Premier League - City sneak past unlucky Blackpool

Sun, 17 Oct 18:02:00 2010

Manchester City went second in the Premier League but needed a large slice of luck to secure a thrilling 3-2 win away to Blackpool at Bloomfield Road.

Miss a Match? We didn't

Highlights: Blackpool 3-2 Man City

All the goals came in a frantic second half, with Carlos Tevez netting two contentious strikes either side of a Marlon Harewood equaliser.

David Silva put the result beyond doubt with an exceptional solo effort in stoppage time, but there was still time for Gary Taylor-Fletcher to score a late consolation.

Blackpool went unrewarded for a fine team performance, and were left rueing three key decisions made by Phil Dowd's refereeing team.

First Taylor-Fletcher had a goal ruled out for an offside awarded against his team-mate Elliott Grandin, although the Frenchman did not touch the ball as it made its way to Taylor-Fletcher.

Tevez scored the opening goal on 67 minutes, turning the ball in from close range after a David Silva cross, but the Argentine was clearly offside.

Harewood levelled on 78 minutes with a superb glancing header from a Charlie Adam free-kick, but within 60 seconds City were back in front amid more controversy.

Tevez appeared to foul Ian Evatt at the edge of the Blackpool box and the defender stopped. The referee did not, and neither did Tevez, hitting a shot that took a wicked deflection off Craig Cathcart on its way to the bottom-left corner.

It was Tevez's seventh Premier League goal of the season, moving him top of the scoring charts ahead of Dimitar Berbatov, Didier Drogba and Florent Malouda. He also overtook Gus Poyet to become the Premier League's highest-scoring South American player, with 55.

Silva's clinching goal was a delight. He picked the ball up at the edge of the box, slalomed round David Vaughan and Stephen Crainey before bending his shot around Adam into the left corner.

A clever Adam corner led to the final goal in the 93rd minute, as he teed up Luke Varney who sidefooted goalwards and Taylor-Fletcher touched it in from close range.

Blackpool deserve immense credit for another vibrant performance. In common with fellow promoted sides West Bromwich Albion and Newcastle, they unashamedly favour a positive approach instead of waiting to get slaughtered - a primary reason why none of the three are in the Premier League's relegation zone.

Although Ian Holloway watched the match in the stands while he served a one-match touchline ban, his team bore his tactical blueprint all over - positive, high-energy play backed up by astute passing and a strong team ethic.

And Holloway seemed to have learned the lessons of the drubbings at the hands of Arsenal and Chelsea earlier this season, as City's creative players were quickly closed down, with Vaughan a particularly diligent worker.

Taylor-Fletcher shot over from a good position after a quickly-taken free-kick, while Varney tested Joe Hart from a tight angle on the right. Meanwhile Adam dominated the midfield with his technique, vision and desire.

Despite replacing the injured Yaya Toure with a striker, Emmanuel Adebayor, City were very lacklustre in possession.

They created almost nothing through the middle, instead relying on contributions from wide areas from James Milner and Adam Johnson. But Mancini's 'reverse wingers' policy, in which players are placed on the opposite side to their stronger foot, compromised their crossing ability.

Vincent Kompany aimed an early header at Matt Gilks, and just before half-time Tevez failed to convert from close range after the ball bounced to him at an awkward height and he could only chest the ball to Gilks.

Only once the disappointing Adebayor had been replaced by Silva did things turn around for City, who finally sparked into life after they scored the opening goal.

Alex Chick / Eurosport

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