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Johnos goal2

Johnos goal2

Rarefied air at the top of the Premier League agrees with Roberto Mancini’s men.

This slenderish but deserved win over Wolves – the Blues victims in a 5-2 midweek Carling Cup romp – was further evidence, if any were needed, that the current City crop is a special vintage.

Victory was the home side’s 10th in a row at the Etihad Stadium in the Barclays Premier League. It was also the 24th contest in succession without the home faithful leaving their cathedral having tasted the bitterness of defeat.

Everton were the last team to win away to City but you need binoculars to look back that far as it was in December 2010.

As expected it was all change for the two teams as they met for the second time in such quick succession.

 Micah action

Mancini made eight alterations to the home starting line-up, reverting largely to the eleven that hit United for six at Old Trafford but saving in form Mario Balotelli for Villarreal.

The Italian is now eligible for Champions League action having served his three-match suspension

...City 3 Wolves 1...


Mick McCarthy, once a defender of the Blue faith in Manchester, declared before the game that he was pinning his hopes on skipper Roger Johnson to stem the home tide.

Honest Mick would have needed a defender of the pace of US Olympic legend Michael Johnson and the intelligence of Samuel Johnson to prevent this 'in the mood' City attack painting its succession of pretty, and ultimately lethal, pictures around the edge of the box.

Seeing James Milner, Nigel de Jong, Mario Balotelli and Adam Johnson perched on the bench is clearly a great incentive not to let the guard down and such is the confidence coursing through this City side at the moment it will take something extra special to puncture it.

McCarthy must have been cursing his luck having to take a side to the Etihad Stadium in the wake of the derby demolition but his side fought gallantly until the 52nd minute when the man who had been their savour dropped a clanger.

Goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey saw his attempted clearance charged down by Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko mopped up to score into an empty net.

That goal had been coming as City dominated what at times looked like and attack and defence training session. Hennessey, a youngster who began his career with City at Platt Lane, was outstanding.

Aguero Dismayed after miss

In the first half he saved brilliantly low down from Aguero and again with his ‘wrong hand’ from Dzeko who had been put through by Silva.

City’s Argentine striker was out of luck, too, when he snatched his shot wide after great work from Micah Richards – making his 200th start - who crossed low into the box after a scorching run.

After that fortuitous strike the game opened up, City brought on Wolves’ cup tormentor Adam Johnson and were always in control without being flashy

...City 3 Wolves 1


The second and clinching goal came in the 66th minute when Aleks Kolarov pounced after Hennessey had pushed out David Silva’s shot from the edge of the box.

Even then though there was a scare. Hart failed to gather a Guedioura shot and in the chase for the rebound Kompany brought down Doyle for a penalty and a red card.

Hunt scored the spot kick and gave another full house a nervy ten minutes until Adam Johnson curled home a beauty in injury time.

Dzeko Sergio and Nasri Celebrate

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Joe Hart on the one that got away


Joe Hart admits he was kicking himself despite City's stunning derby victory at Old Trafford - because he let a goal slip past him in last Sunday's 6-1 triumph.