Bristol City 1
1-1 Orr 69
0-1 Mpenza 17, 1-2 Bianchi 81
- Match reports
- Wed 29 Aug 2007, 12:00AM
- Posted by Leon Collins
Pre Match news
Sven-Goran Eriksson has selected City's youngest ever first team line-up for tonight's Carling Cup tie. The average age is just 23 and it sees debuts for Shaluem Logan and Gelson Fernandes. Elsewhere, Geovanni and Bianchi return to the starting XI and there's a first start of the season for Joe Hart in goal.
A real cup-tie atmosphere at Ashton Gate as the game got underway. There was some huffing and puffing during the opening exchanges and it was Bristol's City with the first half-chance on eight minutes. Scott Murray's tame volley from 15-yards didn't trouble Joe Hart.
On 14 minutes good work from Fernandes, Ireland and Bianchi combined well to give Mpenza the first real sight of goal for the Blues. It was a clever flick from the Italian striker that gave the Belgian the chance.
Moments later the same duo linked up and this time Emile Mpenza made no mistake. He took Bianchi's pass in his stride before unleashing an unstoppable left-footed drive beyond Weale. Sven's men 1-0 up on 17 minutes.
Bristol rallied and Lee Trundle came close with a pair of efforts just before the 20 minute mark.
The Blues' strikeforce were looking in very good shape and midway through the half Mpenza tried to return the compliment to the former Reggina forward. Only a great tackle from Carey prevented City doubling their lead.
Chances were coming thick and fast and it was debutant Logan with the next effort - an angled drive from the edge of the box forced a saved from Weale.
On the half-hour it was Logan again who found a good position - and the ball from Mpenza - before jinking on to his left foot and pulling a shot wide of the goal.
City were well on top, but it was just a case of getting that vital second goal their neat football deserved. That didn't come before the break, but Manchester's City look very dominant and much the better side as we reach the break.
HALF TIME: Bristol City 0-1 Manchester City
No changes at half time with the talk at the break being about how the Blues should be home and dry - hopefully another good half will see off the Championship side - and in normal time.
Bianchi should have put the tie beyond doubt just four minutes into the second half following more neat play from the Blues. He took Mpenza's pass inside the box and narrowly placed the ball wide much to the anguish of the City fans behind the goal.
The Robins made a good fist of the opening 15 minutes of the second period and City were having to face more Bristol pressure than in the whole of the opening half.
So much so that Joe Hart's first meaningful action was to produce a world class save to keep out Michael McIndoe's (remember him from Doncaster?) goalbound effort on the hour mark. Gary Johnson's men could easily have been level.
City responded three minutes later with a left-footed curler from the edge of the box by the impressive Shaleum Logan. The 23rd Academy Graduate to break through was certainly proving his worth on the right of midfield.
Well for all of Manchester City's dominance on 69 minutes the inevitable happened...Bristol City pulled level. A scrapy goal from Bradley Orr after City failed to clear the ball from inside the box after McIndoe's free kick and the defender lashed the ball home much to the delight of the home support.
The difference in Manchester City this season came to the fore on 83 minutes as Rolando Bianchi put City back in front. He took a pass from the left, turned and drilled the ball low into the far corner from about 25-yards out.
But the Robins weren't out of it as Trundle should have levelled it up a minute later. City were left appealing for offside as the former Swansea man hammered the ball into the side netting.
Two minutes from time a slick Robins move saw a fine tackle from stand-in skipper Nedum Onuoha prevented another Trundle attempt from getting through.
City had to endure a massive shock in the last minute of stoppage time as Michael McIndoe's cheeky back-heel went in - but was quickly - and rightly ruled out for an offside.
The Blues held out and deservedly make it through to Round Three of the Carling Cup.
FULL TIME: Bristol City 1-2 Manchester City
mcfc.co.uk's Man of the Match: Stephen Ireland