By Steve Sutcliffe | In Match Reports - Home Games
Manchester City turned on the style with a devastating display of attacking football to crush Portsmouth on a day when the club’s new chairman, Khaldoon Al Mubarak, was unveiled to fans just before kick-off.
There was a samba beat to City’s play with Brazilians Elano, Jô and Robinho all impressing but as if to underline the importance of investment in youth to the club’s new owners Mark Hughes’ team also included Micah Richards, Stephen Ireland and Shaun Wright-Phillips, three products of City’s now famed Academy.
And it was Ireland and Wright-Phillips who stole the show with a master class in attacking football after Jo had given City a thirteenth minute lead when he latched on to Robinho’s through-pass and rounded James to set the tone for what was going to be a dismal afternoon for Harry Redknapp’s men
Two minutes later and City were two up. Elano swung in a low corner and, with the near post unprotected, James had to scramble across to save only for Richard Dunne, on his 29th birthday, to scramble the ball home from three yards despite the attentions of Sol Campbell.
In a momentary scare for City, Argentine international Pablo Zabaleta then cleared a Campbell header off the line just before half-time but in the main City’s defence marshalled by Dunne and Richards had little to trouble them all afternoon.
Normal service resumed after half time with the industrious Ireland producing two superb passes to set up clinical strikes for Robinho and a rejuvenated Shaun Wright-Phillips to increase the home sides advantage.
The first was a clever ball over former City favourite Distin which found Jo who in turn picked out the £32.5m man Robinho who clinically finished past James from 15 yards. 3- 0.
Ten minutes later and it was 4 – 0. This time Ireland slid a delicate low pass through for Wright-Phillips to power a high shot past James’ inside post for his third goal in his second spell back at the club.
Ched Evans then replaced Jo and was soon on the scoresheet as City’s self-belief soared.
Elano sent a pass out wide for Robinho, the little Brazilian danced to the bye line before slipping a ball to Wright-Phillips. His impudent back-heel confused the Portsmouth rearguard and Evans slotted home from ten yards out.
The rout was completed with seven minutes remaining when Javier Garrido’s cross from the left was fumbled by James as Wright-Phillips pressured and Fernandes bundled home the loose ball into an empty net.
Man City: Hart, Zabaleta, Richards, Dunne, Garrido, Kompany, Wright-Phillips, Ireland (Gelson 77), Elano, Robinho (Sturridge 85), Jo (Evans 71).
Subs Not Used: Schmeichel, Michael Ball, Hamann, Ben-Haim.
Goals: Jo 13, Dunne 20, Robinho 57, Wright-Phillips 68, Evans 78, Gelson 83.
Portsmouth: James, Johnson (Pamarot 82), Distin, Campbell, Belhadj, Diarra, Davis (Diop 33), Kaboul (Utaka 46), Armand Traore, Crouch, Defoe.
Subs Not Used: Ashdown, Hreidarsson, Mvuemba, Kanu.
Ref: Alan Wiley (Staffordshire).