City maintain home record
Late goals give City more home comforts
Last Updated: 15/12/07 7:13pm
Manchester City maintained their 100 per cent record at home with a hard-fought 4-2 win over Bolton.
Late goals from Darius Vassell and Kelvin Etuhu helped City to their ninth successive win at Eastlands.
Rolando Bianchi gave City an early lead with his second goal in a week, but goals from El Hadji Diouf and Kevin Nolan turned the game on its head before half-time.
City drew level three minutes after the break when the unfortunate Lubomir Michalik diverted Dietmar Hamann's shot into his own net.
Vassell gave City the lead 13 minutes from time with his first goal of the season and Etuhu made the game safe in the dying seconds with his first goal for the club.
In what could only be described as an inconsistent opening period, Ricardo Gardner looked like becoming a Bolton villain as he inexplicably failed to cut out a harmless-looking through ball from Dietmar Hamman.
Vassell pounced and though the former England man saw his shot saved by Jussi Jaaskelainen, he turned the rebound into Johnson's path and the ball eventually squirted into the path of Bianchi, who prodded home.
The Trotters may not be noted for their flowing football but that is exactly what Gary Megson's men produced for the leveller.
El Hadji-Diouf was involved on three occasions as Bolton switched play from the left flank to the right. The Senegal international's last involvement was the decisive one as he scooped home Kevin Davies' astute pass.
Gardner went from hero to villain five minutes before the interval as he took advantage of Vedran Corluka's dawdling, seized possession, then darted into the box where his cut-back, intended for Nicolas Anelka, was prodded into Nolan's path by Hamann.
The Bolton skipper had not been at his best beforehand but was happy enough as he drilled into the bottom corner.
Eriksson had to do something at the interval and duly delivered a masterstroke with the introduction of academy graduate Etuhu, who had a hand in City's equaliser within three minutes of the re-start.
EqualiserHaving failed to score a single goal in two seasons since his arrival at City, Hamann would want to claim a 20-yard curling effort as his own. However, that would ignore a decisive deflection off Lubomir Michalik which will ensure the veteran German's wait goes on.
After a brief bout of sparring, both sides went looking for the knock-out blow.
Andreas Isaksson saved brilliantly from Anelka, then Johnson rolled a shot against a post at the other end.
And it was City who landed the decisive punch as Vassell nipped in at the near post to convert after Petrov had exploited Nicky Hunt's ill-advised decision to push forward by charging into the space left by the Bolton full-back and crossing for his team-mate to squeeze home.
Twice City went close to extending their lead before Etuhu gleefully blasted home a stoppage-time fourth.
|Manchester City||Team Statistics||Bolton Wanderers|
|1||1st Half Goals||2|
|8||Shots on Target||3|
|5||Shots off Target||8|
Barclays Premier League
Barclays Premier League
|15||West Bromwich Albion||15||15|
|17||West Ham United||15||13|