Tag Archives: zabaleta

Manchester City to sign Leeds Sam Byram

Mancini lines up 8m bid for Leeds starlet Byram to be long-term Zabaleta successor

By
Charlie Skillen

PUBLISHED:

10:39 GMT, 10 March 2013

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UPDATED:

10:39 GMT, 10 March 2013

Manchester City are set to spend 8 million on poaching Leeds' teenage sensation Sam Byram.

Energetic right-back Byram has been one of the first names on Neil Warnock's team-sheet this season despite only making his debut in August.

Mancini is revamping his squad in the summer after finding his side off the pace in the Premier League and crashing out of the Champions League at the group stage.

Tough tackler: Sam Byram, in action for Leeds yesterday, is a target for Premier League champions City

Tough tackler: Sam Byram, in action for Leeds yesterday, is a target for Premier League champions City

Looking to the future: Mancini, pictured yesterday, sees Byram as the long-term successor to Pablo Zabaleta

Looking to the future: Mancini, pictured yesterday, sees Byram as the long-term successor to Pablo Zabaleta

The Italian boss was impressed with Byram’s display in City’s 4-1 FA Cup victory over Leeds last month, and has been keeping tabs on the teenager since.

Byram is being lined-up as the long-term successor to Pablo Zabaleta, while Mancini sees former England defender Micah Richards’ future as being in the centre of defence.

Essex-born Byram has signed two new deals at Elland Road this season alone, despite interest from City and other Premier League clubs.

Young gun: Right-back Byram, 19 (right), has been ever-present for Neil Warnock's (left) Leeds side this season

Young gun: Right-back Byram, 19 (right), has been ever-present for Neil Warnock's (left) Leeds side this season

West Bromwich Albion, Stoke and Wigan are also interested in the 19-year-old, but should Leeds sell their prize asset the Premier League champions would be favourites for his signature.

Byram’s form this season has seen him touted as one of the hottest prospects outside the top flight and he can also play as a right wing-back.

Aston Villa 0 Manchester City 1: Carlos Tevez scores winner

Aston Villa 0 Manchester City 1: Mancini's men made to toil for victory over strugglers

PUBLISHED:

21:53 GMT, 4 March 2013

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UPDATED:

22:00 GMT, 4 March 2013

Carlos Tevez scored the decisive goal as Manchester City kept their title hopes hanging by a thread with a win at Aston Villa.

After a solid start from Villa, the visitors took control of the game. Edin Dzeko pounced on a Ciaran Clark error to slide the ball into Tevez, who rounded the goalkeeper and slotted home on the stroke of half-time.

City struck the upright twice after through Yaya Toure and Pablo Zabaleta, but couldn't increase their lead to kill the game off.

One up: Carlos Tevez (right) put Manchester City 1-0 up against Aston Villa

One up: Carlos Tevez (right) put Manchester City 1-0 up against Aston Villa

One up: Carlos Tevez (right) put Manchester City 1-0 up against Aston Villa
MATCH FACTS

Aston Villa: Guzan, Clark, Bennett, Baker, Lowton, N'Zogbia (Holman 65), Westwood (El Ahmadi 86), Delph, Agbonlahor, Benteke, Weimann (Dawkins 84)

Subs not used: Given, Lichaj, Sylla, Bowery

Booked: Benteke, Delph

Manchester City: Hart, Zabaleta, Clichy, K Toure, Nastasic, Milner, Garcia, Rodwell (Dzeko 25), Silva (Barry 90), Y Toure, Tevez (Nasri 75)

Subs not used: Pantilimon, Lescott, Kolarov, Sinclair

Goal: Tevez 45

Referee: Mike Dean

More to follow…

Relief: City celebrate their goal on the stroke of half-time from the Argentina international

Relief: City celebrate their goal on the stroke of half-time from the Argentina international

Aerial battle: Edin Dzeko gets above Ciaran Clark (right) to win a header

Aerial battle: Edin Dzeko gets above Ciaran Clark (right) to win a header

.

