Edin Dzeko came off the substitutes’ bench to score twice and earn a dramatic 2-1 victory for 10-man Manchester City in a pulsating Barclays Premier League match with West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns.
Shane Long broke the deadlock midway through the second period with his fifth goal of the campaign but Dzeko equalised for the champions within 60 seconds of entering the action. Then in injury time, Dzeko struck the winner as City completed their comeback after James Milner’s first-half red card for a professional foul.
The victory kept City within four points of leaders Chelsea and ended of Albion’s 100% home record.
Albion opened promisingly and Marc-Antoine Fortune flashed a low shot across the face of goal but City quickly assumed control.
Samir Nasri’s free-kick was deflected wide and, from the resulting corner by Gareth Barry, a goal-bound header from Micah Richards was blocked by Gabriel Tamas.
Mario Balotelli burst into the West Brom box after exchanging passes with Barry but his eventual shot was comfortably dealt with by Foster.
The former England goalkeeper was more severely tested in tipping over a Richards header from Nasri’s corner.
After 23 minutes City were reduced to 10 men when Milner was sent off when, as the last defender, he brought down Long who was racing on to a pass from James Morrison.
Hart needed treatment after saving bravely at the feet of Graham Dorrans who was played in by Gareth McAuley.
Foster clung on to Nasri’s volley from a Tevez centre and then denied Balotelli after he had showed great skill in evading three challenges.
City began the second half on the offensive and Foster tipped over a 20-yard drive from Tevez. Tamas blocked another fierce effort from Clichy after being teed up by Balotelli.
Albion were struggling to make any impression as an attacking force despite having the extra man. Yaya Toure headed over from close range after Balotelli’s miskick from a Richards ball into the danger area had fallen invitingly into his path.
Balotelli was taken off after 64 minutes and replaced by Sergio Aguero as City continued to press for the breakthrough. McAuley made a great block on a shot from Aguero but after 67 minutes Long stunned the visitors by putting Albion in front.
Substitute Peter Odemwingie looked like he was attempting a shot but the ball fell into the path of Long who steered it past Hart.
City brought on Dzeko after 79 minutes and within a minute he had brought his side level with a header from a deep Tevez free-kick.
Hart made a superb save with a minute remaining to turn over an overhead kick from West Brom substitute Romelu Lukaku. It proved decisive as with seconds remaining Dzeko steered home Aguero’s perfectly weighted pass.
|10 Nov 2012||v Wigan (A)|
|11 Feb 2013||v Liverpool (A)|
|01 Jan 2013||v Fulham (H)|
|27 Apr 2013||v Southampton (A)|
|19 Jan 2013||v Aston Villa (H)|
|30 Mar 2013||v West Ham (A)|