Tag Archives: tevez

Carlos Tevez facing jail threat after arrest on suspicion of driving while disaqualified

City striker Tevez could face jail after arrest on suspicion of driving while disqualified

Tevez was banned from the roads for six months in January

Police confirm a 29-year-old man was arrested on ThursdayMaximum penalty is six months in prison and 5,000 fine

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Reliable: But the forward is a consistent performer when selected

Reliable: But the forward is a consistent performer when selected

Neymar: England only have one match-winner, Wayne Rooney, and they won"t win World Cup

EXCLUSIVE: England are a one-man team – and they haven't got a chance of winning the World Cup, taunts Brazil superstar Neymar

By
David Kent

PUBLISHED:

15:09 GMT, 5 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

15:45 GMT, 5 February 2013

Brazil star Neymar claims England are not good enough to win the World Cup and says they rely too heavily on Manchester United star Wayne Rooney.

Neymar, who celebrated his 21st birthday today, will line-up against the Three Lions on Wednesday night in a friendly to mark the Football Association's 150th anniversary.

Happy returns: Neymar tweeted this picture of him with birthday cake at Brazil's team hotel today

Happy returns: Neymar tweeted this picture of him with birthday cake at Brazil's team hotel today

Samba stars: Ronaldinho and Neymar (left)

Samba stars: Ronaldinho and Neymar (left)

'England are a good team with very good players – but I don't look at them as one of our main rivals for the World Cup,' Neymar who was speaking exclusively to Sportsmail, said.

'They have the players to do well – but do I think they have the same quality as Spain and Argentina No.

'I think maybe they rely on Wayne Rooney.

'At Brazil we have many players who can win the game. The same with Argentina if Messi is not having a great game they still have Aguero and Tevez with Spain if Iniestia is having a bad game they have Xavi and Villa. Once you look past Rooney you don't see an obvious player who can win them
a game.'

Neymar said Brazil have high hopes of winning the World Cup in their own country next year.

He said: 'The players love having Scolari as coach. We all respect him – but it works two ways. He is the sort of man that if you show him respect he will show you respect. We are all so happy to be playing under him. Already he is coming up with new ideas about how we can improve. He is very clear that only winning the World Cup will do next year.

Key man: Neymar says England rely too heavily on Wayne Rooney

Key man: Neymar says England rely too heavily on Wayne Rooney

Safe hands: Brazil's coach Luiz Felipe Scolari

Safe hands: Brazil's coach Luiz Felipe Scolari

'I think he made exactly the right decision to being Ronaldinho back. He is not just one of the best players of recent years but one of the best players to ever play the game. For three years he was the best player in the world. He has won everything with Brazil and also during his time at Barcelona – he brings a lot to the team.

Neymar has repeatedly been linked with a move to Europe with Real Madrid, Barcelona and Chelsea tracking the Santos forward.

He added: 'It is nice when I hear top players say I will be the best player in the world. It is important to stay humble – but I have to believe that I can be the best in the world. I know I have the talent to be – I just need to carry on working hard and learning off the players and coaches around me.

'Things are written about my future but they are not true. They can't be true – because no decision has been made. I am happy at Santos now and I am not even thinking about leaving. When the time comes I will consider all offers from big clubs in Europe – but any talk that I have already committed to a club is not true.'

Norwich 3 Manchester City 4 – match report

Norwich 3 Man City 4: Dzeko and Aguero ensure 10-man champions edge thriller

|

UPDATED:

17:38 GMT, 29 December 2012

Manchester City overcame the controversial sending-off of midfielder Samir Nasri to beat Norwich 4-3 in a thrilling Barclays Premier League clash at Carrow Road.

The champions, beaten at Sunderland on Boxing Day, were off to a flying start when they went 2-0 up inside four minutes after Edin Dzeko's quick brace.

Norwich reduced the deficit through Anthony Pilkington's deflected free-kick, before Nasri was shown a red card by referee Mike Jones on 44 minutes for putting his head into the face of Sebastien Bassong.

Star of the show: Edin Dzeko scored within two minutes for Manchester City

Star of the show: Edin Dzeko scored within two minutes for Manchester City

MATCH FACTS

Norwich: Bunn, R Martin, Bassong, Turner, Garrido, Johnson, Snodgrass, Pilkington, Hoolahan (Jackson 74), Tettey (Howson 57), Morison (Kane 45)

Subs not used: Rudd, Barnett, R Bennett, E Bennett

Goal: Pilkington 15, Martin 63, 75

Booked: Bassong, Pilkington

Man City: Hart, Kompany, Zabaleta, Clichy, Nastasic, Nasri, Barry, Silva (Milner 56), Y Toure, Dzeko (Lescott 81), Aguero (Garcia 90)

Subs not used: Pantilimon, K Toure, Sinclair, Tevez

Goals: Dzeko 2, 4 Aguero 50, Bunn (og) 67

Booked: Clichy

Sent off: Nasri 44

Referee: Mike Jones

Attendance: 26,827

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Sergio Aguero's neat flick made it
3-1 at the start of the second half, before Russell Martin's header
reduced the deficit again.

