City blast Baggies away
Robinho nets first goal of the year as City put four past Albion
By Elliot Ball. Last Updated: 19/04/09 5:41pm
Robinho: First goal in 2009
Manchester City have all but ended West Brom's survival hopes after beating them 4-2 at Eastlands.
The Baggies came into the game knowing they needed a win to realistically have any chance of pulling off a famous escape from relegation.
Tony Mowbray's side came out all guns blazing, but they succumbed to an early City sucker-punch when Robinho gave the hosts the lead on eight minutes when the Brazilian forward volleyed home his first goal of 2009.
Mark Hughes' side then doubled their lead through a controversial Nedum Onuoha header before Chris Brunt gave the away side a deserved goal.
Brunt added a second from a free-kick in the 54th minute to give Albion hope, but West Brom shot themselves in the foot two minutes later as Elano scored from the spot.
The Baggies continued to press for an equaliser, but the match was sealed in stoppage-time when substitute Daniel Sturridge scored a tap-in.
City took their foot off the pedal after racing into a two-goal lead in the first 20 minutes through Robinho and Onuoha.
Robinho went close in the seventh minute before making the breakthrough a minute later. He sent a sweet volley beyond goalkeeper Scott Carson after Stephen Ireland had carved out the opening.
Considering it was his first league goal in 12 games and his first this year, there was no lack of confidence in the finish from the Brazilian.
City, however, still looked vulnerable at the back and Jonas Olsson and Abdoulaye Meite squandered good chances in quick succession.
But they extended their lead in the 20th minute after Elano swung in a corner from the right.
Meite only succeeded in heading the ball up in the air and Onuoha headed in his first goal of the season. Carson complained about being impeded and was booked for his troubles.
West Brom almost pulled a goal back in the 31st minute, only for Felipe Caicedo to clear Robert Koren's header off the line.
This was a good little spell by West Brom and James Morrison tested Shay Given in the 35th minute following a deep cross from Paul Robinson.
They got their reward two minutes later with a crisp finish from Brunt for his fifth goal of the season after he was set up by Marc-Antoine Fortune.
City were stung and Fortune again caused them some difficulty with his movement in the 42nd minute.
He was able to deliver a good cross that was scrambled away to safety by Onuoha.
West Brom maintained their momentum and almost drew level in the 50th minute.
Koren delivered a cross into the path of Fortune but Richard Dunne made a vital block at the near post.
It was a brief respite for City as the visitors equalised in the 54th minute when Brunt scored his second goal of the game.
City failed to cut out his 20-yard free-kick and it bounced beyond a startled Given to make it 2-2.
However West Brom's celebrations lasted little over a minute as City regained the lead.
Elano sent Carson the wrong way with his penalty kick after he had been floored by Olsson.
Then Sturridge tested Carson from distance as City kept up the pressure.
It was an open game and Olsson headed over the bar in the 62nd minute following a corner from Brunt.
Carson again denied Sturridge a minute later by booting the ball clear as the home side launched a quick counter attack before he made a smart save from Elano.
West Brom continued to pour forward and Given did well to parry Fortune's effort in the 78th minute.However, they paid the price for pushing forward when Sturridge scored in stoppage-time after being released by Ireland.
|Manchester City||Team Statistics||West Bromwich Albion|
|2||1st Half Goals||1|
|9||Shots on Target||10|
|5||Shots off Target||11|
Barclays Premier League
|16||West Bromwich Albion||16||15|
|17||West Ham United||16||14|