Date: 5th February 2011 at 8:33pm
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With rain lashing down and a more or less full house, the setting was perhaps partially ideal for the tribute to Neil Young, who sadly left us on Thursday but who will be fondly remebered for his winning goal in the 1969 Cup Final.

Only the team forgot the plot, as the minutes applause got under way what was missing…oh yes they forgot to put on black armbands. The visitors had them, the referee team had them, but for some obscure reason not the home team.

It was a blessing to see City greats like Glyn Pardoe, Mike Doyle, Big Joe Corrigan et all all paying their tributes to Neil.

At least that seemed to transpose itself on to the field with Tevez rattling the woodwork in City’s first meaningful attack. Should have been 1-0.

But very quickly it was. Kolarov won the pnalty and Albion paid it as Tevez, fresh from missing two, hammered home in his more usual fashion as the keeper grabbed fresh air in the corner.

Next up was an exquisite 1-2 between Tevez and the majestic David Silva and Tevez rounded the Albion defender and slotted home in the far corner.

A few minutes later a cross was clearly handled in the box and Tevez yet again had the keeper heading off towards the post whilst the ball went a foot the other way.

So 35 minutes played and it’s 3-0 City who were playing excellent football and looked being able to ‘name that score’. That they named it at 3-0 suggested that the second half was an exercise in keeping a clean sheet rather than closing the goal difference gap on Chelsea.

This was a masterful first half against game oppostion who tried new corner and set piece routines but didn’t quite have the personnel to carry them off.

But Albion didn’t give up any more than the boing-boingers in the South Stand, but they did see the ‘Poznan’ more than they would have liked, with the scoreboard showing a delighted elderly lady joining in to the chorus of ‘Grandma we love you’.

They were many plusses from this game. Three well created goals, good saves from Hart including a parry which this time went to safety. The back line looked solid and Kolarov, who played further forward looked threatening and almost dismantled the south stand goal with a shot from outside the box.

Milner and Barry didn’t look under too much pressure but neither got hold of the game and we surrendered a lot of ball in midfield in the second half.

The attack was predominantly through Silva and Tevez and the wide threat from Kolarov. Yaya looked a bit out of sorts with none of his bursting runs on offer today.

Kolo didn’t get in any mess and didn’t create any, so a good days work for City with an experimental line-up. Even SWP got in on the act towards the end and to the applause of the crowd. Abdul Razak was introduced for the stoppage time. At least they put on their armbands at half time.

Albion never gave up and didn’t defend deep. Sadly for them they need to step up their playing personnel if they are make indentations at this level. Full marks for effort though.

So the day and the ball belonged to Tevez who looks back to his rapier best especially with the threat from Bal.otelli and Dzeko looming. Tevez always steps up to the plate and fully deserved his ovation late on in the match.

Next up —Stetford’s finest…and did they slip up today?

 

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