Dzeko put City back in command at 4-2
after his shot cannoned off the post and in off goalkeeper Mark Bunn,
only for Martin's scrambled effort to set up a grandstand finish.

However, Norwich – who had beaten
both Arsenal and Manchester United at Carrow Road during a 10-match
unbeaten run – could not conjure an equaliser as they suffered a third
successive league defeat.

City were ahead inside two minutes. A
long ball down the left was worked back inside by Aguero and David
Silva for an unmarked Dzeko to sweep home from six yards.

The champions swiftly doubled their lead.

Play was allowed to continue after a crunching tackle from Vincent Kompany on Bradley Johnson.
Aguero was away again, darting into the right side of the Norwich
penalty area before drawing the goalkeeper and then cutting the ball
back to present Dzeko with another tap-in.

The Canaries had been thrashed 6-1
here by City last season, and another such defeat looked on the cards as
the Blues continued to press.

Already Dzeko scored his second early in the match

Already Dzeko scored his second early in the match

Game on: Anthony Pilkington scored a free-kick as the sides went in at 2-1

Game on: Anthony Pilkington scored a free-kick as the sides went in at 2-1

There was some brief respite on 13 minutes when Kompany tripped Robert Snodgrass just outside the Manchester City penalty area.

The Scotland international shaped to
take the free-kick himself, but instead ran over the ball, as Pilkington
drove in a low shot which deflected off Gael Clichy and past Joe Hart.

Bunn then needed to be alert to tip
over a spooned clearance from former City full-back Javier Garrido which
was dropping into the Norwich net following another lighting break from
the visitors.
City remained a threat, as Yaya Toure flashed a 20-yard drive just wide following more patient build-up from the champions.

Class: Sergio Aguero lifts the ball over Mark Bunn to make it 3-1

Class: Sergio Aguero lifts the ball over Mark Bunn to make it 3-1

Back in the goals: Aguero wheeled away after his expertly taken goal

Back in the goals: Aguero wheeled away after his expertly taken goal

Get in: Russell Martin heads home Norwich's second

Get in: Russell Martin heads home Norwich's second

Things got ugly again just before the break when Bassong upended Nasri on the far touchline.

The duo squared up face-to-face, with
Nasri pushing his head into the Norwich defender – which on
consultation with the assistant referee resulted in a red card for the
France midfielder, and a caution for Bassong.

The decision perplexed City boss
Mancini, and left him with some changes to mull over at half-time the
rain started to lash down.

Spicy: Samir Nasri was red-carded for putting his head against Sebastien Bassong's

Spicy: Samir Nasri was red-carded for putting his head against Sebastien Bassong's

Oh dear: Nasri was dismissed just before half-time

Oh dear: Nasri was dismissed just before half-time

Norwich made a substitution just
before the interval, with striker Steve Morison hobbling off because of
what appeared to be a thigh problem and on-loan Harry Kane replacing him
for a first appearance since breaking his metatarsal in September.

City were soon back on the offensive following the restart and restored their two-goal cushion on 50 minutes.

Toure delivered a perfectly-weighted
angled ball which Bassong could not cut out and dropped into the path of
Aguero. The Argentina forward produced an exquisite chip to beat the
advancing keeper and put City back in control.

To their credit, the home side
continued to look to get back into the match, as a low shot from
substitute Jonny Howson's was touched wide by Hart.

From the resulting short-corner, it
was 3-2 when Bassong's header back across the six-yard box from
Snodgrass' clever centre was guided into the top right corner by Martin
on 63 minutes.

However, City quickly restored their advantage as the broke away down the right.

Dzeko sprung the offside trap to
burst into the Norwich penalty area to beat Bunn at the near post, the
ball bouncing off the woodwork, then the keeper's back and into the net.

Unlucky: Dzeko was deprived of a hat-trick when his shot ricocheted in off Bunn

Unlucky: Dzeko was deprived of a hat-trick when his shot ricocheted in off Bunn

Squeaky bum time: Martin scored Norwich's third to make things interesting again

Squeaky bum time: Martin scored Norwich's third to make things interesting again

Whack: Vincent Kompany slides in on Bradley Johnson

Whack: Vincent Kompany slides in on Bradley Johnson

Flying high: Edin Dzeko competes for the ball in the second half

Flying high: Edin Dzeko competes for the ball in the second half

A quite amazing match sparked into
life once more with 15 minutes left when another Norwich corner caused
panic in the City six-yard box as Hart could only half punch clear
before Martin swept the ball in again from point-blank range.

Mancini looked to shore things up when he replaced Dzeko with defender Joleon Lescott.

Bunn redeemed himself with a brilliant one-handed save from Aguero at point-blank range.
Despite five minutes of stoppage time, there was to be no more drama as
City closed out what could prove to be a crucial victory.

