Club Focus – Manchester City – Tevez shines with Manchester derby on the horizon

A first-half Carlos Tevez hat-trick eased Manchester City to victory over struggling West Bromwich Albion at a canter. Although stylistically little separated the teams – the Citizens footballing intentions were matched by the visitors – City’s attacks contained far more substance.

How the Baggies will wish they could boast a talent as potent as Tevez. His three goals destroyed the visitors and took his tally at the City of Manchester Stadium to 48 goals in 70 game – a phenomenal record for a player who never totally convinced whilst playing his football in Salford.

Granted two of his goals were penalties, but the Argentine forward did more than enough to earn the match ball. Any accusations that this was not a ‘proper’ hat-trick are unjust. Rarely has the Premier League witnessed a forward who so effortlessly combines instinct, flair and tenacity. Indeed, he may even consider himself unfortunate not to have been more rewarded on his 27th birthday having missed chances at either end of the first half. Manchester City, you presume, will forgive him for such minor errors.

Whilst the protagonist of City’s victory was Tevez, he was by no means the team’s sole impressive performer. Playing further up field than he is accustomed, Aleksandar Kolarov made light of his unfamiliar left midfield role with a vivacious performance full of direct running. It was one such sojourn into the West Brom penalty area which won the first of two penalties, dispatched callously by Tevez.

David Silva’s talents have flickered incandescently this season but with typical poise he exchanged passes with Tevez as the Baggies’ defence parted with characteristic ease. 2-0. The third came as a result of Jerome Thomas’ self-destruction. Under no pressure whatsoever he flapped at the ball. Another penalty, and another Tevez goal.

How Edin Dzeko must have been chomping at the bit as the chances and the goals racked up. The Bosnian’s Premier League outings to date have been somewhat off the pace, reflected in Roberto Mancini’s decision to drop the Bosnian recruit to the substitute’s bench. “He needs more time to understand English football,” Mancini said. Tevez’s goals, coupled with another lacklustre display from the bench from the former Wolfsburg man, vindicated his decision. Whilst adjusting to a new style of football, new cultures and new lifestyles must be difficult, City’s flickering Premier League hopes mean that his input has to be instant. With Manchester United next on the agenda, they will be hoping that Dzeko acclimatises to English football sooner rather than later.

Indeed, with a five point gap separating the teams, and a United game in hand to factor in, the Blues know that their title aspirations hang on their next fixture. Three points are a necessity from this most crucial of Old Trafford meetings. However, with Tevez playing wonderfully and the Red Devils having lost their first game of the season on Saturday at Molineux, the Citizens will make the short trip to Old Trafford in confident mood.

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