Dzeko targets trophies over goals
Published 19/01/2014 | 13:57
Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko has promised the goals will continue to flow - but trophies remain the prime objective.
City took their goal tally for the season past the century-mark and on to a remarkable 103 as they overcame Cardiff 4-2 at the Etihad Stadium.
The result kept City within a point of Arsenal at the top of the Barclays Premier League, one of four competitions they remain in contention to win this season.
Dzeko, who scored the landmark 100th goal, said: "It is definitely a great achievement but we want to win something. That will be much better than these 100 goals.
"We still have a lot of games to play and we will score a lot more goals but we want to win something as well.
"We are still in all four competitions and we will see what will happen. The key is just to try to win every next game."
City's win maintained their 100 per cent home record and left Cardiff bottom of the table, but it was not as convincing as the scoreline suggested.
The hosts did dominate the first half to lead with goals from Dzeko and Jesus Navas either side of a brilliant Craig Noone equaliser, but Cardiff showed spirit after the break.
Noone, the former Plymouth and Brighton winger, threatened to level again only to be denied by a fine Joe Hart save.
It was not until the final 15 minutes that City made the result certain as Yaya Toure charged upfield to strike after playing a one-two with Sergio Aguero, who then scored the fourth soon after.
Even then there was still time for Cardiff to highlight some more City deficiencies as Fraizer Campbell grabbed a consolation from a corner.
Dzeko said: "The result maybe shows it looks easy but I don't think so. Cardiff played well. I think the third goal was the key to winning three points."
Despite that, there is still little that can dampen the mood at Eastlands at the moment.
Aguero, recently returned from a calf injury, came off the bench to score for a second time in a week and now has 21 goals to his name. Dzeko has now scored 16 and Toure 14.
Alvaro Negredo failed to add to his 21 but did slice a good chance wide in the first half as City again produced numerous penetrative attacks.
Attention now turns back to the domestic knockout competitions and a place at Wembley should be secured on Tuesday as City travel to West Ham for the second leg of their Capital One Cup semi-final leading 6-0. They then host Watford in the FA Cup fourth round next weekend.
Dzeko, 27, said: "I am very happy, first for the win and of course that I am the one who scored the 100th goal.
"I am enjoying it at the moment. The team is playing amazing football.
"We are scoring a lot of goals. We just have to keep going like this."
Cardiff felt aggrieved over Dzeko's goal, firstly believing City were incorrectly given a throw-in immediately prior to the opener and then that David Silva might have handled in the build-up.
Kevin McNaughton also made a fine effort to clear Dzeko's scuffed shot but the ball just crossed the line before he intervened.
That was unfortunate and there was also plenty more to suggest the Bluebirds can put aside all their off-field issues and pull away from trouble under new manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
The Norwegian believes the performance of 26-year-old Noone, who scored after a fine solo run, has pointed the way forward.
Solskjaer said: "Nooney is a terrific little player. He causes defenders problems with his pace and technique.
"He has not played many games in the Premier League so to play like that shows courage.
"That is what we need - courage to get on the ball at places like this and the mindset to take something."
Cardiff have 18 points from 22 games but the competition is tight and Solskjaer is fixing targets.
He said: "We can stay up, no doubt about that.
"You think 36-37 points (is safe) if you look at the history of the last few years.
"But we used to talk about the 40-mark, so let's make sure we get to 40."