Taskmaster: Roberto Mancini issues some instructions from the touchline

Taskmaster: Roberto Mancini issues some instructions from the touchline

Goalscorers: Aguero and Martin (right) were both among the goals

Goalscorers: Aguero and Martin (right) were both among the goals

Adrian Durham: Useless Liverpool need Jamie Carragher, make Arsenal play at Stoke on Boxing Day

Keepers make mistakes so back off England's undisputed No 1 Hart… Useless Liverpool need Carragher… And make Arsenal play away on Boxing Day (at Stoke)

|

UPDATED:

09:52 GMT, 27 December 2012

I hope Joe Hart didn’t bother looking at Twitter on Boxing Night. According to some tweeters, he became the first top class goalkeeper to ever make a mistake. Every goalkeeper in history has made mistakes.

From a Manchester City point of view I’d be more worried about Aguero and Tevez failing to score again. From an England point of view the question is whether Joe Hart has been dislodged from his position as the number one keeper

The only realistic contender is Fraser Forster (who made a mistake earlier this season against Kilmarnock). I rate Forster very highly and I've always been puzzled why he never received an Under 21 call-up.

Jeepers keepers: Joe Hart was caught out of position for Adam Johnson's winner for Sunderland at the Stadium of Light

Jeepers keepers: Joe Hart was caught out of position for Adam Johnson's winner for Sunderland

Hart hurts: The Manchester City No 1 was consoled after the defeat

Hart hurts: The Manchester City and England No 1 was consoled after the defeat

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Thankfully, his ability has now been recognised by Roy Hodgson and he's now in the England squad, although yet to make his debut.

I first noticed Forster when he had a season on loan at Norwich and helped them win the League One title in 2010.

He broke records for keeping clean sheets and was voted player of the season by his Norwich team-mates. He was superb that season.

Able deputy: Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster provides competition for Hart's England jerseyAble deputy: Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster provides competition for Hart's England jersey

Able deputy: Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster provides competition for Hart's England jersey

He was also sent off against Gillingham,
and gifted Leeds a last-minute winner when the two sides met. I’m not
criticising Forster, I’m just highlighting the fact that all goalkeepers
will make mistakes.

I hope Hodgson gives Forster some minutes on the pitch when England meet Brazil in a friendly at Wembley in February.

But let's keep it real – Joe Hart is the undisputed No 1 with the current English champions. England fans should be proud of him.

USELESS LIVERPOOL NEED CARRAGHER

I see Liverpool were useless again. There has been a lot said about Brendan Rodgers being short of firepower, with Luis Suarez the only recognised striker at the club.

But I’m wondering what’s happening at the other end of the pitch Liverpool have conceded eight goals in their last four games, and the goals Stoke scored on Boxing Day were cheap to say the least.

Daniel Agger and Martin Skrtel are the preferred partnership but they’re not doing their jobs properly and it’s costing Liverpool points.

Get back: Defender Jamie Carragher watched Liverpool's Boxing Day defeat by Stoke from the bench

Get back: Defender Jamie Carragher watched Liverpool's Boxing Day defeat by Stoke from the bench

Perhaps it’s time for Jamie Carragher to come back into the first team. Liverpool clearly need leadership at the back, and Carragher would provide that.

He celebrates his 35th birthday next month, so he’s not the long term answer. But stability at the back would help Liverpool right now, and give some of the younger players another respected pro to look up to in the dressing room.

MAKE ARSENAL PLAY AWAY ON BOXING DAY… AT STOKE!

I still can’t quite get my head round Arsenal Football Club's inability to stage a Premier League game on Boxing Day because of a tube strike.

They talked to the police and others before taking the decision, saying the 'paramount concern was always the duty of care towards the Arsenal supporters, West Ham supporters, matchday employees and everyone who was planning to attend the game.'

I went to Craven Cottage on Boxing Day
and had no problem getting to or from the game by car. Just up the road,
Queens Park Rangers also had a home game – combined crowd at the
Cottage and at Loftus Road was just over 43,000.

Capital gains: Fulham and Southampton managed to defy the London tube strike and play out a 1-1 draw at Craven Cottage

Capital gains: Fulham and Southampton managed to defy the London tube strike at Craven Cottage

Happy shoppers: Westfield Shopping Center was full to the rafters despite the tube strike

Happy shoppers: Westfield Shopping Center was full to the rafters despite the tube strike

Then throw in the thousands who packed Westfield shopping centre literally round the corner from QPR's ground and you start to realise the enormity of Boxing Day in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham.

It doesn’t reflect well on Arsenal that they couldn't stage their game. They've had extra rest time, and the fixture will be played at the end of January when the Gunners may already have made signings in the transfer window.

The Gunners got what they deserved with Spurs, Everton and West Brom all winning and going above them.

The best way around this in the future (Arsenal also postponed this fixture last season) is to force Arsenal to play away on Boxing Day. Ideally at Stoke.

HODGSON MUST FOLLOW FERGIE'S LEAD AND KEEP FAITH IN CARRICK

I've always been an admirer of Michael Carrick and have struggled to understand why Sir Alex Ferguson has faith in him but no England manager over the past ten years has felt the same way.

Fergie has been successful, all those England managers failed miserably. You do the maths.

So I watched Carrick at Swansea put in his usual display of world class passing, and regularly breaking up play. Then in the 4-3 win over Newcastle, Carrick was roasted by his critics for giving the ball away in the build up to Newcastle's opener.

