not enough to give Manchester City victory over Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium, with the game finishing 1-1.
He put City ahead in the in the 81st minute with a delightful piece of skill but Matthew Etherington equalised late on for Stoke to ensure the honours were shared.
Micah – back in the side with Pablo Zabaleta suspended – latched on to a ball from James Milner, sold a dummy to Danny Collins before rifling a shot into the corner from the edge of the area.
Yet Stoke drew level in stoppage time when Etherington got on the end of a clever back heel from substitute Tuncay.
Despite the lavish spending of City, Stoke is never an easy place to go to and the visitors found themselves under pressure for large spells of the first half.
Stoke had an early chance as Rory Delap’s long throw was flicked on by Ryan Shawcross, and Jermaine Pennant’s effort flew just over.
Another Delap rifle of a throw caused panic in the City defence as Ricardo Fuller collected the ball and fired on goal, only for his shot to be blocked by Vincent Kompany.
Robert Huth was next up to try his luck, with the giant German defender missing his target by a few feet, whilst at the other end Carlos Tevez tried to get his team going only for James Milner to be dispossessed.
Fuller should have put his side in front as he got on the wrong side of Kolo Toure only to send the ball straight into Hart’s hands, whilst Aleksander Kolarov tested the palms of Asmir Begovic with a long range effort.
Stoke were nearly undone in the 42nd minute following some casual play by Collins on the edge of his own box, but thankfully for the hosts Begovic was alert to the danger and raced out to make the clearance.
Mario Balotelli – quiet throughout the first half – went close with an angled shot early in the second half, whilst Etherington could and should have done better when he bounced into the area only to send a soft shot straight to Hart.
Further exchanges produced very few clear cut chances, but a superb piece of skill by Micah on 81 minutes broke the deadlock.
Picking up the ball on the edge of the box, the England defender skipped past one defender before unleashing an unstoppable shot into the back of the net with precision.
However, just as City processed thoughts of a valuable away win, a clever flick by Tuncay allowed Etherington to slot home to make it 1-1 despite Hart’s best efforts.
Man City: Hart, Richards, Toure, Kompany, Kolarov, De Jong, Milner, Barry, Silva, Balotelli, Tevez. Subs: Given, Wright-Phillips, Adam Johnson, Boateng, Lescott, Vieira, Jo.
Stoke: Begovic, Wilkinson, Huth, Shawcross, Collins, Pennant, Whitehead, Delap, Etherington, Jones, Fuller. Subs: Sorensen, Higginbotham, Whelan, Gudjohnsen, Wilson, Walters, Sanli.