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Manchester City 4-2 Cardiff : Match Report
Manchester City four, Cardiff two. Not by any means the most accurate reflection of what was a spirited Bluebirds display which made it unusually challenging for City at the Etihad. Nonetheless, Manuel Pellegrini's side, who possessed the look of champions, made sure of the precious three points thanks to goals from Edin Dzeko, Jesus Navas, Yaya Toure and Sergio Aguero as their remarkable attacking prowess came to the fore on the day the hosts sealed an amazing milestone, scoring their 100th goal of the campaign so far.
It is fair to say the whole stadium fully expected Man City to notch their 100th goal of the season, with the fact that the season has just passed its half-way point making the statistic even more commendable. All the same, it would have made it that much more special if it had been a spectacular goal to adequately compliment the ninety-nine goals which largely consist of goals which can be rightfully described as dazzling. Even so, Pellegrini won't mind how the ball ends up in the net after Edin Dzeko secured City's century of goals with a scrappy, miscued finish as the Goal Decision System came into its zone. As David Silva danced his way into the penalty area, with the help of his hand according to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side, the Spanish playmaker pulled back towards Edin Dzeko, who miscued the ball with enough power as Cardiff defender Kevin McNaughton failed to clear the ball in time. As the Etihad Stadium's big screen read "100 and counting", the Eastlands faithful had every right to predict the opening of the Bluebirds floodgates. Much to their surprise, the Welsh side, enjoying their maiden season in the English top-flight, responded through a former roof repairman who extensively did not merit to be on the losing side.
Craig Noone. The former roofer, who had been constantly terrorizing the Manchester City backline all match, got the better of City captain Vincent Kompany and kept his composure to roll the ball past Joe Hart to evoke thoughts of the breakage of Man City's untouched home record.
Despite the confidence boost, the Bluebirds were only on level terms for four minutes after Jesus Navas calmly sidefooted home past stricken keeper David Marshall.
Following the break, Manchester City showed why they are many people's favourites for this seaosn's Barclays Premier League crown. In what was a tough encounter, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men always had a chance at 2-1. However, it is City's wealth and array of attacking prowess which has consequently seen them become favourites for the coveted trophy and their lethality came to the fore as Manuel Pellegrini's side killed the game in the space of two minutes. A trademark Yaya Toure burst resulted in the home side's third, giving City some much-needed breathing space as Cardiff threatened to equalise, coming close as Hart smartly saved from the on-fire Craig Noone.
Swiftly after, Sergio Aguero, who marked his return from injury with a goal on Wednesday evening in the FA Cup, turned what was an arduous match into a score-line rout. It was a display with this season's edition of Manchester City Football Club stamped all over it. The capacity to score goals as well as to haplessly leak them.
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