Keep the faith: Michael Carrick was instrumental in Manchester United's 4-3 victory over Newcastle

Keep the faith: Michael Carrick was instrumental in Manchester United's 4-3 victory over Newcastle

Those same critics were strangely quiet when Carrick found Hernandez with a precision pass for the winner. And, indeed, they said nothing when he poked an instinctive ball to set up Robin van Persie for his goal.

England have always struggled to keep possession, and yet one of the best passers of the ball in the Premier League has consistently been overlooked.

People only want to talk about Carrick's mistakes. That's probably why he rarely gets talked about.

Follow Adrian on Twitter – @talkSPORTDrive… Adrian hosts talkSPORT's Drivetime Show on weekdays between 4pm–7pm alongside former England cricketer Darren Gough

Sunderland 1 Manchester City 0 – match report

Sunderland 1 Manchester City 0: Old boy Johnson comes back to haunt Mancini as Black Cats take all three points

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UPDATED:

18:13 GMT, 26 December 2012

Adam Johnson came back to haunt Manchester City as the champions slipped to a third successive Barclays Premier League defeat at Sunderland.

The England winger, who was considered surplus to requirements at the Etihad Stadium during the summer and was allowed to join the Black Cats in a 10million move, embarrassed former team-mate Joe Hart with a dipping 53rd-minute strike which beat him at the near post and clinched three precious points for his new employers.

However, the winner was not without controversy with the visitors adamant they should have been awarded a free-kick for a foul on Pablo Zabaleta during the build-up.

Making the difference: Adam Johnson celebrates scoring against City

Making the difference: Adam Johnson celebrates scoring against City

Match facts

Sunderland: Mignolet, Larsson (Campbell 78), Cuellar, Kilgallon, Rose (Bardsley 88), Gardner, McClean, Colback, Johnson, Sessegnon, Fletcher.

Subs not used: Westwood, Wickham, McFadden, Vaughan, Bramble.

Booked: Colback.

Goals: Johnson 53.

Man City: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Toure (Barry 86), Nastasic, Milner, Javi Garcia (Lescott 89), Toure , Silva,Aguero, Tevez (Dzeko 72).

Subs not used: Pantilimon, Sinclair, Rekik, Razak.

Booked: Kompany, Toure, Nastasic.

Attendance: 42,190

Referee: Kevin Friend

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Sunderland turned in one of their best displays of the season on a day when City played only fitfully, and Hart had to turn away Steven Fletcher's skidding effort and keep out Stephane Sessegnon 10 minutes from time.

However, if Johnson was the hero in front of a delighted Boxing Day crowd of 42,190, keeper Simon Mignolet deserved equal praise.

The Belgian denied Yaya Toure and David Silva before the break and Sergio Aguero after it to claim a precious clean sheet and make a huge contribution towards the win.

City arrived determined not to complete an unwanted hat-trick of 1-0 league defeats on Wearside and, after a lacklustre start, eased themselves into the game.

They might have been ahead with just eight minutes gone, but Vincent Kompany's header came back off the crossbar and Yaya Toure's goalbound follow-up was hacked away by Mignolet, who reacted instantly to deny the visitors an early lead.

Silva curled a 10th-minute free-kick
wastefully over the bat and Toure saw a curling effort plucked from
underneath the crossbar by Mignolet three minutes later.

Christmas cheer: Craig Gardner (centre) celebrates with team mates following his sides win over City

Christmas cheer: Craig Gardner (centre) celebrates with team mates following his sides win over City

Dejected: Carlos Tevez looks frustrated as City could not find a goal

Dejected: Carlos Tevez looks frustrated as City could not find a goal

City were pinning Sunderland deep inside their own half and it seemed only a matter of time before they made the pressure tell.

Mignolet had to be at his best once
again with 24 minutes gone after Carlos Tevez and Aguero combined to put
Silva in on goal, only for Mignolet to block his effort at close range.

But
seconds later Hart had to dive to his right to turn away Fletcher's
rasping left-foot drive and the Black Cats, buoyed after weathering the
early storm, started to force their way into the game.

Beaten man: Adam Johnson (not pictured) gets the ball past Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart

Beaten man: Adam Johnson (not pictured) gets the ball past Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart

Mixed emotions: The Sunderland players and fans celebrate as Hart and Kompany look on

Mixed emotions: The Sunderland players and fans celebrate as Hart and Kompany look on

Johnson was enjoying the better of his individual battle with Zabaleta, who played much of the half with a heavily bandaged head after suffering a cut, and as James McClean took up the theme, Martin O'Neill's men upped their tempo.

Kompany and Matija Nastasic had to repel dangerous crosses from Sebastian Larsson and McClean respectively, and Sessegnon flashed a header well wide from Craig Gardner's driven 42nd-minute cross.

