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City season review: Four crucial games
Published : 19 May 2010 11:13:10
| Submit Comments| Printable Version1/1Play SlideshowClose MapCR-OUCH: Spurs striker, Crouch, kills of City's Champions League hopesBLACKBURN 0 CITY 2 August 15, 2009 After a summer of big spending and untold excitement, it all boiled down to this. The Blues, whose away form had been atrocious throughout the previous season, needed a statement of intent, a morale boost and a clear sign that the old travelling mentality had been left in the past. Four of the big names were handed starting debuts, with £14m defender Kolo Toure, £12m midfielder Gareth Barry and £25m striker Emmanuel Adebayor in the side, and £25m man Carlos Tevez - recovering from injury - on the bench. It did not take long for the season to begin with a bang. Three minutes in, Adebayor collected the ball in his own half and swept it wide for the dashing Shaun Wright- Phillips. Adebayor charged on to the little winger's perfectly- placed pass and crashed a 25-yard shot past the startled Paul Robinson. That set the tone, and City wrapped up the win in front of 7,500 travelling supporters, Stevie Ireland applying a cool-headed finish to a smart counter-attack. CITY 4 SUNDERLAND 3 December 19, 2009 Rumours were cascading around Eastlands all day as Steve Bruce and his team arrived for what appeared to be a humdrum pre- Christmas league fixture against Sunderland. The Blues had crashed 3-0 at top four rivals Tottenham just days earlier, and that was the final straw for City's owners after a run of ordinary results. Manager Mark Hughes and his management team sensed that all was not well, but they pressed on with their job of garnering three points. It was as if the unease behind the scenes had transmitted itself to the players out on the pitch, as both sides put on a display of what was no better than schoolboy defending. It was 3-2 at half-time, with Roque Santa Cruz, a Carlos Tevez penalty and Craig Bellamy giving City the edge over the north-east outfit. Santa Cruz secured victory with his second after a Sunderland equaliser, but then the real drama was unfolded. Hughes was called upstairs and within two hours of the game finishing, City had announced Roberto Mancini would be taking the reins as the new manager. CHELSEA 2 CITY 4 February 27, 2010 A result which reverberated throughout football, and revitalised City's tentative push for a Champions League place. The Blues had hit a lull in their form, drawing successive league games and crashing out of the FA Cup in extra-time at Stoke just three days earlier. They came up against a Chelsea side which was unbeaten at home all season - and, indeed, had won 12 and drawn one at fortress Stamford Bridge. Carlos Tevez arrived in London less than 24 hours before kick-off after being at the bedside of his premature baby in Buenos Aires, to add to the air of hopelessness surrounding City's chances. And when Carlo Ancelotti's side dominated the first-half and took the lead through Frank Lampard, the game seemed up. But Tevez equalised and in the second-half the Argentine ace and Craig Bellamy ran away with the game, sharing the four goals, as Chelsea had two men sent off. CITY 0 SPURS 1 May 5, 2010 A season of hope and faith reached a nerve-jangling climax with the visit of Spurs. Harry Redknapp's side were the form outfit in the Premier League, having chalked up wins over Chelsea and Arsenal which helped them regain pole position in the chase for the valuable fourth place. The City marketing department had billed this one as "The Crunch" and tickets were soon sold out. An end-to-end first-half saw chances come and go for both sides. But in the second-half it was Spurs who girded their loins and found the composure and creativity to win it. Naturally, it was a reputed one-time City fan who notched the winner, Peter Crouch heading in after emergency loan keeper Marton Fulop had blocked Younes Kaboul's driven cross. The disappointment was palpable but the Blues finished fifth, a placing they have not bettered for 32 years - in itself a reason for optimism. | Submit Comments| Printable VersionAdd A CommentEnter your comments:Type your comment here...NewsletterGet the latest news straight to your inbox.