Live Commentary: Manchester City 1-0 West Bromwich Albion - as it happened

City striker Edin Dzeko celebrates their second goal against Stoke on January 1, 2013
© PA Photos
Sports Mole's live coverage from the Etihad Stadium where Manchester City entertained West Bromwich Albion and won 1-0.

Manchester City hosted West Bromwich Albion in their last match before they take to Wembley for the FA Cup final on Saturday.

In the meantime, City were looking to cement second place in the Premier League, and a win against the Baggies would certainly help.

Albion have already essentially finished for the season, with neither Europe or relegation possible, but, having already set a new record for their best-ever Premier League campaign, they were be keen to finish on a high note.

In a game of many chances, it was City who netted the only goal of the game in the first half.

Read how the match played out in our live commentary below.


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6.53pmGood evening, and welcome to Sports Mole's live coverage from the Etihad, where Manchester City tonight host West Bromwich Albion.

6.54pmWe're undoubtedly in for a treat tonight, with two teams who play some really attractive stuff going toe to toe in Manchester this evening.

6.58pmAnd in case you thought this match was a 'dead rubber', both sides still have a lot to play for this season.

7.00pmRoberto Mancini's men take to the side for the final time before they will take to Wembley for the FA Cup final at the weekend; a piece of silverware they are desperate to win. And with that, the players will certainly looking to impress the gaffer enough and force him to hand them a berth in the competition's conclusion.

7.01pmDespite being title challengers for most of the year, City can still mathematically finish outside the top two, so they will be eager to cement their place as runners-up this season.

7.01pmI've just seen the team news, and there is a lot to cover here...

7.04pmWe'll, of course, start with the hosts, who make EIGHT changes to the side that endured a goalless draw with Swansea City at the weekend.

7.05pmManchester City XI: Hart; Richards, Kolo Toure, Lescott, Kolarov; Garcia, Rodwell, Milner, Nasri; Tevez, Dzeko

7.09pmSo, Pablo Zabaleta, Vincent Kompany, Matija Nastasic, Gael Clichy, Yaya Toure, Gareth Barry, David Silva and Sergio Aguero are all missing from the starting XI that drew with Swansea at the weekend.

7.11pmAnd replacing those absentees are Micah Richards, Kolo Toure, Joleon Lescott, Aleksandar Kolarov, Javi Garcia, Jack Rodwell, Carlos Tevez and Edin Dzeko.

7.12pmI think it would be fair to say that Roberto Mancini has one eye on the FA Cup final...

7.14pmWest Brom XI: Myhill; Tamas, Dawson, Olsson; Jones, Mulumbu, Morrison, Yacob, Ridgewell; Rosenberg, Lukaku

7.14pmSo the Baggies bring Boaz Myhill into the lineup, with Steve Clarke looking as if he will opt for a 3-5-2 formation this evening.

7.22pmAs you can imagine, with all those changes, the substitutes benches are rather different tonight.

7.22pmManchester City Bench: Pantilimon, Maicon, Nastasic, Barry, Silva, Razak, Aguero

7.23pmWest Brom Bench: Foster, Reid, Popov, McAuley, Dorrans, Long, Odemwingie

7.25pmSo a lot of attacking talent is sat on the sidelines tonight, so should the game turn a bit stale, don't be surprised to see the likes of Silva, Aguero, Long or Odemwingie enter the fray.

7.25pmLet's hear the noise coming out of both camps prior to the game.

7.26pmRoberto Mancini: "I am not satisfied as I wanted to win the Premier League, but now we cannot do anything about that, we cannot change it.

"But in the end we we are in the cup final and we are in second position, so we can be satisfied. But when you start the season you want to win [the league]."


7.29pmSteve Clarke: "We have to cement that eighth position we're in, and we probably need another three or four points to do that. That's the next focus."

7.32pmRight, let's have a few stats ahead of the clash.

7.36pmCity have won the last three clashes between the two sides in Manchester, scoring 11 goals in the process and conceding just two.