In the wars: Pablo Zabaleta gets a cut after Steven Fletcher catches him with his boot

In the wars: Pablo Zabaleta gets a cut after Steven Fletcher catches him with his boot

Body on the line: Zabaleta has blood pouring from his head after the incident

Body on the line: Zabaleta has blood pouring from his head after the incident

Back in business: Zabaleta returns with his head bandaged

Back in business: Zabaleta returns with his head bandaged

Larsson drilled a late free-kick straight into the defensive wall, but he and his team-mates left the pitch at the break with their clean sheet intact and everything still to play for.

Sunderland picked up where they had left off after the restart as McClean and Johnson, with the help of Sessegnon and Fletcher, stretched City uncomfortably at times. It was they who took the lead with eight minutes of the half played.

City boss Roberto Mancini and Zabaleta were left appealing in vain for a free-kick for Gardner's challenge on the full-back, but Johnson picked up possession and cut inside before blasting in a dipping shot which caught Hart flat-footed at his near post and squirmed into the bottom corner.

Sessegnon might have doubled his side's advantage within two minutes, but pulled his effort across the face of goal with City in disarray.

Old boy: Former City winger Adam Johnson scored against his former side

Old boy: Former City winger Adam Johnson scored against his former side

Getting stuck in: Jack Colback and Matt Kilgallon challenge Manchester City's Carlos Tevez

Getting stuck in: Jack Colback and Matt Kilgallon challenge Manchester City's Carlos Tevez

Stopped in his tracks: Sergio Aguero is halted by Colback

Stopped in his tracks: Sergio Aguero is halted by Colback

The visitors were almost breached once again on the hour when McClean picked out Sessegnon in front of goal, but the Benin international could not take the ball in his stride.

Kompany, who had already been booked, was fortunate to escape a second yellow card for a block on McClean as City struggled to contain a Black Cats side growing in confidence by the minute.

But the visitors gradually regained their composure and started to move the ball confidently once again and Mignolet had to claim a 68th-minute Zabaleta cross at his near post after being played in by James Milner.

Eyes on the ball: Steven Fletcher and Vincent Kompany fight for the ball

Eyes on the ball: Steven Fletcher and Vincent Kompany fight for the ball

The Belgium international excelled himself once again two minutes later to deny Aguero one on one, but it was Hart in the firing line with 10 minutes remaining when Sessegnon was played in by substitute Fraizer Campbell with the keeper coming out on top.

City battered away at their hosts as time ran down, but with Sunderland defending deep and with tenacity, they simply could not find a way through and McClean almost served up the perfect finish with an 88th-minute shot which flew just wide.

Bad day: Roberto Mancini saw his side lose ground on Manchester United as they failed to win

Bad day: Roberto Mancini saw his side lose ground on Manchester United as they failed to win

Manchester City 1 Reading 0 – match report

Manchester City 1 Reading 0: Barry leaves it late to rescue champions

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UPDATED:

17:15 GMT, 22 December 2012

Gareth Barry headed a last-gasp winner as champions Manchester City denied Reading an unexpected and morale-boosting point at the Etihad Stadium.

City created numerous chances in a mostly one-sided affair completed in heavy rain but the visitors looked set to hold firm and lift themselves off the bottom of the Barclays Premier League.

But City fought to the end and Barry got on the end of a cross from David Silva to head home in injury time.

Last gasp: Gareth Barry celebrates scoring City's winner with David Silva

Last gasp: Gareth Barry celebrates scoring City's winner with David Silva

Living on the edge: A frustrated Carlos Tevez bemoans a wasted chance as it seemed City would drop points

Living on the edge: A frustrated Carlos Tevez bemoans a wasted chance as it seemed City would drop points

Match facts

Man City: Hart, Zabaleta, Toure, Nastasic, Rekik (Milner 84), Barry, Javi Garcia (Dzeko 58), Y Toure, Silva, Aguero, Tevez.

Subs not used: Wright, Kompany, Lescott, Razak.

Booked: Y Toure, Aguero.

Goal: Barry 90.

Reading: Federici, Gunter, Pearce, Mariappa, Harte (Shorey 86), McAnuff, Leigertwood, Karacan (Guthrie 70), Tabb, Kebe, Pogrebnyak.

Subs not used: Taylor, Le Fondre, Hunt, Gorkss, Robson-Kanu.

Booked: Gunter, Mariappa, Leighterwood.

Ref: Mike Dean (Wirral)

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A seventh successive defeat was harsh on Reading, who after slumping 5-2 to Arsenal on Monday were much more resilient.

Under-pressure manager Brian McDermott
always knew the game was a tough assignment but was moments away from
claiming a more than creditable draw.

McDermott had made four changes with
Jem Karacan returning from injury to make his first appearance since
October while Chris Gunter, Ian Harte and Alex Pearce also came in.

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 Pearce
particularly working hard to repel attack after attack.

City could only curse their luck as they carved out several opportunities but failed to take them.

Getting to grips: Reading mostly coped well with their more illustrious opponents

Getting to grips: Reading mostly coped well with their more illustrious opponents

Blocked off: Sergio Aguero's threat was snuffled out as Reading defended manfully until the end

Blocked off: Sergio Aguero's threat was snuffled out as Reading defended manfully until the end

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.

The centre-back pairing of Kolo Toure
and Matija Nastasic, while senior duo Vincent Kompany and Joleon Lescott
looked on from the bench, also had a largely comfortable afternoon.

