Sport Soccer

Saturday 25 February 2017

Dzeko picks up brace as scintillating City underline their brilliance

wolves 2, Manchester city 5, Oliver Brown

Even on an overcast night, one could detect a blue moon over Molineux. The Manchester City revolution was continuing apace. In a masterful demonstration of liquid movement and cold-eyed finishing, Roberto Mancini's team side confirmed beyond doubt against Wolves that their raid of Old Trafford was no anomaly.

Granted, even the depleted line-up offered by Mancini cost the thick end of £100m, but it was almost presumptuous to expect a performance as convincing as the one that demolished Manchester United. The fact that City managed to emulate those heights was testament to their strength in depth.

When Edin Dzeko, again a two-goal star, rolled in their fifth early in the second half, it appeared that they could dream of a repeat of that already fabled 6-1 scoreline. Jamie O'Hara's consolation effort denied them such neat symmetry, but an ominous point had been made.

City, finally bringing all their luminous talents to fruition, suddenly have the look of contenders on all fronts.

flurry

The flurry of three goals in four first-half minutes flipped the game on its axis. Until then Wolves, thanks to a powerful early strike from Nenad Milijas, had offered more than token resistance.

But a team in City's state of bliss were not to be deterred by the setback. Dzeko set up Adam Johnson on the edge of the box, and the ensuing 20-yard shot was leathered with a ferocity that left Wolves' Dorus de Vries flat-footed.

Two minutes later it was Johnson operating the supply line. His silky pass picked out Samir Nasri, who outpaced the Wolves back line with ease and stroked a low finish into the corner of the net.

Mancini, pumping his fist on the touchline, knew the match had turned. His players swiftly proved as much: no sooner had De Vries fashioned a fine close-range save to deny Luca Scapuzzi than Dzeko pounced to lash in the rebound.

City were remorseless in their pursuit of a greater advantage after the break, and Scapuzzi duly delivered. Nasri's initial shot was blocked by De Vries, but the snap follow-up from Scapuzzi deflected off him and over the line.

The build-up to the decisive fifth was far more deliberate, borne of the neatest interplay to leave Dzeko the most straightforward tap-in.

Wolves drew some reward for their resolve when sub O'Hara scored with his first touch of the ball, but they could not seriously trouble the City juggernaut. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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