skip to content
Adam Johnson produces a left-footed shot from just outside the area that goes harmlessly over the target.
David Silva takes a outswinging corner to the near post, clearance by Alexander Hleb.
The ball is swung over by David Silva, Roger Johnson manages to make a clearance.
Unfair challenge on Stephen Carr by David Silva results in a free kick. Stephen Carr takes the free kick.
Roque Santa Cruz challenges Roger Johnson unfairly and gives away a free kick. Ben Foster takes the free kick.
The ball is delivered by Gareth Barry, Keith Fahey manages to make a clearance.
Corner taken left-footed by Adam Johnson, clearance made by Roger Johnson.
Gareth Barry takes a shot. Save by Ben Foster.
Sebastian Larsson produces a cross, clearance made by Vincent Kompany.
Shot by Gnegneri Toure Yaya from outside the box goes over the net.
David Silva crosses the ball, Scott Dann makes a clearance.
Nigel De Jong takes a shot. Ben Foster makes a save.
David Silva delivers the ball.
David Silva gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Lee Bowyer. Ben Foster takes the direct free kick.
(Man City) makes a substitution, with Gareth Barry coming on for Carlos Tevez.
Pablo Zabaleta sends in a cross.
David Silva fouled by Lee Bowyer, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Kolo Toure.
Effort from outside the penalty box by Cameron Jerome goes wide left of the target.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Lee Bowyer by Nigel De Jong. The referee shows Nigel De Jong a yellow card for unsporting behaviour. Sebastian Larsson delivers the ball, Scott Dann takes a shot. Save by Joe Hart.
Shot from just outside the box by Carlos Tevez misses to the right of the target.
Effort on goal by Aleksandar Kolarov from a long way out goes over the bar.
Aleksandar Kolarov delivers the ball.
The ball is sent over by Adam Johnson, Scott Dann makes a clearance.
Sebastian Larsson takes a shot. Save by Joe Hart.
Adam Johnson takes a shot. Scott Dann gets a block in.
Alexander Hleb delivers the ball, Kolo Toure manages to make a clearance.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Roque Santa Cruz on Roger Johnson. Free kick taken by Ben Foster.
Keith Fahey takes a shot. Save by Joe Hart.
The ball is crossed by Adam Johnson, Ben Foster makes a save.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Adam Johnson by Sebastian Larsson. Direct free kick taken by Joe Hart.
A cross is delivered by Liam Ridgewell.
Carlos Tevez has an effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the right of the target.
Effort from the edge of the area by Carlos Tevez goes wide of the right-hand upright.
James Milner goes off and Roque Santa Cruz comes on.
Nikola Zigic leaves the field to be replaced by Alexander Hleb.
Corner taken by Sebastian Larsson from the right by-line to the near post.
Carlos Tevez crosses the ball, save by Ben Foster.
Adam Johnson takes a shot. James Milner gets a block in.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Sebastian Larsson on Vincent Kompany. Nigel De Jong takes the direct free kick.
The ball is crossed by James Milner.
James Milner takes a shot. Stephen Carr gets a block in.
James Milner takes a shot. Blocked by Stephen Carr.
The referee blows for offside against Nikola Zigic. Kolo Toure takes the indirect free kick.
Carlos Tevez takes a shot. Save by Ben Foster.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Stephen Carr on Carlos Tevez. James Milner has an effort direct from the free kick, blocked by Lee Bowyer.
Outswinging corner taken left-footed by Aleksandar Kolarov, Adam Johnson takes a shot. Blocked by Liam Ridgewell. Effort from the edge of the penalty area by Gnegneri Toure Yaya goes wide of the left-hand post.
Centre by James Milner, blocked by Sebastian Larsson.
A cross is delivered by Jerome Boateng.
Nigel De Jong challenges Lee Bowyer unfairly and gives away a free kick. Strike comes in from Sebastian Larsson from the free kick, Joe Hart makes a save.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Cameron Jerome on Nigel De Jong. Craig Gardner leaves the field to be replaced by Lee Bowyer. Strike on goal comes in from Aleksandar Kolarov from the free kick, save made by Ben Foster.
Cameron Jerome gives away a for an unfair challenge on Nigel De Jong. Lee Bowyer comes on in place of Craig Gardner.
James Milner delivers the ball, Roger Johnson manages to make a clearance.
The referee blows for offside against Carlos Tevez. Ben Foster takes the indirect free kick.
Effort from the edge of the box by Adam Johnson goes wide of the left-hand upright.
Corner from the left by-line taken by Sebastian Larsson, Joe Hart makes a save.
Corner taken by Sebastian Larsson from the left by-line, Vincent Kompany manages to make a clearance.
Kolo Toure gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Nikola Zigic. Free kick taken by Roger Johnson.
Handball decision goes against Carlos Tevez. Free kick taken by Ben Foster.
Booking for Carlos Tevez for unsporting behaviour.
Gnegneri Toure Yaya takes a shot. Blocked by Scott Dann.
A cross is delivered by James Milner, Ben Foster makes a save.