7.38pmWest Brom have managed only three wins in their last 11 games on the road, although two of those victories have come in their last five outings.

7.40pmJust fives minutes until the action kicks off here.

7.41pmOne of the dangermen on display tonight, is Belgian hot shot Romelu Lukaku. The man, on loan from Chelsea, prompted international teammmate, and opponent tonight, Vincent Kompany to speak highly on him.

Kompany: "Romelu is probably one of the biggest talents in Europe at the moment. We are very lucky with him, being a very young striker and Christian Benteke.

"We have two unbelievable talents coming through. I am looking forward to playing against him. He will be a world beater in England very soon."


7.42pmThe teams are on their way out of the tunnel. City, captained by Micah Richards, are wearing their sky blue tracksuit tops.

7.44pmCity won the reverse fixture at the Hawthorns, 2-1 earlier this season, thanks to a late Dzeko double.


7.45pmCity are wearing their sky blue shirts, white socks and sky blue socks. Albion are in red from head to toe with blue trim.

7.45pmAlbion are going to get us underway here.

7.45pmAnd we're off!

1 minCity are playing from left to right, with Albion the reverse on a sunny, twilight evening at the Etihad.

2 minCHANCE! The first chance of the game falls to Albion, and with Lukaku. He is slid in with a lovely ball that he picks up on the edge of the box on the left. He shrugs off his marker before firing across goal, with Hart forced to save with his legs.

3 minGood start from Albion, they have a corner from the right which Morrison takes. He fails to beat the big Bosnian, Edin Dzeko, at the near post.

4 minCHANCE! Another opportunity to West Brom, and another chance for Lukaku. The ball is played into him in the centre of the City half, and he has so much time and space he can just turn towards the left of the box. His touch is a bit heavy, but he smashes a low effort across Hart and just past the far post. West Brom and the Belgian are certainly enjoying themselves in the early stages.

6 minCHANCE! Guess who? You got it. Lukaku gets a free header at the far post after City failed to clear away a Brunt freekick. Morrison clips the second ball in from the left, and Lukaku on the penalty spot rises to meet it. However, he can't get enough power on it, and Hart can catch comfortably.

7 minCity haven't turned up yet. Lukaku certainly has.

8 minCHANCE! City finally have a chance, with a shot from just outside the penalty area by Carlos Tevez, but he misses to the left of the target.

11 minCHANCE! Albion have yet another opportunity, this time with Markus Rosenberg. He has an effort at goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the left-hand post.

14 minThe fans are shouting "COME ON CITY! COME ON CITY!" and it isn't hard to see why. They've been poor so far.

15 minSomebody should tell the City players that they have a place in the FA Cup final to win.

16 minIt's almost a complete role reversal of how you would have predicted this match to start. Albion, with not too much to play for, have been brilliant. City, with a cup final just around the corner, have been terrible so far.

19 minTevez goes for goal from the edge of the box with his left, but his shot is deflected out for a corner. Nasri whips it in but it's a routine catch for Myhill.

20 minMilner suckers in Ridgewell who chops down the City man and concedes a freekick. City have a chance here wide on the right, Kolarov to take.

21 minCHANCE! Myhill nearly gifts City an opener. He comes to catch the kick but isn't strong enough when up against Richards. The ball falls to Rodwell but he can only scoop it over the bar. City starting to grow into the match.

24 minTamas is receiving treatment at the moment. His face is literally red and dripping with blood after his head meets the high, but not malicious, boot of Kolarov. To be fair to the City man, Tamas ducked into the challenge bravely, but I'm sure as anything that he regrets it now.

25 minBOOKING! As Tamas temporarily makes his way off the field with a towel over his head, Phil Dowd shows Kolarov a yellow card. Not surprising. Not entirely his fault but you can't put your studs up that high.

26 minCHANCE! Tevez comes fractions away from banging this one in the top corner. City have a nice spell of passing play which finds the Argentine in the centre of the edge of the box. He spreads the ball on the right to Milner, who then gives it back. Tevez, unmarked, curls an effort first time, but the ball just rises over the crossbar. Close.