Up for it: Christian Benteke (left) made a nuisance of himself for City's back four

Up for it: Christian Benteke (left) made a nuisance of himself for City's back four

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Tussle: Fabian Delph (right) pursues City playmaker David Silva

Tussle: Fabian Delph (right) pursues City playmaker David Silva

Running the show: Yaya Toure (left) struck the post midway through the second half

Running the show: Yaya Toure (left) struck the post midway through the second half

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Out of this world: Two Aston Villa fans dress up to show their support for Christian Benteke

Out of this world: Two Aston Villa fans dress up to show their support for Christian Benteke

Out of this world: Two Aston Villa fans dress up to show their support for Christian Benteke

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Injury curse: Jack Rodwell was marking his 11th appearance for Manchester City since his summer arrival from Everton

Injury curse: Jack Rodwell was marking his 11th appearance for Manchester City since his summer arrival from Everton

Blow: Rodwell was replaced by Edin Dzeko after suffering an apparent hamstring injury

Blow: Rodwell was replaced by Edin Dzeko after suffering an apparent hamstring injury

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Expressive: Frustrations boil over for Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini

Expressive: Frustrations boil over for Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini

Manchester City squad ordered in for extra training by Roberto Mancini – PICTURES

Push for the burn, Carlos! Mancini orders City squad in for extra training in hope that hard yards can help overhaul United's lead

By
Paul Collins

PUBLISHED:

17:57 GMT, 20 February 2013

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UPDATED:

17:59 GMT, 20 February 2013

Manchester City players have been put through a double training session today as Roberto Mancini bids to keep his side in the title race.

City's grip on the crown they won so spectacularly last summer is loosening at a worrying rate, and they trail rivals Manchester United by 12 points.

Wednesday's extra workout came at the expense of a Champions League knockout clash after the Premier League champions finished bottom of their group before Christmas.

Sergio Aguero, David Silva, Carlos Tevez and Maicon were among the players putting in a shift in the gym before they moved outside to challenge a specially installed steps.

You could see it was ideal preparation for the mountain City have to climb in the league.

More to follow.

That's a bit steep: Carlos Tevez leads the charge up a slope as Manchester City's squad are made to work

That's a bit steep: Carlos Tevez leads the charge up a slope as Manchester City's squad are made to work

Having fun Argentina striker Sergio Aguero manages to keep a smile up during his strength work

Having fun Argentina striker Sergio Aguero manages to keep a smile up during his strength work

On yer bikes: Midfield duo David Silva (right) and Yaya Toure put in some work at the gym

On yer bikes: Midfield duo David Silva (right) and Yaya Toure put in some work at the gym

At a stretch: Right back Pablo Zabaleta works on a mat in the gym at Carrington

At a stretch: Right back Pablo Zabaleta works on a mat in the gym at Carrington

Maicon keeps fit on the exercise bike (well, it's not as if he does much running on the pitch these days...)

Maicon keeps fit on the exercise bike (well, it's not as if he does much running on the pitch these days…)

Roberto Mancini faces no punishment from the FA for criticism of referee

Mancini escapes FA rap for claiming referee 'ate too much at Christmas'

By
Liv Lee

PUBLISHED:

14:42 GMT, 10 January 2013

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UPDATED:

16:27 GMT, 10 January 2013

Roberto Mancini will not be disciplined by the FA for his criticism of referee Kevin Friend on Boxing Day.

The Manchester City manager said that Friend may
have ‘ate too much’ at Christmas after their 1-0 defeat at Sunderland and while the FA have decided not to punish Mancini, they have
reminded him of his responsibilities.

Had they taken action he
would have been facing a touchline ban or a fine.

Mancini will not face any punishment from the FA for his criticism of referee Kevin Friend

Off the hook: Mancini will not face any punishment from the FA for his criticism of referee Kevin Friend

Mancini was angry because he felt City deserved a free-kick following Craig Gardner’s challenge on Pablo Zabaleta in the build-up to Adam Johnson's winner.

He blamed both the referee and the linesman, saying: ‘The referee may have had too much to eat for Christmas. The linesman, too. It wasn’t a great game from them.

'That’s the problem we have sometimes in football. I don’t see how the referee can’t see the foul in the build-up. I don’t know how.’

