Manchester City pushed themselves forcefully into second place with a 3-2 victory over Blackpool at Bloomfield Road. The victory wasn`t as routine as perhaps expected, but two goals from Carlos Tevez and a delightful goal from David Silva helped City to a dramatic victory.
Manchester City boss, Roberto Mancini may have been criticised for his decision to leave Adam Johnson on the bench after coming on and proving he was in such devastating form, but, as was the case with Johnson- where his winner from the bench against Newcastle drew plaudits- another sub proved critical as this time Silva, the Spanish technically gifted footballer came off the bench to make a remarkable impact, scoring what proved to be a sensational winner as well as providing the match with the sparkle it deserved.
When two teams with such contrasting lifestyles are pitted together, the most likely outcome would be a City walkover. However, with Blackpool finding life in the Premier League to their liking, they used all the tools necessary to cause an upset. It might not have been the fairytale result they encountered at Anfield, or even the result they could have left with if fortune had favoured them. Nevertheless, it was a performance full of grit and determination that would have Ian Holloway proud.
Holloway`s side have proved over the first 8 games that their Premier League material, but when a team like Manchester City, a side that boasts title ambitions visit, the end result isn`t always going to be pleasant. City haven`t hit full tilt yet and are still without key players, but we`re a side that has been based on a sturdy, resolute foundation that is rarely failing to deliver.
Roberto Mancini took this as his chance to switch the formation, the 4-3-3 line-up that has faced critics at the start of the season was abolished, with the Italian tactician reverting to 4-4-2, with both Toure brothers rested and Adam Johnson getting a start instead of David Silva.
For 65 minutes the fixture asked so much without receiving any answers. The intent was evident from both sides- only to witness all the pressure result in very little.
The Tangerines started brighter and for the majority of the match had the chances to take the lead. Dj Campbell was proving to be a strong competitor and had his chances to take the game to City.
Despite both teams trying to force the issue, it wasn`t until another super-sub from Mancini, that the game enjoyed such a creative, fruitful spell. Within minutes Silva`s quick feet were causing problems and when he slipped in Tevez, the Argentinean hit-man reacted superbly, flicking the ball in with his deft touch.
Blackpool probably could have been excused for feeling hard done by and crawling into their shell, but when Charlie Adam, the midfield sensation, clipped his acute cross into the box, Marlon Harewood levelled beating Lescott to the ball and heading home.
With the scores tied again it was up to Blackpool to do something they failed to against Blackburn, keep it that way. Ultimately, the failed. Within seconds, Wayne Bridge was bearing down on the opposition goal and despite being tackled the ball fell to Tevez, who again smashed home this time with the aid of a deflection.
The Blues continued to press and having hit the woodwork with Milner and Tevez previously, Silva then struck the post before scoring a beautiful winner. After collecting a short free kick, Silva jinked his way into the Blackpool box, skipping two lunging tackles, before perfect curling the ball into the far corner. The move was bringing back happy memories of Kinkladze and Silva deserved all the praise as he sent the City faithful into raptures.
The home side still had the chance to showcase how brilliantly they played, when Taylor Fletcher slotted home from a corner, but unfortunately for The Tangerines it was too late.
So, as was the case last time out against Newcastle, Mancini`s super sub tactics are proving inspiring, City head into their next crunch Premier League fixture against Arsenal hot on Chelsea`s tails.
Could do little with either goal. Good distribution.
Still coming back to full sharpness.
Strong, resolute and anticipated everything. Was very solid at the back.
Isn’t as comfortable or confident as Kompany or his main partner Toure.
Reasonable. Bad free kick for Blackpool’s first goal but very good run for City’s second.
Was solid and with the spotlight on him he performed admirably.
Cool and comfortable performance.
Shined in parts but didn’t have the same impact as he did coming off the bench.
Disciplined, energetic and whole-hearted display. Noone can fault his effort or tenacity.
Tried, but it wasn’t his day.
Another two goals from captain fantastic. A goal scorer is exactly what the top teams need and Carlos is definitely ours.
An inspiring substitute. Really changed the game for the better.
Slotted in well.
Provided City with more steel