Cameron Jerome gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Aleksandar Kolarov. Joe Hart takes the direct free kick.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Sebastian Larsson by James Milner. Barry Ferguson takes the direct free kick.
Gnegneri Toure Yaya gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Liam Ridgewell. Free kick taken by Ben Foster.
Liam Ridgewell challenges James Milner unfairly and gives away a free kick. The free kick is swung in left-footed by Adam Johnson, Nikola Zigic makes a clearance.
Liam Ridgewell challenges James Milner unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick crossed left-footed by Aleksandar Kolarov, Nikola Zigic manages to make a clearance.
Unfair challenge on Sebastian Larsson by Kolo Toure results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Scott Dann.
Foul by Gnegneri Toure Yaya on Sebastian Larsson, free kick awarded. Scott Dann takes the free kick.
David Silva is caught offside. Indirect free kick taken by Ben Foster.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Cameron Jerome by Kolo Toure. Direct free kick taken by Scott Dann.
The ball is swung over by James Milner, clearance by Scott Dann.
David Silva crosses the ball.
The offside flag is raised against Carlos Tevez. Ben Foster restarts play with the free kick.
Gnegneri Toure Yaya gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Craig Gardner. Roger Johnson restarts play with the free kick.
Long distance shot from Keith Fahey misses to the left of the goal.
Sebastian Larsson crosses the ball, clearance by Vincent Kompany.
Aleksandar Kolarov takes a inswinging corner from the right by-line to the near post, Roger Johnson makes a clearance.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Barry Ferguson by Carlos Tevez. Ben Foster takes the free kick.
Sebastian Larsson crosses the ball, Kolo Toure makes a clearance.
The ball is sent over by Keith Fahey, Unfair challenge on James Milner by Sebastian Larsson results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Joe Hart.
Effort on goal by Aleksandar Kolarov from outside the penalty box goes harmlessly over the bar.
Carlos Tevez takes a shot. Roger Johnson gets a block in.
The ball is crossed by Stephen Carr.
Carlos Tevez produces a right-footed shot from the edge of the area and misses to the left of the target.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Gnegneri Toure Yaya on Scott Dann. Ben Foster takes the free kick.
Corner taken left-footed by Aleksandar Kolarov from the right by-line to the near post, clearance by Nikola Zigic.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Nikola Zigic on Gnegneri Toure Yaya. Free kick taken by Kolo Toure.
Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Sebastian Larsson, clearance made by Gnegneri Toure Yaya.
Unfair challenge on Jerome Boateng by Nikola Zigic results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Joe Hart.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Aleksandar Kolarov by Nikola Zigic. Aleksandar Kolarov restarts play with the free kick.
Nigel De Jong concedes a free kick for a foul on Cameron Jerome. Free kick taken by Ben Foster.
The match has kicked off.
The first half comes to an end.
The referee gets the second half underway.
The referee blows for the end of the match.
Champions League remains Mancini's focus
Roberto Mancini insists he would be happy with a fourth-placed finish for Manchester City this season.
The Blues boss has again been forced onto the defensive over his tactics in the dismal derby draw with Manchester United on Wednesday.
Although United hardly carved out a hatful of chances, Mancini has largely been held responsible for the tepid goalless stalemate, and bringing what are perceived to be tactics straight out of Serie A into the Premier League.
Yet Mancini views the outcome as a point gained rather than two lost.
While most of his critics are judging City's performances by the money they have spent and the sight of Chelsea disappearing over the horizon as champions-elect, Mancini's sights are not quite so high.
Having been set a pre-season target of securing Champions League combat next term, the current table, which has City in fourth, four points ahead of next best Newcastle, suits the Italian just fine.
"We are in a good position," said Mancini.
"If the Premier League finished tomorrow I would be happy.
"Our target is to get to the Champions League. But targets can change during the season.
"It is important for us to stay at the top until January because the league can change after that, when the Champions League starts again. Then, maybe Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United will have their focus on this competition."
Not that the City chief views the title as a realistic aspiration.
When he explained earlier in the season that he though Chelsea would finish top "easily", it was interpreted as kidology from Mancini given his team subsequently went out and inflicted a first defeat of the season on Carlo Ancelotti's men.
Yet, ahead of the meeting with United he claimed Manchester's finest were in a battle for second spot. And he is at a loss to understand why his words are still not being taken at face value.
"When I was asked about Wayne Rooney coming to Manchester City, I said that he would stay with United because he is an important player. Where is he staying?" challenged Mancini.
"I said Chelsea would win the title easily.
"They are a strong team. The best team in the league.
"They started the season very well. They won the first five games.
"When you start a season like that it is very difficult for another team to get there."
After two tough games already this week, Mancini intends to make a number of changes for the visit of Birmingham to Eastlands, which will almost certainly include a recall for England winger Adam Johnson.
More expressive tactics are envisaged than were in evidence earlier in the week, although Mancini feels he has nothing to apologise for.
"Our supporters and journalists criticised us but we tried to win," he said.
"We tried to win but we were not on the pitch alone. We had opponents trying to stop us.
