Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughTevez back into the swing of things - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Tevez back into the swing of things - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Tevez back into the swing of things


Too little too late? That’s what Roberto Mancini says about the title race but finishing strongly was again the main focus when visiting Norwich at the weekend. Carlos Tevez started his second game with Balotelli suspended and the mis-firing Edin Dzeko now seemingly relegated to fourth striker. 

Manchester City had beaten Norwich at the Etihad earlier on in the season by a score of 5-1 but thoughts before the game were that this would be more of a war of attrition than City having it all their own way. As I pointed out in my preview ( our Norfolk hosts have been the annoying thorn in the sides of more than one side from the upper echelon of the Premiership this season. 

Vital for Mancini and co was to build on the midweek victory and put the pressure back on United. The fact that they would no doubt beat Villa 24 hours later mattered not one jot in East Anglia in the bright midday sunshine.

Norwich started well enough and within the opening five minutes both Citys could have had a goal. The openeness of the Norwich play I think suited Manchester City who have struggled away from home when teams sit all but one player behind the ball.

Manchester City had the best of the opening exchanges before Carlos Tevez then got booked for what the referee determined to be a dive in the area. Replays showed that there was minimal contact and the Argentinian did go down rather theatrically and I think that was what swayed Chris Foy into brandishing the yellow card.

Eleven minutes later though Tevez did open the scoring with what was the first of some special goals on the day. Silva had the ball in the middle of the park and played it wide to Tevez whose shot was equal parts power and precision left the Norwich Goalkeeper flapping at air.

That goal filled both Tevez and the rest of the City players with confidence and for the second game in a row we started to see the re-emergence of ‘early season City’. Aguero and Tevez looked good together with neither one being as clumsy as Dzeko nor a liability like Balotelli and it was this Argentinian combination which provided City’s second and last goal of the first half. Aguero started and finished the move driving towards the Norwich goal before laying it off to Tevez. Carlos backheeled it to Aguero who had continued the run and again power and precision beat Ruddy who was being greeted with chants of ‘Englands number one’.

Half time arrived with Manchester City comfortable on the pitch although not with the scoreline and when Norwich made two changes to the start of the second half it was clear that Lambert hadn’t given the game up. Hoolahan and Surman came on for Pilkington and Johnson and it was the substitute Surman who reduced the arrears six minutes in. The usually reliable and unflappable Joe Hart was at fault when he attempted to come for a cross and was left out of position. Surman controlled it on the edge of the box before rifling a shot home. 

From that point until the introduction of Yaya Toure for Nasri it was pretty much even play, like heavyweight fighter trading punch for punch. The Toure introduction though gave City a new burst of energy and ten minutes later Manchester City had regained their two goal advantage through that man Tevez. David Silva fed the substitute Yaya Toure whose power drive was spilled by Ruddy and Tevez headed the ball back over the stranded keeper for 3-1. Tevez 2, Aguero 1.

Not to be outdone by his fellow countryman Sergio Aguero got his second only a minute later. His first goal was a beautiful interplay with Tevez but his second, and Citys fourth, was out and out solo supremacy. Sergio drove toward the goal, cut inside and then let go of a curling shot which was out of the reach of Ruddy yet again. It was now a case of which Argentine would lay claim to the match ball first.

With ten minutes left to go we had our answer, the wantaway striker Carlos Tevez netted the fifth and his hat trick. The cheeky striker made the most of a tame backpass to round the keeper before rolling the ball into the back of the net. His celebration was then to practice his golf swing in front of the travelling fans. Tevez had done well all game with the Norwich fans chanting ‘He wants to go home’. Now it was the Mancunian voices that taunted back with the now infamous Delia half time crowd pep talk from 2005, ‘Let’s be avin you!’. All good banter between two sets of fans who have a lot in common and have had to suffer over previous years.

Richards then cam on for Tevez directly who was possibly substituted for his celebration but more likely so he could hear the applause himself, showing him that in football performances equals forgiveness.

A little before the hat trick Adam Johnson had come on for Silva and in the last minute of normal time the super sub hit the crossbar with a sublime placed effort. Aguero struck the foot of the post also before the move of the game saw Yaya Toure cross the ball deep to Clichy who just cushioned the ball into Johnsons path. From the wing it was two touches before the ball nestled in the back of the net and allow City to travel back to Manchester not only with the three points, but also a healthy goal difference. 

PA Cityboy

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