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.

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.

A rare attack from Reading saw Karacan shoot well wide but City responded with Tevez crossing for Barry to head at Federici.

Sergio Aguero jumps over Adam Federici

Lack of goals: City's strikers are not on top form

Waiting for the breakthrough: Sergio Aguero skips over Federici as another chance goes begging

Pressure: David Silva tried to help City breech Reading's defence

Pressure: David Silva tried to help City breech Reading's defence

Silva jinked his way through the area
to create another opportunity but Reading scrambled clear as Yaya Toure
and Tevez jostled to reach his cross. Toure claimed he was impeded but
referee Mike Dean saw nothing untoward.

Pablo Zabaleta had an effort deflected over and Nastasic also missed the target as City maintained the pressure.

Aguero burst through just before the
break but Reading closed down shooting angles and Tevez could not get on
the end of his cross.

Tevez threatened after the restart but could only shoot at Federici.

Tevez 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.

Can't complain: Reading boss Brian McDermott will be pleased with the showing from his men

Can't complain: Reading boss Brian McDermott will be pleased with the showing from his men

All action: Barry fights for the ball as City refused to give up

All action: Barry fights for the ball as City refused to give up

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

City boss Roberto Mancini decided it was time for change and sent on Edin Dzeko for the mostly ineffective Garcia.

The Bosnian was quickly into the action and was millimetres away from connecting with a header after good work by Zabaleta.

Dzeko did win a clean header at a corner on 66 minutes but his attempt flew narrowly over the bar.

No you don't: Adrian Mariappa slides in to try and block Silva's effort on goal

No you don't: Adrian Mariappa slides in to try and block Silva's effort on goal

There were clear signs that the home
fans were growing frustrated with their side's ineffectiveness in front
of goal as the game wore on.

Mancini made another change as Scott
Sinclair came on for Tevez but it was Reading who next threatened as
Pavel Pogrebnyak broke and crossed for Jay Tabb.

Tabb went down after colliding with
Rekik but Dean did not feel there was a foul and nor did he see a
possible handball against Nastasic as the ball came in.

Reading grew in confidence and and
Pearce headed another good chance wide after Jimmy Kebe had won a corner
with a good break down the right.

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.

Mario Balotelli to take Manchester City to tribunal over 340,000 fine

Furious Balotelli takes on Man City in tribunal over 340,000 fine for bad behaviour

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UPDATED:

09:23 GMT, 16 December 2012

Mario Balotelli has edged himself closer to the Manchester City exit door after deciding to take the club to a tribunal in a bid to overturn a 340,000 fine.

The controversial Italian striker was docked two weeks wages after a string of breaches of discipline.

And Balotelli will appear before an independent two-man panel in London on Wednesday.

Doubts: Roberto Mancini's relationship with Mario Balotelli is strained

Doubts: Roberto Mancini's relationship with Mario Balotelli is strained

The 22-year-old insists the fine was undeserved and is prepared to risk paying the five-figure cost of the hearing should he lose.

Having already appealed unsuccessfully to the club, Balotelli felt he had no option but to take further action.

But his latest move is likely to alienate him even further at the Etihad Stadium with even long-time supporter Roberto Mancini beginning to have doubts.

Jump to it: Mancini said Balotelli has to work harder

Jump to it: Mancini said Balotelli has to work harder

The City boss dropped Balotelli from his squad to face Newcastle yesterday and revealed: 'He was at home only because he needs to work.'

That followed the fall-out from the Manchester derby last weekend when the former Inter Milan player stormed down the tunnel after being replaced by Carlos Tevez in the second half.

Carlos Tevez should have been an automatic pick for Roberto Mancini -Martin Keown

Mancini made a mistake by choosing Balotelli over matchwinner Tevez

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UPDATED:

00:27 GMT, 10 December 2012

Tremendous Tevez

I don’t understand why Carlos Tevez is not an automatic pick — he’s City’s matchwinner. His introduction gave us a proper football match and he played like a man possessed. Unlike Mario Balotelli, he chased down everything and gave the United defenders a torrid time.

Tevez would drop off and run wide and they didn’t know whether to stay or go with him. For Yaya Toure’s goal, he showed strength and composure to keep the ball and pick out his team-mate when surrounded by reds.

Not a moment too soon: Carlos Tevez replaced Mario Balotelli in the second half at the Etihad Stadium

Not a moment too soon: Carlos Tevez replaced Mario Balotelli in the second half at the Etihad Stadium

Winner brilliant, but so avoidable

There were two errors with the wall. Tevez walked off the end to close down Wayne Rooney on the edge of the box, but he should have stayed and reacted if necessary.

And Samir Nasri is not the bravest. What was he doing in the wall We often put people there who can’t do much defensively — such as pick up attackers or block. But he hid. If he stands up tall it hits him and bounces clear.

Winner: Joe Hart was beaten by Robin van Persie's late free kick which won the Manchester derby

Winner: Joe Hart was beaten by Robin van Persie's late free kick which won the Manchester derby

Incredible football

Rio Ferdinand looked majestic most of the match, but if I’m being really picky he could have committed more to blocking Tevez’s shot in the lead-up to Toure’s goal.