27 minA bandaged Tamas is back on the field by the way. Cracking look for him, looks like a boiled egg in a red shirt is legging it around the field.

27 minWest Brom have a couple of chances from a corner, with Mulumbu smashing one from the edge of the box on the volley, but City can block and clear the danger.

30 minCHANCE!...of sorts for Albion. The Baggies hit City on the break, with Lukaku threading through Rosenborg on the right side of the penalty area. He manages to get his shot away, but with no power. About five minutes later, it seemed, Hart bent down to pick up the ball.

31 minCHANCE! This one was a chance, but this time for City. Nasri leaves Morrison for dead on the left of the box and chips a high cross to the edge of the six-yard box. Dzeko rises and flicks to a shadowing Milner, who brings the ball down but then balloons it over the bar under pressure. Real opportunity there.

34 minOFF THE BAR! City have two chances in the space of a minute. First, Rodwell just needed to get a head to a Kolarov cross to put City ahead, but he ducked out of it. Moments later the ball then fell to Tevez, who opens up his body on the left, and cracks a shot that bounces off the crossbar. A brilliant effort, but no goal yet.

35 minGOAL! Manchester City 1-0 West Bromwich Albion (Edin Dzeko)

36 minAnd on that note...City take the lead. Mulumbu tries to be too clever in the middle of the park and loses possession. Tevez is fed in down the right, and drives towards the byeline. He whips in a cross to the edge of the box where Dzeko, guides a volley into the far corner with the inside of his boot. A class goal. Dzeko bites the Baggies once more.

38 minIt looks as if Tevez, interestingly, was offside in the buildup to that goal. Certainly no element of luck in the remainder of the goal.

40 minCHANCE! Same combination for City. Tevez holds the ball at the byeline, and has time to chip the ball up and clip a cross into the box. Dzeko meets it in the middle with a volley, but this one is deflected over for a corner.

42 minCHANCES! City have two bites of the cherry, first with Milner who twists and turns before hitting a cross-come-shot which forces Myhill to palm the ball away. Rodwell then drives a hard half-volley towards goal, but it's blocked. Half-hearted appeals for a penalty is the result.

42 minCHANCE! Rodwell goes close again but his shot is deflected just wide of the far post.

43 minOFF THE POST! City rattle the goal frame yet again, this time with Milner. Lovely flowing football from City ends up at the feet of Milner, who blasts a low effort from 30 yards out, but it smacks off the outside of the post. Close shave for Albion.

45 minCHANCE! Albion have their first chance in a while, and it's hit by Morrison. He does so well to pluck the ball out of the sky and smash a shot towards goal. Unfortunately for him, it goes straight to Joe Hart. Good technique though.

45 minTHREE MINUTES OF ADDED TIME TO GO!

45+1 minSAVE! Lukaku is given half a chance to have a sniff on goal, but he outpaces and overpowers Richards to the ball, he gets there first but Hart is out quickly and bravely to snatch the ball.

45+2 minCHANCE! One end to the other, and another chance for Rodwell. Tevez plays him in a tee, and it should be 2-0, but Rodwell misses another chance.

45+3 minHALF TIME: Manchester City 1-0 West Brom

8.34pmSo that's it for the first half. Albion started the better, and had several close chances with Lukaku threatening.

8.35pmHowever, City grew into the half, and finished the stronger of the two. They could be 3-0 up to be honest with you, but they will settle for the one-goal lead after a dodgy start. It was a great goal from Dzeko as well, with Tevez playing a big role in it.

8.48pmThe two sides are back out and ready for the second half.

8.48pmCity will get us underway in this half.

45 minWE'RE BACK UNDERWAY AT THE ETIHAD!

46 minLukaku dribbles forward to the edge of the City box, he should shoot, but instead opts to play in Rosenberg. His pass his poor and goes out for a goal kick.

48 minAlbion have a great chance with a free kick right on the edge of the D. Rosenberg was scythed down by Garcia. Lukaku wants this one.

