Belfast Telegraph

City lead cut after Baggies draw

Manchester City saw their two-point advantage at the top of the Barclays Premier League wiped out as they were frustrated in a goalless stalemate at West Brom.

Mario Balotelli hit the crossbar and had a goal disallowed but City lacked their usual bite at The Hawthorns and were forced to settle for a draw.

It could even have been worse for Roberto Mancini's men as Albion rose to the challenge and were unlucky when Jerome Thomas hit the post and Shane Long headed wide.

Roy Hodgson's side went close inside the opening three minutes. Thomas brought the ball forward and Chris Brunt turned outside the area to fire across goal with a powerful left-foot drive.

City should have taken the lead after 24 minutes, however, when Sergio Aguero laid off for David Silva but the Spaniard side-footed over.

Balotelli was then unlucky when a Silva shot was deflected into his path and he volleyed in, only to see an offside flag raised.

The Italian also struck the top of the bar with a superb effort from 30 yards at the start of the second half.

Long spurned a glorious chance just before the hour when City failed to clear and the ball was drilled to the back post but the Baggies striker headed wide from six yards.

West Brom were again unfortunate when Peter Odemwingie teed up Thomas just outside the area and the midfielder struck a sweet shot against the foot of the post.

City changed their attack by sending on Adam Johnson and Edin Dzeko but were denied with five minutes remaining when Jonas Olsson blocked from Silva.


From Belfast Telegraph