The Italian was asked to offer observations about his comments by last Friday and after he sent the FA an explanation of his words the matter was dropped.

David Silva calls upon Manchester City players to close gap on Manchester United

Angry Silva calls upon Man City players to close gap on United by end of February

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UPDATED:

11:15 GMT, 29 December 2012

David Silva says his Manchester City team-mates were angry after their Boxing Day defeat at Sunderland, and has called upon the champions to close the seven-point gap on rivals United by the end of February.

City found themselves seven points off the pace to defend their Premier League title after being beaten 1-0 at the Stadium of Light on Wednesday, as Sir Alex Ferguson’s men came from behind three times to beat Newcastle 4-3 in a thrilling encounter.

But Silva believes City, who were dumped out of the Champions League in the group stages for the second year running, still have the quality to make up the ground over their bitter rivals, starting with a win today against Norwich at Carrow Road.

Battle cry: David Silva is determined to catch Manchester United at the top of the Premier League

Battle cry: David Silva is determined to catch Manchester United at the top of the Premier League

He told The Sun: ‘The defeat in Sunderland was a hard blow for us. But as we know that the Premier League is very open and if you give away chances you can be beaten.

‘Even so, there was a lot of anger in the dressing room — and not only from the coach. Those three points were so important because in our situation they could make the difference between us winning and losing the title.

‘And really, if we do not win at places like Sunderland, it is nearly impossible to fight for the success in this league.

‘Perhaps being knocked out of Europe had an influence but now we need to react and to demonstrate that City are the English champions.

Plotting success: Sergio Aguero (right) and Joleon Lescott (left) in training yesterday

Plotting success: Sergio Aguero (right) and Joleon Lescott (left) in training yesterday

All smiled: Pablo Zabaleta (left), Carlos Tevez (centre) and Javi Garcia (right) wrap up at Carrington

All smiled: Pablo Zabaleta (left), Carlos Tevez (centre) and Javi Garcia (right) wrap up at Carrington

‘There is a long way to go — but we cannot allow United any more advantage at the top of the table. The future is in our own hands but we have already shown how powerful we can be during our worst moments during the past year.

‘Our goal this season was the Champions League — but now that chance has gone we want to win the Premier League and dedicate the achievement to our fans.’

United ran out victors in the first Manchester derby of the season after a last-gasp Robin van Persie free-kick at the Etihad.

Silva and Co know that taking three points will be vital when they seek revenge at Old Trafford on April 6 for what promises to be a thrilling second instalment.

Larking about: Mario Balotelli (centre) has a joke in the gym during training

Larking about: Mario Balotelli (centre) has a joke in the gym during training

Star man: Silva (left) is hoping for a win this afternoon at Norwich

Star man: Silva (left) is hoping for a win this afternoon at Norwich

Roberto Mancini and Harry Redknapp ordered by FA to explain referee criticisms

FA demand Mancini and Redknapp explain referee criticisms… as Fergie escapes sanction

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UPDATED:

12:06 GMT, 28 December 2012

The FA today confirmed they had written to Roberto Mancini and Harry Redknapp over their criticism of referees following Manchester City and QPR's Boxing Day defeats.

The FA sent letters to City boss Mancini and Rangers counterpart Redknapp requesting their observations on their post-match comments in the wake of their sides' respective matches against Sunderland and West Brom.

Mancini and Redknapp could both find themselves charged by the FA if their words are found to have amounted to improper conduct.

In the dock: Redknapp and Maancini have been told to explain themselves

In the dock: Redknapp and Maancini have been told to explain themselves

In the dock: Redknapp and Mancini have been ordered to explain their actions

Mancini hit out at referee Kevin Friend following City's 1-0 defeat at the Stadium of Light, saying: 'Maybe the referee ate too much for Christmas.'

The Italian was particularly angry with what he felt was a foul on Pablo Zabaleta in the build-up to Adam Johnson's winner, saying it was 'impossible two men couldn't see it' in reference to Friend and his assistant.

Redknapp, meanwhile, was furious with what he claimed were two 'scandalous' decisions in QPR's 2-1 home defeat to West Brom.