"I didn't think it was a boring game. Maybe people prefer 3-3 or 4-4 but this is impossible.
"We must have a balance. You try to score but you must also defend."
Alex McLeish admits Birmingham have to step up Alexander Hleb's training regime if they are to get the best out of the on-loan Barcelona player.
McLeish revealed Hleb has been able to train for less than 20% of the time available to him since his temporary move from the Nou Camp two moths ago.
He has been affected by injury niggles but also a lack of pre-season action and looked a shadow of the player who was a key performer at Arsenal.
McLeish even left Hleb out of his starting line-up for the midweek 3-2 at Stoke and he remained on the substitute's bench for the entire 90 minutes,
McLeish told Press Association Sport: "Alex knows he is a big-time player and there are high expectation levels on him.
"He has got a reputation to preserve but he is not fully fit. He is not 100%. If Hleb was fully fit, we know he would be shrugging off the challenges on him.
"If we can get him top fit, we know that he will be a different player and a player who can make a difference. But I've got to do what is right for the team."
McLeish revealed: "Alexander has been here 70 days and only trained for about 13.
"We have to get that statistic higher to make sure he is at a level where he's going to make a difference. It just little niggles all over.
"The pre-season is crucial for players. If you don't get the right pre-season, the season can become a struggle for them.
"They can pick up niggles and Alex did not have much action pre-season at Barcelona."
City booed after another goalless draw
Roberto Mancini felt the full weight of frustration as his Manchester City side were booed off after their second 0-0 draw in four days at Eastlands, this time against Birmingham.
Just as against Manchester United on Wednesday, the entertainment value was sadly lacking, except on this occasion City were playing against a side who could be in the bottom three by Sunday evening.
James Milner came closest to breaking the deadlock, 15 seconds after the interval, when his shot was cleared off the line by Stephen Carr.
It was not impressive stuff though for a side who, whilst remaining in a Champions League position, have now won just one match from their last five Premier League outings and have not scored a league goal on home soil since the beginning of October.
That Mancini compounded this by taking crowd favourite Carlos Tevez off before the end, and replacing him with Gareth Barry, just heightened a sense of unhappiness at the sight of an obdurate Birmingham outfit heading back down the M6 with a precious point.
As Birmingham turned out in a red away kit that could have passed for Manchester United, it was easy to believe this was simply a continuation of Wednesday night's awful fare.
There were obvious differences. For a start, Birmingham were intent on defending their penalty area, a tactic that became apparent within the first five minutes.
Aleksandar Kolarov was introduced for only his second start of the season, a notable figure if only because he came across from his left-back station to take City's right-wing corners.
And Adam Johnson was picked, offering the England star to match his words of discontent about forcing himself into Mancini's plans so infrequently, with meaningful action.
Unfortunately, the end product was depressingly similar to a midweek derby generally acknowledged to be one of the worst of recent times.
If anything, due to a chronic lack of atmosphere mainly, this was even worse.
Ben Foster did not have a first half save to make, or at least the one he did need to make but failed, turned out to be of no consequence anyway as Carlos Tevez was ruled to have handled David Silva's cross to get it past the England man.
Referee Mike Jones got that call right, just as he was probably correct to rule it was not a penalty when Liam Ridgewell went down under Johnson's challenge.
It was more a case of accidentally tripping over someone's feet by the Birmingham full-back, who did not complain, even if manager Alex McLeish did.
Kolarov, Tevez and Johnson drove ambitious efforts wide, drawing groans from home supporters who clearly expect much better.
They came very close to getting it within 15 seconds of the restart.
Having organised his defence so well, McLeish must have been startled at how easily they were undone in route one fashion when James Milner breached their defences.
Foster repelled the midfielder's first effort but Milner seemed sure to tuck the rebound home, only for Carr to pop up and make a fine goalline clearance.
It emphasised the greater purpose City had found during the interval, even if Tevez, Milner and, most glaringly, Yaya Toure wasted decent chances.
Toure is yet to win over the Blues support since his summer arrival from Barcelona on a reputed salary in excess of #200,000 a week.
For that money, more is anticipated that a rushed finish to a move in which both Milner and David Silva created space for the imposing Ivorian to shoot.
Toure has been part of a spending spree over the past two transfer windows that has turned Roque Santa Cruz into City's forgotten man.
The Paraguayan, signed by Mark Hughes from Blackburn in an #18million deal 17 months ago, admitted earlier this week that he would be seeking pastures new in January.
However, with Emmanuel Adebayor missing due to a bruised heel and his side starting to run out of ideas, Mancini opted to introduce Santa Cruz into a Premier League encounter for the first time this season.
The Paraguayan almost had an instant impact too, slipping an intelligent pass through for Tevez, who dragged his shot wide.
As thoughts of an upturn in fortunes increasingly looked like being an illusion, frustration in the stands turned to fury when Tevez was replaced by Gareth Barry seven minutes from time.
Tevez raised a rueful eyebrow as he took his place in the dug-out, leaving Mancini to face the ire of his own supporters.
© 2004 - 2014 football.co.uk