But that just showed how difficult it was for defenders yesterday. There was so much attacking quality all over the place, producing football of the highest order.

It was incredible to watch.

Rock solid: Rio Ferdinand had an excellent afternoon before being struck by a coin while celebrating the winner

Rock solid: Rio Ferdinand had an excellent afternoon before being struck by a coin while celebrating the winner

United wide men wing it

City dominated possession in the first half and it was largely down to the fluidity of their wingers. Nasri and David Silva like to come infield and that meant they could keep hold of the ball. But United’s wingers stuck out wide and that made them more clinical when they got it.

Space on the left allowed Ashley Young to set up the opener and Antonio Valencia on the right was key to the second. They were ruthless. The structure of the team created the goals but they had the ability in that framework.

Manchester derby: Roberto Mancini"s decisions made the difference as City"s weaknesses are exposed

Where's the team spirit, Mancini Details and decisions made the difference in derby clash as City's weaknesses were exposed

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UPDATED:

22:28 GMT, 9 December 2012

Sir Alex Ferguson has been in Manchester long enough to recognise the signs. Manchester City making life difficult for themselves. He has seen this before.

As City have grown under the ownership of Abu Dhabi, we began to think we had seen the last of this. Not yet, it seems. A fraction of the DNA remains unchanged.

Despite the drama and the compelling nature of the football, this was not a game that the champions of the Barclays Premier League should have lost. Not after they had come so far to recover from two wounding United thrusts in the first half.

Seen it all before: Sir Alex Ferguson could recognise the signs of weakness in Roberto Mancini's City team

Seen it all before: Sir Alex Ferguson could recognise the signs of weakness in Roberto Mancini's City team

Afterward, Wayne Rooney said that ‘something special’ had won United this remarkable game. He was referring to Robin van Persie’s free-kick.

A terrific strike though it was, the United striker’s shot would not have found the corner had Carlos Tevez not moved from the end of the wall as Van Persie began his run-up. Nor would it have gone in had Sami Nasri not half-hidden behind Edin Dzeko.

Indeed, the free-kick would not have been conceded in the first place had Joe Hart and Gael Clichy communicated properly as they endeavoured to deal with a rather overhit through-ball.

Granted, these are small details. But it’s often the small details that make the difference at this level.

So, United celebrate a terrific and vital victory. In one swish of Van Persie’s left boot, Ferguson’s persistently dangerous team moved six points clear at the top and demolished an unbeaten City home record that had stood for 37 games and a few days shy of two years.

You see, the small details really do make the difference.

It is hard to argue, as Ferguson did, that United were the better team over the whole piece. They had their moments on the counter but a draw would have ultimately reflected the game pretty well.

Flare players: Robin van Persie (left) scored United's winner in stoppage time to cap a memorable Manchester derby

Flare players: Robin van Persie (left) scored United's winner in stoppage time to cap a memorable Manchester derby

However, there was a relative serenity about much of United’s football, even amid the frantic action that characterised the closing moments of the game. On days like this, when the temperature rises above normal levels, this can sometimes be very important.

Certainly there was an absence of the unpredictability that currently seems to hover around the fringes of Roberto Mancini’s City.

Before kick-off yesterday, Mancini shocked us. Mario Balotelli started ahead of Carlos Tevez. Then, when captain Vincent Kompany left the field with an injury, he was replaced not by England’s Joleon Lescott but by the previously out of favour Kolo Toure.

Breaking point: Mario Balotelli glares frostily at his manager Mancini after being substituted and walked straight down the tunnel

Breaking point: Mario Balotelli glares frostily at his manager Mancini after being substituted and walked straight down the tunnel

ROONEY AT THE DOUBLE

Wayne Rooney scored twice to become the youngest player to reach 150 Premier League goals.

He leapfrogs Michael Owen in the all-time standings and is now joint sixth with Les Ferdinand.

1 Alan Shearer 260
2 Andy Cole 187
3 Thierry Henry 175
4 Robbie Fowler 163
5 Frank Lampard 153
6 WAYNE ROONEY 150
= Les Ferdinand 150
8 Michael Owen 149
9 Teddy Sheringham 147
10 Jimmy F Hasselbaink 127

…AND HERE’S HOW THEY’VE GONE IN

Right foot 115
Left foot 20
Header 15
Inside the area 134
Outside the area 16
Penalties 14
Home 80
Away 70

Mancini is paid to make these decisions, of course. He won the FA Cup and Premier League in his first two full seasons at the Etihad so he must have got a good many of them right. These, though, were perplexing, even more so in the light of a Balotelli performance that was so insipid he was withdrawn just a few minutes into the second half.

Mancini suggested: ‘It’s easy to look at these decisions at the end of the game. I thought Balotelli could trouble their defenders but I was wrong.

‘Kolo came on for Vinny because we couldn’t have two left-footed central defenders together.’