Outburst: Redknapp was disappointed with the decision to allow the goal at Loftus Road to stand and Mancini slammed the referee for not spotting as foul in the build-up to Johnson's goal

Outburst: Redknapp was disappointed with the decision to allow the goal at Loftus Road to stand and Mancini slammed the referee for not spotting as foul in the build-up to Johnson's goal

Outburst: Redknapp was disappointed with the decision to allow the goal at Loftus Road to stand and Mancini slammed the referee for not spotting as foul in the build-up to Johnson's goal

The Rangers boss felt the Baggies' second goal should have been disallowed for a push on goalkeeper Robert Green and bemoaned the decision not to award his side a penalty when Liam Ridgewell appeared to handle the ball late on.

Redknapp said: 'I asked the linesman how he didn't see that penalty – it was the most blatant handball you could wish to see but he said it was murky down there in that corner and he couldn't make it out.

'Maybe he should go to Specsavers. I thought they were both awful decisions. Scandalous decisions.'

Scott free: Fergie wasn't charged for his actions during the clash at Old Trafford

Scott free: Fergie wasn't charged for his actions during the clash at Old Trafford

Graham Poll verdict on Ferguson, Mancini, Redknapp moaning managers

It was a bad day for moaning managers NOT for referees (apart from two shocking decisions at QPR and Everton)

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UPDATED:

10:50 GMT, 27 December 2012

Boxing day was not a bad day for referees but an embarrassment for managers.

There were mistakes, as there always will be but only two referees were clearly at fault and yet the two top managers had outbursts which were ill-informed, incorrect and insulting.

Sir Alex Ferguson is the best and most successful manager in Premier League history and yet does not know seem to know the laws of the game. I can accept that he does not agree with them, a lot of referees don’t either, but they know them and have to apply them.

Robert Green punches the ball into his own goal after being 'fouled' on the line by Marc-Antoine Fortune

Robert Green punches the ball into his own goal after being 'fouled' on the line by Marc-Antoine Fortune


Green remonstrates with ref Chris Foy at full time after QPR lost 2-1

Green remonstrates with ref Chris Foy at full time after QPR lost 2-1

Roberto Mancini aimed a personal attack on referee Kevin Friend,
suggesting that 'he ate too much at Christmas'. This pathetic attempt to
mask Manchester City's deficiencies was about Friend’s failure to
detect a foul on Pablo Zabaleta on the touchline. That’s right – a free
kick.

In 90 minutes of play Mancini blames the referee for missing one
minor foul and does so by getting personal. I trust the FA will act and
give him a touchline ban – but don’t expect them to. Had Joe Hart made a
routine save from Adam Johnson’s shot then the free kick would have
been forgotten.

The scenes at the start of the second half at Old Trafford were less
edifying as Ferguson, clearly livid at the second Newcastle goal being
allowed to stand queried the decision with Mike Dean, then vented his
fury at Neil Swarbrick, the fourth official and finally ranted at
assistant Jake Collin.

Wigan players are furious with referee Lee Mason as he fails to award their side a penalty

Wigan players are furious with ref Lee Mason as he fails to award their side a penalty after a trip on Shaun Maloney (left)

These scenes do the game no good at all but I doubt if the FA can act
as they were clearly seen and heard by all three match officials who
did nothing. Dean was absolutely correct to allow the goal due to the
law and its mandated interpretation defined by FIFA in 2005. That is not
my opinion but a fact. Whether Dean or I agree with that interpretation
is irrelevant and everyone in football needs to see that and accept it.

It is hard to discipline Ferguson, especially at Old Trafford, when
you believe that by doing so you will probably not referee at the
biggest venue for the foreseeable future. The FA and Premier League must
look at this as nobody should be above sanction.

One manager who I had sympathy for was Harry Redknapp who was careful
to describe Chris Foy’s decisions as ‘scandalous’ rather than make a
personal attack. And he was right!

