Date: 26th December 2008 at 7:56pm
Written by:

Mark Hughes made three changes to the side that produced an embarrassing performance at the Hawthorns. Elano, Caicedo and Robinho all came in, as Gelson, Benjani and Vassell dropped out.


Hart, Zabaleta, Dunne (c), Richards , Ball, Kompany, Ireland, Wright-Phillips, Elano, Robinho, Caicedo.

Subs: Schmeichel, Garrido, Vassell, Sturridge.
Myhill, Ashbee (c), Windass, Geovanni, Mendy, McShane, Boateng, Marney, King, Zayatte, Turner.

Subs: Barmby, Hughes, Duke, Halmosi.

Before the whistle blew to start the match, the whole ground where on their feet to welcome back Geovanni on his return to Eastlands. However City fans were then on their feet in the first minute of the kick-off. Zayatte caused confusion in his own area and failed to clear his lines, as his ball went straight to Stephen Ireland, who fed Caicedo but instead of shooting the Bulky striker found Robinho on the left but his shot flew over.

Elano who looked like he was really hungry to impress found space two minutes later, but with Robinho and Caicedo in space beside him, he chose to go online and was hurtled down to the ground but the Ref was not interested. Hull then broke from this and forced Joe Hart into a great save after King broke into the box. This was great attacking play by both teams.

City however did look the more focused with both Ireland and Robinho testing their range inside the first 15 minutes. Caicedo`s who looked very impressive in recent weeks continued to make the most of his chance and constantly looked a threat and it was not too long before he made himself known to the City of Manchester Stadium. Dune broke out of the defence and found the small Brazilian Robinho, who lifted the ball over to Ireland who crossed across the goal, and Caicedo who could not miss, finished by blasting the ball into the roof of the net.

Robinho then went close a couple of minutes later when his goal-bound shot was parried by Myhill after his cheeky little stopovers. Both Robinho and Ireland found themselves architectures again as they repeated their ability to set up goals by producing the second. Ireland latched on to a poor clearance in defence to slide the ball across goal again and just like the first, who was their, none other than Caicedo who stroked the ball home with his left peg.

The crowd where still in celebrations when Manchester City managed to make it three. Robinho burst into space and moved the ball onto his right foot and fired past Myhill. Just class! City then almost had their forth goal, when Caicedo missed the chance to make his hat-trick as he fired his header straight at Myhill.

Hull who looked shocked and over powered did however manage to force some kind of attacking motion, when the won a free-kick which was taken by Geovanni, which could not beat Hart who superbly saved the shot.

City however did go further ahead after just 35 minutes. Robinho was on target again. Elano managed to chip the ball to the little Englishman Shaun, who broke down his wing and crossed to the Brazilian magician who walked the ball home. Kick me? I`m dreaming?

It was getting ridiculous because Man City could and should have had their fifth on the 39th minute. SWP shot from outside the box deserved a goal based on its own audaciousness, but instead brought a fine save out of Myhill.
Halftime approached and except for Shaun screwing a shot well wide, there was nothing more the City fans could shout about at half-time.

Interestingly enough, Phil Brown decided to show his feeling as he gave his players a public half time team talk right in front of the travelling supporters. To be honest, it really don`t know why he would humiliate his players like that? City were just firing above 2nd gear for once.

The Second half started almost had you would expect it to. Manchester City`s big lead meant they did not have to go forward as much and allowed Hull time and plenty of possession but they were not able to really test Joe Hart at all. The only thing to shout about for either side was when Geovanni was replaced with twenty minutes left, and he received a standing ovation again.

Shaun Wright-Phillips then had another opportunity with about a quarter to go. His Shot from the near post fizzed past the corner of the post and bar. Manchester City then went even closer as Elano managed to hit the post when it took a deflection from his free-kick. It was Hull who managed to ride on a little more luck as they finally found a consolation. Craig Fagan managed to poke the ball home from close range after Hart dropped a cross.

But the Man of the day and Superman of Manchester managed to regain City`s for goal lead. Stephen Ireland originally started the attack when he found Robinho who eventually rolled it back into the Irishman`s path and he slammed the ball home from just inside the area. He has certainly become a fan`s favourite this year, and proves that Mark Hughes made the best possible decision when he told Ireland he was not going anywhere last summer.

Final Score: Manchester City 5 Hull City 1

Aaron’s Conclusion:

Well, Mark Hughes thats the way to silence recent critics including me. Sensational performance from the lads, and you fully deserve the credit for playing Caicedo who i have always rated. If i can see this performance away from home, then i may just have to eat my words about you.


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