Manchester City 4-3 Wolves: Daily Mirror match report
Published 22:00 16/01/11 By David McDonnell
Carlos Tevez is on a mission to single-handedly deliver the Premier League trophy to Manchester City and end their 35-year wait for silverware.
After scoring twice to haul City into a winning position which they very nearly squandered, Tevez revealed his dream of adding a third title to the two he won at Manchester United.
The Argentine may now be vilified at United for crossing the great Manchester divide, but he is motivated not by revenge towards his former club, but by the chance to grab long-awaited glory for the Blues.
“What I dream is to make history for this club,” said Tevez. “It’s been a long time not to win a title and that’s my dream.
“I’m not thinking about this because of what I did at Manchester United, it’s about what I can do for City. Now the responsibility that City has is not what we had two years ago. We now have much more responsibility to be a big team. Today we are a big team because of all the players we have here.
“We have to continue progressing as a team and then we can think about the championship, but first we have to work and grow as a team.
“We have to keep fighting as a team. We have to keep winning matches, keep winning points and trying not to drop any. That’s when we can start thinking that we can win the championship.
“For the moment we are growing as a team. Growing in a football context, but we still have to continuously work to improve. We are going well at the moment but we still have a lot of matches ahead of us. You can win one match and then the following you might lose.
“The championship this year is very competitive and the teams near the bottom are beating the teams at the top.
“It’s been a very competitive season but the feeling of winning the championship is with us at City.”
A month ago Tevez handed in a transfer request, the striker the unwitting pawn at the centre of an ugly dispute between his agent Kia Joorabcian and the City hierarchy, who refused to entertain the idea of selling their captain and star man.
Off the pitch he may still be homesick, pining for his family back in Argentina, but it is clear Tevez is happy on it.
His triumphant afternoon was capped by being reunited with his two young daughters, who had been flown over from Buenos Aires to be with their father.
Yet while City were inspired by the brilliance of Tevez in attack, their sloppiness in defence was enough to drain the colour from boss Roberto Mancini’s tanned face, the Italian having been spotted leaving a Manchester tanning salon earlier in the week.
In many ways this extraordinary game was a throwback to the cavalier days at Eastlands under former boss Mark Hughes, when City’s defence was as water-tight as a colander.
The crucial difference on this occasion, though, was the outcome. Under Hughes, City would most likely have ended up being pegged back by Wolves, who deserved credit for a spirited fightback.
But Mancini has instilled a resilience where once there was fragility under Hughes, despite City’s defenders allowing this result to be much closer than it need have been.
Before this game, City possessed the best defensive record in the Premier League this season, having conceded just 16 goals. But uncharacteristic individual errors at the back conspired to see them relinquish that.
Tevez, however, proved the difference between the two sides, after a deflected Kolo Toure strike had cancelled out the opening goal – an equally scrappy one – from Wolves midfielder Nenad Milijas.
The second half was just four minutes old when Tevez slalomed past three Wolves players before applying an assured finish past keeper Wayne Hennessey for his 14th goal of the season.
And when Tevez scored with a 66th-minute header and Yaya Toure joined his brother on the scoresheet to put City 4-1 up after being set up by new signing Edin Dzeko, it looked game over.
But a clumsy Joleon Lescott foul on Kevin Doyle allowed the Wolves striker to convert the subsequent penalty. Then a disputed headed goal by Ronald Zubar – which City claimed didn’t cross the line – ensured a frantic finale.
Mancini, who took his spending at Eastlands through the £150million barrier in 13 months with the purchase of Dzeko, joked that he may need to buy another defender in the transfer window, given his side’s shoddiness at the back.
“It’s important to have the best defence in the Premier League,” said Mancini. “Maybe after this I’ll go and buy a new defender.
“But it’s difficult to always play with the same players and usually I don’t like to change defenders.
“I’m angry because we had the best defence in the Premier League until these three goals. It’s better to concede and still win, but I’m still not happy about this.”