49 minOFF THE BAR! Well, that was a surprise. Rosenberg, who has done nothing so far, absolutely thunders the set piece against the crossbar. Hart was well beaten for the first attempt but does terrifically well to recover and palm away Jones' follow-up header. Albion were so close there!

55 minNot too much going on at the moment. Teves is playing very well though. Stayed on his feet as he evaded the challenges, and came close to picking out a killer pass towards Dzeko.

55 minCHANCE! Morrison goes close for Albion. He shimmies away from Garcia to open up the space to shot. His low shot troubles Hart, who if forced to dive and get a fingertip to the ball. Corner.

59 minNot much in the way of chances, but West Brom are really coming back into this game. City are struggling to deal with Lukaku's strength. As I say that, he wins the corner after his header was deflected out of play.

64 minCHANCES! All for City. Brilliant stuff from Nasri, who somehow manages to create a beautiful cross which flies towards the far post from the byeline. The ball falls to Rodwell who blasts the ball at Myhill. Tevez is just beaten to the ball as Albion clear away, but it is quickly back to the far post, where Rodwell takes a touch and cannons the ball towards goal. Another good block from Albion, and they escape.

65 minHANDBAGS! Samir Nasri doesn't take kindly to being bumped over by Yacob. Both players go head to head, and come away with yellow cards. No malice in the challenge at all.

70 minWEST BROM CHANGE Albion make the first change of the match as Graham Dorrans make his way onto the field in place of Claudio Yacob.

71 minCHANCE! Milner cuts in from the right and has a go at goal, he does well, but his shot is tame and and straight at Myhill.

73 minCITY CHANGE Samir Nasri makes way for Gareth Barry.

75 minPeter Odemwingie is about to come on for West Brom...

75 minMaicon is being readied for City, as this game begins to die down.

76 minCHANCE! Albion have a chance, as Rosenberg brings the ball down on his chest on the far side of the box, but fires his shot tamely at Hart.

76 minCITY CHANGE Maicon is on for Jack Rodwell.

76 minWEST BROM CHANGE Peter Odemwingie comes on to a mixed ovation, in place of Rosenberg.

78 minOdemwingie's eyes light up as he tries a rocket from 30 yards out. It slams of a City body and heads out for a corner, which comes to nothing.

80 minCHANCE! Lethargic stuff from City, as Mulumbu causes trouble on the right of the area. He cuts the ball back for Billy Jones, who tries a shot a goal, but City get a good block to it and clear.

81 minALBION CHANGE Shane Long is on to make up a front three for the visitors, in place of Tamas.

81 minCHANCE! Long is thrown straight into the action. A lovely knock-down by Lukaku is met by a bursting Long, but he slams a low effort into the sidenetting at the near post.

84 minCity are looking for that killer second goal. Tevez and Dzeko both go close to finding it, but Albion can clear away. The Baggies still have a chance here.

87 minCHANCE! Odemwingie goes for goal and...let's just say, he hasn't been very fortunate tonight.

88 minCHANCE! Nice stuff from City again. Milner plays the ball back to Dzeko, but Myhill can smother his shot.

88 minCHANCE! Maicon bursts down the right once more, but picks out Barry. The England internationals shot is slotted towards the corner, but is too slow to beat Myhill.

89 minAlbion have a free kick right on the edge of the box from a wide position. Danger ahead for City?

90 minTHREE MINUTES ADDED ON

90+1 minCITY CHANGE Tevez comes off to a standing ovation. He has been class tonight. Abdul Razak is the man to come on.

90+3 minFULL TIME: Manchester City 1-0 West Bromwich Albion

9.40pmWell that's that. A goalless second half sees Manchester City register a 1-0 win going into their FA Cup final this weekend.

9.41pmWest Brom were great in parts, City were superb in patterns. But ultimately, the hosts were too strong for the visitors, in a match that should have finished with a lot more goals.

9.41pmThat's it from me, stay alert for my match analysis which will follow shortly. Until next time, goodbye.

Youssuf Mulumbu
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