City equalled the Premier League record for successive home wins with a 2-0 win over Bolton Wanderers at the Etihad Stadium.
A goal in each half from Gael Clichy and Mario Balotelli was enough to end the visitors’ stubborn resistance and gave the Blues a nineteenth home victory on the bounce.
The Blues also struck the woodwork twice and missed numerous chances as they once again went five points clear ahead of the Spurs v United clash on Sunday.
Roberto Mancini chose to leave out David Silva and Sergio Aguero from the starting line-up and Nigel de Jong was rested with the midweek trip to Sporting Lisbon to take into consideration. Micah Richards was the only absentee with injury.
The Blues came roaring out of the blocks and, without exaggeration, should have been 3-0 up in the first five minutes as Nasri and Balotelli both went close – the latter striking the post and moments later put the ball inches wide from six yards
...City 2 Bolton 0
City were slicing the Bolton back four apart at will as they chased the opening goal and Balotelli again should have scored when Pizarro put him clear through – but he slipped and his first touch allowed the defenders to regroup and force his shot wide.
It was worrying that there had been so many chances fluffed in such a short space of time – so it was perhaps inevitable that it would be a defender who finally broke the deadlock and even then, it was slightly fortuitous.
Clichy picked up the ball on the left and, with little else on, tried his luck from 20 yards - seconds later he was celebrating a rare goal indeed after his effort hit Gretar Steinsson’s head and wrong-footed keeper Adam Bogdan to give the Blues a richly-deserved lead.
Whether it was on target or not is one for the dubious goals panel, but nobody was complaining
...City v Bolton
Wanderers weren’t completely out-played in an entertaining first-half and winger Ryo Miyaichi twice forced Joe Hart into action – one low shot producing a smart fingertip save around the post by the England No.1.
The second period began as the first had ended with another glaring Balotelli miss as the Italian raced onto a peach of a pass from Barry only to fire straight at the keeper – it seemed as though it just wasn’t going to be his day.
Then, when David N’Gog sent in a 20-yard chip against his own bar just after the hour, it seemed Bolton were determined to seal the points for the Blues themselves until, finally, Balotelli was rewarded for his endeavours.
A mazy Adam Johnson run saw the England winger wriggle through several challenges before brilliantly back-heeling the ball to Mario who couldn’t miss and City had doubled their lead.
The Blues have now won more home games in a Premier League season than ever before and also set a new club record for home goals scored in the Premier League with 42 bagged to date.
Hopefully, many more records will be broken in the coming weeks.
Man of the match: Yaya Toure