Mike Dean feels the force of Sir Alex Ferguson's complaint... even though he made the right decision for Newcastle's second goal

Mike Dean feels the force of Sir Alex Ferguson's complaint… even though he made the right decision for Newcastle's second goal

Foy incredibly missed such an obvious foul on Queens Park Rangers goalkeeper Rob Green. How did that happen

As the ball headed towards his goal Green was clearly impeded by West
Brom Striker Marc-Antoine Fortune who not only blocked Green but then
backed into him preventing him from reaching the ball which was then
knocked into the net.

Foy stood nonchalantly on the edge of the penalty area and glanced
across at his assistant before awarding the goal. Late in the second
half Foy then denied Rangers a penalty after Liam Ridgewell handled the
ball. If you could excuse him missing that one or accepting that his
opinion was that the offence was not deliberate you still go back to
that second goal and shake your head at such poor officiating.

...and so does assistant referee Jake Collin

…and so does assistant referee Jake Collin

However, there was far more good officiating than bad including good
detection by Phil Dowd of Chris Baird’s hand ball to secure Southampton a
point at Craven Cottage and the same offence spotted by Mike Jones when
Reading’s Adam Le Fondre knocked the ball into the net with his arm.

Howard Webb also did well and was sharp when awarding Liverpool their
first penalty of the season. Brendan Rodgers has been bleating about
his team not getting one and that was finally correctly in just the
first minute at The Britannia stadium by Howard Webb.

It was correctly awarded for a Ryan Shawcross pull on the shirt of
Liverpool’s Luis Suarez; commentators highlighted that the offence
started outside the area, which it did but that is irrelevant.

Well done Webb: Ref Howard Webb got this decision right after Shawcross fouled Suarez

Well done Webb: Ref Howard Webb got this decision right after Shawcross fouled Suarez

If the offender still has hold of his opponent when he gets into the
area then a penalty is the right decision. It is a completely different
decision when a player is tripped as there is only one point of contact
and that dictates the position of the free kick or penalty.

There was some criticism of Phil Dowd for cautioning Dimitar Berbatov
after he scored and then showed an amusing message on his undershirt.
Had he merely lifted his shirt to reveal it there would have been no
card but referees hands are forced when the shirt is taken off. Mind you
law also insists they dismiss when abused but they ignore that one!

Finally, for the second consecutive game in a row Roberto Martinez’
Wigan were denied a clear penalty, this time by Lee Mason after a trip
on Shaun Maloney. Wigan do appear to be having a rough time with
referees decisions and will be hoping that they are evened out as the
season enters a new year.

So overall, considering some very tough calls it is a big well done
to Webb, Dean, Dowd, Jones and Mark Clattenburg who continues his
‘reintegration’ into the select group appointments. And whilst Foy and
Mason will review the DVD’s of their incidents and accept their errors
it should be Ferguson and Mancini who are the ones in the dock.

Mancini looked bemused at referee Kevin Friend, who he said had too much to eat at Christmas

Mancini looked bemused at referee Kevin Friend, who he said had too much to eat at Christmas

Sir Alex Ferguson forgets dangerous tackles

Is Williams kicking the ball at Van Persie's head really the most dangerous, Fergie

PUBLISHED:

22:54 GMT, 23 December 2012

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UPDATED:

22:56 GMT, 23 December 2012

Sir Alex Ferguson described the Robin van Persie incident as ‘the most dangerous thing I’ve seen on a football field for many years’.

But the United boss seems to have forgotten a few cases involving his own club.

APRIL 2001: Roy Keane on Alf-Inge Haaland

After being accused of feigning injury by Haaland when he had ruptured ligaments, Keane took his revenge with a horror lunge on the Norwegian. He later admitted in his book: ‘I’d waited long enough. I f****** hit him hard.’

Roy Keane (red) has his revenge on Alf-Inge Haaland

Roy Keane (red) has his revenge on Alf-Inge Haaland in 2001

JANUARY 1995: Eric Cantona on spectator Matthew Simmons

Sent off for kicking Crystal Palace defender Richard Shaw, Cantona was abused by the home crowd as he left the pitch before launching a kung-fu kick at Palace fan Simmons.

The Frenchman was banned for nine months.

