Sunday, 4 March 2012

Manchester City vs Bolton Wanderers: Match Report

Steinsson (OG) 23', Balotelli 69'

By Archie Barnett (@ArchieeeB)

The teams warm up before the BPL clash
Manchester City started the game 2 points ahead of arch-rivals Manchester United and had the chance to stretch their lead at the top to 5 before the clash between Spurs and United on Sunday.

The two teams shake hands before
the game kicks off
The game promised to be an exciting one as City had the chance to score very early on after a Mario Balotelli strike from a tight angle came of the post before Samir Nasri's rebound was saved by Bolton goalkeeper Adam Bogdan. 

David Pizzaro then played a wonderful defence-splitting to Mario Balotelli, who seemed unsure of whether he was onside or not, resulting in Balotelli slipping and allowing the defenders to catch up. Balotelli did manage to get past the Bolton back line though and his shot lashed wide of the post. 

The deadlock was broken in the 23rd minute after Clichy's strike was deflected into the net off Steinson's head, wrong footing the Wanderers goalkeeper. 

Balotelli was frustrated again, as he was brought down inside the Bolton area by Zat Knight during the first half.

Shortly after on-loan Arsenal winger Ryo Miyaichi tested Joe Hart after he took the ball from Kolo Touré as the Ivory Coast international slipped. Miyaichi's strike was tipped round the post by Manchester City's goalkeeper, resulting in applause from the home fans, after watching the replay several times on the big screens.

City nearly doubled their lead through Balotelli as his strike was saved by Bogdan after Yaya Touré and Vincent Kompany linked on the counter-attack.

City then had another great chance to double the lead after Balotelli was played in behind the Bolton defence, but the Hungarian goalkeeper was again alert to block the Italian's effort.
A crowd of 47,219 witnessed
Manchester City's 2-0 win at The Etihad

City were then denied another penalty as Balotelli was yet again brought down by Knight, and Mario's frustration was clearly starting to shine through. 

Darren Pratley then had a great strike from outside the box, totally beating his own goalkeeper. Fortunately for the Bolton man, the ball hit the bar bounced off the bar, denying Pratley a bizzare own goal.

A great run from Adam Johnson ended in Mario finally getting the goal he deserved. Balotelli couldn't wish for a better opportunity, as Johnson burst in between two Bolton defenders before back heeling the ball to the striker, who popped the ball in for City's second.

In truth, Bolton were lucky to have only conceded two and Mancini will be slightly worried about the lack of finishing early on in the game.

Full time score - Manchester City 2-0  Bolton Wanderers
Attendance - 47,219

The home fans show their support

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