Man City v Stoke EPL Highlights Video, Match Report

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Played at Venue: City of Manchester Stadium Date: Saturday, 26 December 2009
Roberto Mancini calmed the turbulence around Eastlands as he started his reign as Manchester City manager with a comfortable victory against Stoke City.

Man City v Stoke Match Report:
Italian Roberto Mancini made a dream start as manager of Manchester City as his side defeated Stoke City 2-0 at Eastlands in his opening match.

The former Internazionale coach will have been more than satisfied as City overcame gritty opponents from the Potteries.

There was a wind of change as Mancini made five alterations to the starting line-up from the last match of Mark Hughes one week earlier.

While it was all smiles for Mancini, Stoke manager Tony Pulis was left to reflect on a fifth successive league match without a win which leaves them uncomfortably close to the relegation places.

City had two early shouts for penalties rejected in quick succession after appeals for handball against Abdoulaye Faye and a challenge by Andy Wilkinson on Robinho.

Stoke would have snatched the lead midway through the opening half but for a brilliant block by keeper Shay Given to deny Tuncay.

City's patience was finally rewarded when they made the breakthrough in the 28th minute when Carlos Tevez made a break before squaring the ball for Petrov to squeeze home at the far post.

It was Petrov's fourth Premier League goal of the season in only his fourth start of what was a largely dour opening period.

But in the third minute of stoppage time City unexpectedly doubled their advantage when Gareth Barry headed on a free-kick from Pablo Zabaleta and Tevez stuck out a leg to divert the loose ball past keeper Thomas Sorensen, his 10th goal of the campaign.

The home side came within a whisker of adding a third goal in the opening minute of the second half when Sorensen did well to deny Petrov and also Robinho as he was about to pounce on the rebound.

Pulis made all three substitutions in the opening 15 minutes of the second period to try to force their way back into the game.

And it so nearly worked as all three of the replacements almost scored as a Stoke goal would have reignited the drab second period.

James Beattie was denied by a super save from Given and from the resulting corner Robert Huth failed to hit the target with a free header, while not long afterwards Ricardo Fuller glanced a header narrowly wide.

Man City v Stoke Main Highlights Video

27:27 GOAL - Martin Petrov:Man City 1 - 0 Stoke

Good work from Tevez down the left, he passes to Robinho, who in turn sets up PETROV to score from six yards

45:00+2:25 GOAL - Carlos Tevez:Man City 2 - 0 Stoke

Barry knocks down Pablo Zabaleta's cross and TEVEZ stabs home his sixth goal in six games.

Mancini happy with debut victory

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini:

"For me today is a good match. The players were fantastic as Stoke is a hard team.

"We didn't concede a goal, the balance was good and we played well in the first half. It's important the team play the ball on the pitch.

"I think we must work hard. I work for five days only and if we want to arrive at the top we must work hard."

Stoke City boss Tony Pulis:

"We've created good chances again and we have to put them in the back of the net. If we go 1-0 then it's a different game and there's pressure on Man City to play well.

Pulis worried by goal famine

"We gave two poor, poor goals away. We are very disappointed with the goals we conceded. Games are won and lost in both boxes and we certainly have got to improve that but the players have put the effort in again and have had a right go.

"It's a problem because we need to score goals to win games but it's not as if we are not creating chances.

"We have had four of our last six games away from home so it's been a tough period but we have a few games at home and it's important we are up for it."

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