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Home » Sport » Football

Tevez shines as City go top

Carlos Tevez upstaged debutant Edin Dzeko as Manchester City went top of the Premier League table with a 4-3 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers at Eastlands.

Nenad Milijas opened the scoring on 12 minutes with one of the scrappiest goals likely to be scored all season before Kolo Toure drew City level five minutes before the break.

Two goals from Tevez - the first evoking Argentine legend Diego Maradona - either side of a strike from Yaya Toure then should have put City out of sight after half-time, but a Kevin Doyle penalty and a Ronald Zubar header gave City boss Roberto Mancini a nervous final few minutes.

City's local rivals Manchester United can return to the top of the league on Sunday with a win at Tottenham.

All the attention was inevitably on Dzeko, making his debut following his £27 million move from Wolfsburg, and the big Bosnian striker took time to get into his long stride.

It was Dzeko's first match since December 22 - when Wolfsburg suffered a shock 3-1 German Cup defeat at home to second-tier Energie Cottbus that almost cost manager Steve McClaren his job - and he certainly looked rusty.

Save for the occasional link-up with Tevez and one blocked effort, the 24-year-old struggled to get involved in the first half, with Tevez and Adam Johnson instead providing what threat there was in a lacklustre first-half for Roberto Mancini's side.

Wolves, by contrast, looked determined to make a game of it right from the kick-off. Mick McCarthy's men ensured the ball was in the City half for much of the opening period and they were rewarded with Milijas's fifth goal of the season to take the lead.

Doyle held the ball up well before feeding Matt Jarvis on the right flank and the winger's cross caused trouble in the City box. Kolo Toure's clearance rebounded off a team-mate and into the path of Milijas, whose effort from close range was saved by Joe Hart, only for the Serbian midfielder to prod home the rebound.

Dzeko's contribution had not been spectacular up to that point, but he won the corner which led to City's equaliser when his shot from the edge of the box was blocked by Christophe Berra.

The subsequent set piece came to Kolo Toure and the defender fired in a low striker that went in via rebounds off goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey and David Jones.

City emerged from the half-time break with renewed vigour, encapsulated by Dzeko's vastly improved showing.

However, it was Tevez who produced the Maradona-esque skill needed to give City a 49th-minute lead. The City skipper slalomed his way through three Wolves defenders before slotting a cool finish past Hennessey to put City ahead.

Five minutes later City were two ahead thanks to Yaya Toure, but the goal was all about Dzeko who played a one-two with Tevez and beat Zubar before slipping a ball into the Ivorian's path and the midfielder clinically converted for his fourth goal of the season and his first at Eastlands.

City looked firmly in control, with Dzeko showing some dazzling skill and excellent hold-up play, but Wolves were handed a lifeline on 68 minutes when Joleon Lescott - a 50th-minute replacement for Kolo Toure - clumsily bundled over Doyle.

The Irishman picked himself up, placed the ball on the spot and calmly stroked his penalty into the bottom corner.

City were content to slow the tempo down and deny Wolves the chance to build momentum, but they had a hang on for the right to move top of the table when Zubar - who had earlier hit the bar with a header from a corner - rose to meet another and this time steer it on target. Nigel de Jong, stationed on the post, hacked the ball away, but referee Lee Mason ruled it had already crossed the line.

Nevertheless City sealed the win after five minutes and can enjoy Saturday night looking down upon the rest of the Premier League.

 

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