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Irvine in firing line as slick City stroll to victory

West Brom 1 - Man City 3

By Andy Hampson

West Brom boss Alan Irvine conceded his job could be on the line after his side were well beaten by champions Manchester City in the Boxing Day snow.

City ran out comfortable winners at The Hawthorns with all their goals coming in the first half after they raced out of the blocks to take the lead after just eight minutes.

But while victory for City was their ninth in succession in all competitions - equalling a club record and keeping up the pressure on Chelsea at the top of the Barclays Premier League - the story is different for the Baggies.

Irvine's men have won just one of their last eight matches and they were booed off at half-time before they showed some spirit and grabbed a consolation after the break.

Irvine said: "The chairman will make a decision as far as that is concerned. I can't control it. Can I be confident about it? Not necessarily, because I don't know what the thinking is.

"All I can do is work as hard as I do and keep on trying to get the right kind of results."

City went ahead through Fernando after Ben Foster spilled a corner and doubled their lead after 13 minutes with a Yaya Toure penalty. David Silva made it 3-0 after 34 minutes following a quick breakaway.

The Baggies were being outplayed but they proved much more resilient after the break and were rewarded with an 87th-minute consolation as Brown Ideye got the final touch from a corner.

Irvine said: "It was certainly very difficult to come back in those circumstances.

"But full marks to them. They showed the mental strength and courage to take the ball and keep on playing. So they deserve a bit of credit for that."

City's scruffy end to the match took the gloss off an otherwise highly impressive performance, but manager Manuel Pellegrini was pleased enough with three more points.

Success was all the more impressive coming without any recognised striker or captain Vincent Kompany.

Pellegrini said: "I am very satisfied, we have three points more.

"It was a difficult game, especially on Boxing Day. It is always difficult to play against a difficult team at home. We scored three goals again when set up without strikers. The way we are playing, we are doing very well so far."

The result kept City within three points of leaders Chelsea, who beat West Ham.

They will now look to maintain the momentum as they host Burnley tomorrow and then Sunderland on New Year's Day.

Belfast Telegraph


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