Etihad Stadium – Manchester City 4 (Dzeko 14, Navas 33, Yaya Toure 76, Aguero 79) Cardiff City 2 (Noone 30, Campbell 90’+3)
Manchester City sailed past the 100 goals mark for the season with the 4-2 pounding of Cardiff City.
Edin Dzeko claimed the milestone goal with a scuffed finish fromDavid Silva’s cross, despite a hint of handball by the Spaniard in the build-up. Goal-line technology was deployed to award the goal after Kevin McNaughton had tried to hook it off the line.
Against the tide, Cardiff equalised courtesy of the impressive Craig Noone, whose neat footwork bamboozled Vincent Kompany and assured finish left Joe Hart stranded.
But Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side were level for all of three minutes, with Jesus Navas finishing a City counter-attack. Yaya Toure found Dzeko whose shot deflected into the path of the grateful Spain winger.
Cardiff were spirited in their attempts to level for a second time, but lacked the end quality to truly trouble City. And Toure eventually put the game beyond the Bluebirds with a crisp finish before substitute Sergio Aguero twisted Steven Caulker inside out before making it four.
Fraizer Campbell tapped in a late consolation for Cardiff, who become the latest side to feel the full force of this unstoppable City side at the Etihad.
1’ CITY PENALTY CLAIM – Should City have a penalty inside a minute? Dzeko is clumsily caught by McNaughton, but the referee waves play on.
14’ – DZEKO GOAL – City have their 100th goal of the season, and it’s a scrappy one. Hint of handball before Silva crosses for Dzeko, who miscues it just over the line. Goal given via technology.
30’ NOONE GOAL – City’s defence just opens up as Noone waltzes into space and finishes well inside Hart’s near post.
33’ NAVAS GOAL – Cardiff are ahead for barely three minutes. Yaya Toure picks out Dzeko, whose shot deflects into Navas’s path, and the Spaniard finishes low under Marshall.
76’ YAYA TOURE GOAL – Toure caps a superb display with a brilliant run from his own half, exchanging passes with Aguero before finishing well.
79’ AGUERO GOAL – Toure returns the favour by picking out Aguero, who ties Caulker in knots before sliding in City’s fourth.
90’+3 – CAMPBELL CONSOLATION – Campbell ensures the score line remains respectable with a tap-in for Cardiff’s second.
[MATCHCAST – Full match commentary and stats]
Edin Dzeko’s goal was City’s 100th in all competitions this season. They have achieved it in just 34 games – a new record in the Premier League era.
The win is City’s seventh successive Premier League win, something only achieved by Man United last season.
Manchester City have now won their last 11 straight Barclays Premier League games at the Etihad Stadium and won 16 of the last 17. Their only defeat in that run came when they had a caretaker manager in charge on the final day of the season in a dead rubber.
Can anyone beat City at the Etihad? Chelsea and Barcelona are waiting on the horizon for City but, on this evidence, even they will struggle to beat City on their own path. 16 wins from the last 17 – and the records keep on tumbling.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Yaya Toure (Manchester City): Cardiff’s Craig Noone ran him close, but Yaya Toure has to get it for another inspirational all round display. Scored one, assisted one and had a big hand in another.
Manchester City: Hart 6, Zabaleta 6, Kompany 7, Demichelis 6, Kolarov 7, Navas 7, Yaya Toure 8, Javi Garcia 6, Silva 8, Negredo 6, Dzeko 7. Subs: ,Clichy N/A, Milner 7, Aguero 8
Cardiff City: Marshall 7, McNaughton 6, Caulker 6, Turner 5, Theophile-Catherine 6, Whittingham 6, Medel 5, Gunnarsson 6, Mutch 7, Noone 8, Campbell 7. Subs: Eikrem 6, Bellamy 6, John 6.
MATCH IN A TWEET