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Barclays Premier League

Etihad Stadium (ATT 41,022) 27th August 2005 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: A Wiley

Man City Manchester City vs Portsmouth Portsmth

Cole completes City revival

By Andy Clarke.   Last Updated: 27/08/05 2:59pm

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Manchester City recovered from a goal down to beat Portsmouth 2-1 at the City of Manchester Stadium, earning their third consecutive victory and stretching their unbeaten run to 12 matches.

Fittingly, it was Andy Cole who scored the winning goal which for the first time takes City into a Premiership derby with Manchester United above their neighbours in the league table.

Portsmouth had set out with a defensive 5-4-1 formation, but with Lomana LuaLua outstanding for the first hour they always posed a threat on the break and it was no great surprise when John Viafara headed them in front from Laurent Robert's free-kick.

But the pattern of the match had already been set, with the visitors pegged back in their own penalty area, and the pressure eventually told.

Sander Westerveld, the Pompey goalkeeper, will have to shoulder the blame for failing to gather Trevor Sinclair's hopeful 66th minute cross, but credit must go to Claudio Reyna, who reacted sharply to turn in the loose ball.

Four minutes later City went ahead. Sinclair was once again involved, helping the ball back into the penalty area for Cole to spin and beat Westerveld with a low shot.

Westerveld had been called into action as early as the first minute to push away an overhead kick from Cole which was destined for the top corner of the net, but that was one of only a handful of chances in a forgettable first half.

LuaLua might have put Portsmouth ahead had he been able to reach Robert's inviting left wing cross, while Viafara's near-post flick from a Robert corner just evaded Andy O'Brien's touch.

Kiki Musampa hit the crossbar with an attempt to pick out Sinclair at the far post and Darius Vassell fired into the side-netting after nicking the ball away from Brian Priske.

All the goals came in a more eventful second period, with Viafara striking the first blow in the 52nd minute.

Vassell should have claimed his second goal in a City shirt shortly after Cole had put the home side ahead, but his delicate lob floated just wide of the far post.

Pompey had a chance to snatch an equaliser with an injury-time free-kick in an identical position to one from which they scored their opener but Robert, who so infuriated the management of Newcastle during his time at St James' Park, this time opted to shoot, blazing harmlessly over.

City v Pompey player ratings

Manchester CityTeam NamePortsmouth
6Shots on target ( Inc Goals )2
7Shots off Target (inc woodwork)5
3Blocked Shots0
12Corners Won3
13Total Fouls Conceded20
1Yellow Cards2
0Red Cards0



Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Chelsea 22 52
2 Manchester City 22 47
3 Southampton 22 42
4 Manchester United 22 40
5 Arsenal 22 39
6 Tottenham Hotspur 22 37
7 West Ham United 22 36
8 Liverpool 22 35
9 Swansea City 22 30
10 Stoke City 22 29
11 Newcastle United 22 27
12 Everton 22 23
13 Crystal Palace 22 23
14 West Bromwich Albion 22 22
15 Aston Villa 22 22
16 Sunderland 22 20
17 Burnley 22 20
18 Hull City 22 19
19 Queens Park Rangers 22 19
20 Leicester City 22 17