Select a Team

Barclays Premier League

Etihad Stadium (ATT 47,007) 22nd December 2012 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: M Dean

Man City Manchester City vs Reading Reading

Man City 1

G Barry (90+3)

ft

Gareth Barry scores stoppage-time winner for Manchester City to down Reading

Last Updated: 23/12/12 8:05am

  • Share:

Gareth Barry handed Manchester City an early Christmas present as his stoppage-time winner saw off hard-working Reading 1-0 to pile more woe on the Premier League strugglers.

The Etihad Stadium clash looked to be heading for a surprise goalless draw on Saturday after the visiting Royals put in a diligent defensive display to hold off the hosts, but a dramatic finale saw Roberto Mancini's men make the breakthrough.

Barry drove home a curling David Silva ball from close range to hand the defending Premier League champions the win, cutting Manchester United's lead at the top of the table to three points ahead of their trip to Swansea on Sunday.

Best of the match

  • Man of the match: Jimmy Kebe gets the nod from us after defending bravely all afternoon, while also looking for attacking chances when Reading got the rare opportunity to go forward. An all-round comprehensive display.
  • Moment of the match: There was a sense of inevitability to Manchester City's winning goal but the fact that it came so late in the day made for a dramatic finale at the Etihad as Barry latched onto Silva's cross.
  • Chance of the match: Alex Pearce came tantalisingly close for the Royals are he rose to meet a corner but could not quite get his header on target to cause an upset.
  • Miss of the match: Barry may have spared City's blushes with the winner but he could have put them ahead much earlier when he directed a close-range header straight to goalkeeper Adam Federici.
  • Talking point: Once again, City have pulled a result out after displaying their never-say-die attitude. Will that mentality be key in defending their crown? Reading have lost seven on the spin now but was that encouraging display enough to offer them hope?

For Brian McDermott's side it marked a seventh consecutive defeat which means they remain rock bottom of the standings.

It took less than two minutes for Adrian Mariappa to collect the game's first booking as he clattered into Carlos Tevez in an early attempt to impose himself.

Thereafter the visitors spent most of the rest of the first half on the back foot, with Mariappa and Alex Pearce particularly working hard to repel attack after attack.

The hosts were so dominant that 18-year-old Karim Rekik, making his Premier League debut at left-back in the absence of Gael Clichy and Aleksandar Kolarov, was able to get through mostly untested.

Tevez played in strike partner Sergio Aguero for City's first serious opportunity but Adam Federici rushed out to claim.

Aguero made another good run to reach the byline but his cross evaded everybody before Javi Garcia planted a firm header straight at Federici, then Silva played a neat one-two with Tevez but shot wide and Aguero then teed up Tevez but Federici saved. The ball rebounded to Tevez but his follow-up was deflected over.

The first half ended goalless despite City's numerous efforts and the second started in the same vein as Tevez threatened after the restart but could only shoot at Federici. He tried his luck again from a free-kick outside the area but his curling effort was pushed away from the top corner by the Reading keeper.

The Royals could have snatched a shock lead when Pearce got forward to win a clear header from a Ian Harte corner but his effort was well wide.

City boss Mancini decided it was time for change and sent on Edin Dzeko for the mostly ineffective Garcia, with the Bosnian getting quickly into the action and millimetres away from connecting with a header after good work by Pablo Zabaleta.

As the game moved into four minutes of injury time, City launched a final push. Aguero fired into the side-netting but Barry came good as he jumped above the defence to reach Silva's ball and head firmly past Federici.

Manchester CityTeam StatisticsReading
1Goals0
01st Half Goals0
3Shots on Target1
10Shots off Target4
8Blocked Shots0
12Corners3
12Fouls16
0Offsides1
2Yellow Cards3
0Red Cards0
88.8Passing Success70.8
8Tackles15
100Tackles Success60
73.2Possession26.8
63.6Territorial Advantage36.4
677Total Passes236
37Total Crosses19
136Lost Balls124
44Recoveries33
73.31st Half Poss.26.7
75.12nd Half Poss.24.9

  • Share:

Latest Poll

Matches

Table

Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Liverpool 34 77
2 Chelsea 34 75
3 Manchester City 33 71
4 Arsenal 34 67
5 Everton 34 66
6 Tottenham Hotspur 34 60
7 Manchester United 33 57
8 Southampton 34 48
9 Newcastle United 34 46
10 Stoke City 34 43
11 Crystal Palace 34 40
12 West Ham United 34 37
13 Hull City 33 36
14 Aston Villa 33 34
15 Swansea City 34 33
16 West Bromwich Albion 33 33
17 Norwich City 34 32
18 Fulham 34 30
19 Cardiff City 34 29
20 Sunderland 33 26

Related

Man City v Reading

Kolo Toure: Never say attitude can only help Man City

Kolo hails Invincibles

Kolo Toure is starting to see parallels between the current Manchester City side and the Arsenal 'Invincibles' team.

Gareth Barry: Admits panic had almost started to set in prior to his stoppage-time goal

Barry: Panic set in for City

Gareth Barry admitted feeling panicked prior to his late heroics that salvaged victory for Manchester City over Reading

Roberto Mancini: Happy his City side did not lose hope as Gareth Barry scored a last-minute winner

Last-gasp win pleases Mancini

Roberto Mancini was happy Manchester City 'recovered' the game with rock-bottom side Reading at the Etihad on Saturday.