Moments after Eric Cantona (foreground) launched an astonishing two-foot drop kick on Crystal Palace supporter Matthew Simmons

Moments after Eric Cantona (foreground) launched an astonishing two-foot drop kick on Crystal Palace supporter Matthew Simmons in 1995

APRIL 2011: Paul Scholes on Pablo Zabaleta

There are plenty of Scholes tackles to choose from, but his rake on Zabaleta in the 2011 FA Cup semi-final left the Argentinian with a horrible gash on his thigh.

Pablo Zabaleta limps off after the thigh-high challenge from Paul Scholes

Pablo Zabaleta limps off after the thigh-high challenge from Paul Scholes in the 2011 FA Cup semi-final

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)

Latest Premier League results, fixtures and table

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.

Robin van Persie delighted to score winner in first Manchester derby

Van Persie delights in scoring winner on Manchester derby debut

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UPDATED:

16:38 GMT, 9 December 2012

Robin van Persie hailed his late winner as a special way to win the Manchester derby.

The Dutchman's deflected injury-time free-kick earned United a 3-2 win at the Etihad Stadium after City had come back from 2-0 down.

Wayne Rooney's first-half double put the visitors in command, but goals from Yaya Toure and Pablo Zabaleta got City back on terms.

On target: Robin van Persie stole the glory with his late winner

On target: Robin van Persie stole the glory with his late winner

Far corner: Van Persie's strike eludes Joe Hart

Far corner: Van Persie's strike eludes Joe Hart

'We had a really good start, because of Wayne two really good, clinical finishes,' Van Persie said on Sky Sports 1.

'We were in control, but City always come back.

'It's a really special way to end this game, with the three points in a really dramatic way.'

Rooney praised his team-mate, saying: 'We work on that on the training ground and I had no doubt he could score from there.'

The win moved United six points clear of City at the top of the table and ended the hosts' long unbeaten home record.

'To go six points clear, to beat our closest rivals, we're delighted. We're going to celebrate.'

The match ended amid unsavoury scenes with Rio Ferdinand appearing to be hit by a missile thrown from the crowd and suffering a cut to his face.

But Van Persie felt the game was played in a good spirit.

'I think it was a great atmosphere, everyone was supporting their team. I missed the thing with Rio.'

United boss Sir Alex Ferguson claimed his team were worthy winners.

'Today was a special one simply because they haven't lost at home for two years, both of us are contending at the top of the league,” he said.

'It was a fantastic game, you couldn't take you eyes off that.'

United had an Ashley Young goal ruled out for offside shortly before City pulled their first goal back.

Asked if his side deserved the win, Ferguson added: 'Absolutely. I think we played very well.

'I thought we should have finished the game off. It's a funny game football. It should have been 3-0, the goal was perfectly onside, then they go up and score.

'Football can kick you in the teeth that way. Then they scored the second goal and at that moment in time they deserved that. They came back, were fighting like hell, they gambled everything on the three strikers.

'But up to that point I thought we were far better than them.'

Double act: Wayne Rooney struck the first two United goals before his Dutch compatriot bagged the third

Double act: Wayne Rooney struck the first two United goals before his Dutch compatriot bagged the third

Ferguson also praised the overall contribution of Van Persie.

'It (the free-kick) got a little deflection, but it was a tremendous hit,' he said. 'He's kept them on the back foot the whole time.'

Ferguson was pleased with his side's spirit after City did the double over them last season.

He said: 'I think we can be proud of the fact that, opposed to last year when we sat off them too much, gave them far too much respect, there was a great team spirit.

'They were determined to win the match. I think in general everyone would recognise that.'

On the Ferdinand incident, he said: 'It's unfortunate toward the end that the City fan runs on and throws coins at our players. I don't think you need that.

Confrontation: Hart tries to prevent this City fan reaching Ferdinand

Confrontation: Hart tries to prevent this City fan reaching Ferdinand

'The same thing happened at Chelsea which was masked really by all the other things that happened.

'Two fantastic teams today I think and a fantastic game of football and it could do without that.'

Ferguson claimed it was too early in the season to measure the significance of the victory.

'City will be fresher in the second half of the season, without European football,' he said.

'We've got to contend with European football, the FA Cup and the league.'