What will perhaps irritate Mancini this morning is his team could have won. With clearer heads they certainly wouldn’t have lost. Their recovery from two goals down was as admirable as it was thrilling and in the wake of Pablo Zabaleta’s wonderfully taken equaliser, the hosts looked the more likely to score again. Momentum was with them and, as the City boss will have noted, there was no sign of the lamentable, pedestrian football they had served up against Dortmund five days earlier.

Whether they were playing for their
manager or their supporters or themselves, they were playing for someone
and that was all that mattered.

Turnaround: Pablo Zabaleta had dragged City back to 2-2 by scoring the second goal

Turnaround: Pablo Zabaleta had dragged City back to 2-2 by scoring the second goal

DERBY DELIGHT

Rooney’s double means he equalled Eric Cantona’s record of seven Premier League goals in the Manchester derby:

Rooney (Utd) 7
Cantona (Utd) 7
Scholes (Utd) 5
Kanchelskis (Utd) 4
Quinn (City) 4

United goalkeeper David de Gea — who had a very good game on the whole — made a couple of late saves and was forced to hack a bouncing ball away from the edge of his own six-yard line.

That City didn’t score, though, will not surprise too many people who have watched them recently. They have won games late on this season — most notably at West Brom and at home to Tottenham — but recently they do not seem to have United’s conviction and that looks crucially important as we head towards Christmas.

On the touchline, Mancini continues to look pained. He yelled at Balotelli after Rooney had scored United’s first goal and then sent Carlos Tevez to warm up. We had only been playing 15 minutes.

Pure vitriol: Wayne Rooney is heckled by City fans as he takes a corner

Pure vitriol: Wayne Rooney is heckled by City fans as he takes a corner

Hitting the mark: But the England striker responded by scoring twice for United

Hitting the mark: But the England striker responded by scoring twice for United

When Balotelli eventually did leave the field five minutes after the break, his manager didn’t even look at him. His replacement then spurned a chance. More yelling.

None of this will soothe the nerves of the more reasoned City followers who sense fraying nerves at the Etihad Stadium.

There was a time last season when this City team moved steadily forwards without even disturbing the surface of the water. Currently the ripples carry the wrong messages.

Mancini will believe the momentum can shift and it certainly can. The events of last April and May are fresh in the mind. The lead must come from him, though. He, as the manager, sets the mood.

In Manchester, City may still have the better players. They do not, however, have the best team.

Mario Balotelli snubs manager Roberto Mancini as he is replaced in Manchester derby

Mancini blasts Balotelli as striker storms off after being replaced in Manchester derby (…and fans then mob his camouflaged car!)

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UPDATED:

19:50 GMT, 9 December 2012

Roberto Mancini has ordered Mario Balotelli to 'start thinking about his job' after the Italians stormed down the tunnel after being replaced just minutes into the second half of the Manchester derby.

The Manchester City boss gambled on his mercurial striker, handing him a start over the in-form Carlos Tevez at the Etihad Stadium.

But his decision backfired as United stormed into a two goal lead before Tevez came off the bench to help launch a comeback, only for Robin van Persie to steal all three points in the dying seconds.

And Balotelli's day didn't get any better after the final whistle – as he tried to escape the ground in his camouflaged Bentley Continental GT, he was mobbed by Man United fans.

Frosty: Mario Balotelli shot this disapproving glance at Roberto Mancini after being substituted

Frosty: Mario Balotelli shot this disapproving glance at Roberto Mancini after being substituted

Frosty: Mario Balotelli shot this disapproving glance at Roberto Mancini after being substituted

Mobbed! Balotelli tries to escape in his camouflaged Bentley Continental GT after the match but is rumbled by Man United fans

Mobbed! Balotelli tries to escape in his camouflaged Bentley Continental GT after the match but is rumbled by Man United fans

'I love Mario but it is important for him to start to think about his job,' said Mancini.

'He has everything to play well but he can't continue to play like today. We wanted more from him.

'When you have a player that has Mario's quality, you cannot understand why he continues to throw it out of the window. It is incredible.

'I have seen players in my life with fantastic quality. But in the end, they did nothing.

'I don't want Mario to finish like these players. It would be bad for him.'

Early bath: Balotelli headed straight for the changing room after being replaced

Early bath: Balotelli headed straight for the changing room after being replaced

Watching on: City fans and the Man United bench, including Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes, watch on as the Italian walks down the tunnel

Watching on: City fans and the Man United bench, including Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes, watch on as the Italian walks down the tunnel

Don't look back in anger: Balotelli continued to stare at Mancini as he walked past

Don't look back in anger: Balotelli continued to stare at Mancini as he walked past

He did later return to the bench to watch the remainder of the game, in which a City side energised by Tevez's introduction did manage to fight back to 2-2 before succumbing 3-2.

Balotelli has scored just three times this season for City and once for Italy and today's tantrum will only heighten speculation that Balotelli may look for a move away from City in January.

Ineffective: Balotelli was marked out of the game by United's defenders during his 50 minutes on the field

Ineffective: Balotelli was marked out of the game by United's defenders during his 50 minutes on the field

Confrontation: Balotelli did find time to argue with United defender Rio Ferdinand however