Manchester City 4-2 Bolton Wanderers

  • December 15, 2007 | By Chris Mann
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Manchester City came from 2-1 down to beat Bolton 4-2 in an entertaining end-to-end derby game at the City of Manchester Stadium.

Rolando Bianchi opened the scoring after seven minutes, but goals from El-Hadji Diouf and Kevin Nolan gave visiting Bolton a half-time lead.

Three minutes after the break, Dietmar Hamann's effort appeared to be going wide only for Lubomir Michalik to divert the ball past his own goalkeeper to bring City level.

Andreas Isaksson denied Nicolas Anelka putting Bolton in front, before the hosts took the lead through Darius Vassell and Kelvin Etuhu completed the scoring in the final minute to maintain City's 100% home record this season.

The game started off at a high pace and the Sven Goran Eriksson's side took the lead thanks to some poor defending on Bolton's behalf.

Ricardo Gardner failed to cut out a hopeful ball from Dietmar Hamann. Jussi Jaaskelainen parried the resulting effort from Vassell straight into the path of Michael Johnson who rolled the ball across the six-yard box for Bianchi to open the scoring.

However, Bolton found themselves level just after the half-hour. Superb wide-play from Kevin Davies allowed him to play a dangerous ball through the City defence for Diouf to equalise with a first time shot into the top corner to end the move which he had began.

And ten minutes later, Wanderers found themselves in front. Vedran Corluka seemed happy to let the ball roll out for a throw, but Gardner took advantage, using his pace to keep the ball in play before a ball intended for Anelka was fell to Nolan's feet, allowing the Bolton captain to fire into the bottom corner with the outside of his right foot.

Trailing at the break, Eriksson changed formation at half-time, pushing Vassell up front as City changed from a 4-5-1 to a 4-4-2 and also brought Etuhu on for Gelson Fernandes.

The tactical chance paid off as the hosts got their equaliser with their first attempt of the second half. Hamann picked the ball up on the edge of the area, cut inside and hit a shot which was headed past his own goalkeeper by Michalik.

With the scores level and the game end-to-end, both sides went in search of a third, as Anelka forced Isaksson into a reaction save before Johnson hit the inside of the post at the other end.

But it was City who took the lead with 13 minutes to go, Nicky Hunt found himself out of position chasing the ball forward, allowing Martin Petrov to break down the left, before crossing for Vassell to poke home from inside the six yard box.

Pushing forward for an equaliser, Bolton were almost hit on the break inside the final few minutes, but Jaaskelainen saved one-on-one from substitute Emile Mpenza, but City sealed the points in a similar fashion when Etuhu fired past Jaaskelainen after a two-on-one break from the hosts.

The win moves Man City back into the top four, while Bolton slump back down the table to 16th place with the hope of moving back up the standings next weekend when they host fellow strugglers Birmingham at the Reebok.

Manchester City: Isaksson, Corluka, Richards, Dunne, Ball, Fernandes (Etuhu 46), Hamann, Johnson, Petrov (Garrido 83), Bianchi (Mpenza 87), Vassell
Subs Not Used: Hart, Geovanni
Booked: Etuhu
Goals: Bianchi 7, Michalik 48(og), Vassell 77, Etuhu 90

Bolton Wanderers: Jaaskelainen, Hunt (McCann 85), Meite, Michalik, Gardner, Nolan, Campo (Giannakopoulos 86), Guthrie, Diouf, Davies, Anelka
Subs Not Used: Al Habsi, Samuel, Speed
Booked: Nolan
Goals: Diouf 31, Nolan 40

Attendance: 40,506
Referee: Peter Walton

Sky Bet League Two Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
20 Tranmere Rovers 3 2
21 Oldham Athletic 3 0
22 Bolton Wanderers 3 0
23 Grimsby Town 2 0
24 Southend United 3 0
View Full Standings >>


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