Red Bull Salzburg 0 Manchester City 2: David Silva and Jo score in Europa League win

16 September 2010 07:06
David Silva and Jo performed an unlikely double act as Manchester City got their Europa League campaign off to a flying start.

Silva has endured a stop-start first few weeks since his arrival from Valencia and has even been linked with a swift move back to Spain.

But the World Cup star provided City with their early lead before Jo, who staggeringly was the longest-serving outfield player in the City starting line-up despite spending the past 18 months away on loan, drilled home the second from an acute angle.

Silva lining: Man City captain Carlos Tevez embraces David Silva after the Spain midfielder opened the scoring with his first goal for the club

It was a fully merited triumph for ateam that at times showed the form that brought them that encouragingearly-season triumph over Liverpool, and gave Roberto Mancini anindication that after recent Premier League setbacks against Sunderlandand Blackburn, his highly expensive team are moving in the rightdirection again.

When Silva's £24million capture wasannounced right in the middle of the World Cup, it created a ripple ofexcitement to match any at City throughout another breathless summer.

Although not in the class of hisBarcelona-bound former Valencia colleague David Villa, Silva had beenattracting admiring glances across Europe for quite a while.

That City should be able to attractsuch a player, at a time when the general trend has been for big namesto decamp to La Liga, emphasised both their financial muscle and thenew eyes with which the Eastlands outfit are now being viewed.

Net gains: David Silva (centre) took just eight minutes to break the deadlock

As it turned out, Silva still had 11days of what, for him, was a largely inactive World Cup to go, theconsequent celebrations and late return for pre-season training playinghavoc with the settling-in process.

That the two recent internationalbreaks have taken Spain to Mexico and Argentina have hardly helpedeither, so suddenly, Silva was a man with something to prove.

Deep down, he must have retained plenty of confidence though.

The assured manner with which hetook the seventh-minute opportunity presented to him by Jo did notappear that of a man wracked by self-doubt.

By half-time, Silva would be reflecting he should have had a second too.

Gareth Barry's fine pass to CarlosTevez created that opportunity, the South American's square ballinviting Silva to shoot, only for Gerhard Tremmel to make a fine saveafter the 24-year-old had checked back onto his left foot.

Sealing the deal: Jo made the most of a rare appearance in the starting line-up with City's second

That Wayne Bridge and Jo played a part in City's opener would have given both men cause for satisfaction.

Bridge's first appearance of theseason has been delayed because of an ankle operation and could nothave been better timed considering Joleon Lescott is expected to be outfor a fortnight with a groin strain.

For Jo it was a reminder that he still exists.

In the thick of it: Gareth Barry does his best to evade the advance of Salzburg's David Mendes da Silva

It was the Brazilian's first startsince December 2008, six months after his arrival from CSKA Moscow in a£17million deal which seemed  certain to be consigned to the ill-fatedvariety.

Expected to move on this summerafter loan spells with Everton and Galatasaray, the 23-year-old stuckaround and was rewarded with a place in both Mancini's Premier Leagueand European squads.

Then, as injuries claimed Emmanuel Adebayor and Mario Balotelli, Jo was suddenly shunted to the forefront of Mancini's plans.

It must be said, he did not lookparticularly threatening, even though he stuck stretch out a leg to teeup Silva from Bridge's low cross.

Helping hand: Joe Hart's blushes are spared after a Salzburg effort crashes off of the bar

But the City boss stuck with him andwhen Tevez's shot was parried by Gerhard Tremmel, Jo kept his composureto tuck home from an acute angle.

The goal came at a time when awatchable game had hit a flat spot, Salzburg hitting a brick wall intheir attempts to come any closer than the free-kick Nikola Pokrivacflashed wide right after the break.

Cut above: Tevez, sporting his new cropped haircut, keeps the ball away from Rabiu Afolabi

Mancini took it as the sign to startmaking changes, with Dedryck Boyata, Patrick Vieira and ShaunWright-Phillips all given a run out.

After the recent setbacks againstSunderland and Blackburn it was just what Mancini would have wanted andleaves City fans in optimistic mood ahead of their second Europeanadventure, the visit of Italian giants Juventus to Eastlands in afortnight.

 Europa League - all the action as it happenedMancini wants Silva service as Man City kick off Europa League campaign Hair comes the new Tevez! Man City captain Carlos proves he's a cut aboveManchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart wants a flying start in Europa LeagueMANCHESTER CITY FC

Source: Daily_Mail