Tevez return is the only show in town
- 22 March 2012 09:17
- Posted by Tim Oscroft
Carlos Tevez is back, and his impact in Wednesday night's momentous win over Chelsea predictably dominates the City agenda this morning.
Even if the former skipper had not laid on the winning goal like he did, the scribes would still have written about him until the cows came home but that killer pass to Samir Nasri was the icing on the cake.
The phrase "prodigal son" was dusted down, ready and waiting, and James Lawton in the Independent uses it to fine effect:
"The prodigal son Tevez, who in less complicated days made a habit of scoring against Chelsea, was as subdued as you might have expected when he took his place on the bench. It wasn't long, however, before his demeanour became decidedly more perky.
"Indeed, as City's opening surge ebbed with the disappointment of Nasri's strike against the crossbar and Mario Balotelli's squandering of a gift casually donated by, of all people, Frank Lampard, Tevez might have imagined the roasting of a fatted calf.
"City needed the kind of momentum Tevez once supplied as a matter of routine, which is of course something quite separate from the argument that the crime he perpetrated in Munich last autumn should really have put him beyond the consideration of all but the most desperate of managers."
How Carlos would be received by City fans had tongues wagging before the game, but the Guardian's Richard Williams observes that, "...the Argentinean forward may have been pleasantly surprised by the reception he received from City's fans, many of whom have spent the last few months recasting him from hero to traitor.
"Stepping out of the team coach, he was given a bigger cheer than any of his team-mates and responded with a grin and a genial thumbs-up. By the end of the night he would have the applause of 40,000 ringing in his ears."
In the Mail, Martin Samuel picks up on how the fans gave the boss their vocal backing just after Tevez had reappeared: "Mancini’s name was loudly sung immediately after Tevez’s 66th-minute introduction — as if the locals wished to make it plain whose side they were on, still — and by the end there was no doubt Mancini was the winner.
"The manager deserves enormous credit for his managerial acumen here. He put the needs of his team before any lingering animosity, he eschewed the opportunity for petty point scoring or a final twist of the knife. He was a grown-up. He has always been a grown-up. That is what set him apart from the other side."