1-0 (Johnson 48)
- Match reports
- Fri 07 Sep 2007, 12:00AM
- Posted by Leon Collins
Pre Match news:
Micah Richards’ fantastic few weeks was capped with him being named City captain in place of the suspended Richard Dunne.
City showed three changes to the side that started at Ewood Park two weeks previously. Nedum Onuoha came in for his first league start of the season at right back, with Vedran Corluka shifting over to centre back to replace the club captain. Darius Vassell was back against his old club in place of Stephen Ireland, and Emile Mpenza was in for Rolando Bianchi up front.
Carew made the first threatening attack after seven minutes, the big striker moving in from the right flank at pace but his side-footed effort from inside the area took a deflection and looped safely into Schmeichel’s hands.
Two minutes later, Vedran Corluka went a long run from deep inside City territory and after being urged to shoot by the home fans he took aim from 25 yards out, with his shot flying a couple of yards wide of Carson’s right hand post.
Petrov whipped in a free kick on 16 minutes which Vassell flicked backwards with his head, the ball going wide of the post. A minute later the former Villa man had a shot charged down, Martin Petrov’s first time volley from the rebound going safely wide of the left post this time.
Just 60 seconds later came the best chance of the game so far. Elano fed Michael Johnson, who tried to flick the ball past Carson with the outside of his right boot from around eight yards out, but the big Cumbrian made a good save to keep the scores level.
Elano broke though from midfield on the half hour and found Vassell out on the left, but his cross was just in front of Mpenza and it remained 0-0.
As the clock ran down for the break, Carew put a pair of half-chances wide, one a flick that rolled safely past Schmeichel’s right post, the other a wild shot that actually went out for a throw-in and not a goal kick.
Half time: 0-0
We only had three minutes to wait for the first goal of the day, and like the previous two seen here this season it was something very special. Michael Johnson passed to and received from Elano near the centre circle and went on a great run into the box, and after finding a slight angle he placed the ball past the onrushing Carson into the bottom corner of the net. It was the teenager’s second of the season, and he celebrated with a Geovanni-like hand to the ear!
The visitors responded by going on the attack straight away, Carew heading just wide not long afterwards.
Schmeichel rushed out of his box to make a good headed clearance just after the hour, and seconds later Agbonlahor headed wide from close range.
Shaun Maloney, who scored from a free kick here last April, was on as a substitute and looked dangerous on 71 minutes, but Schmeichel ushered him out to win the goal kick. Young had the ball in the net at a free kick a minute afterwards, but the goal did not stand as he was penalised for a push with the ball also going in off his arm.
City fans were baying for a penalty on 80 minutes when an Mpenza shot hit Laursen on the arm right on the edge of the box, but referee Atkinson ignored the Blues’ claims.
Johnson went on another run with three minutes to go, doing well to stay on his feet but having his shot blocked by last ditch Villa defending. Bianchi, on for Mpenza, fired a shot straight at Carson seconds later.
The Italian could have sealed it in stoppage time, rounding the keeper after latching on to a Johnson pass only to see Mellberg block his shot just in front of the line.
And that was it, the Blues grafting for another hard-earned three points that saw them raised into second place of the Barclays Premier League table.