Manchester City FC

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Sporting Lokeren

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Gilewski Grzegorz (Polen)
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Lokeren verliest slechts nipt bij Manchester City met 3-2. Het begon nochtans slecht. Sibiersky krulde al na 7 minuten een vrije trap naast Dabanovic in doel. Sporting speelde die eerste helft zeer verdedigend met enkel Kristinsson in de spits, maar kan de situatie toch rechtzetten. Daarvoor werkt Sporting af aan 100%. Zoundi scoort na een misverstand in de Manchester verdediging en aarzeling van Seamon. Kristinsson neemt diep in de eerste helft een voorzet direct op de slof en trapt mooi binnen. Rusten bij 1-2 dus. Na de rust lijkt een stunt bijna in de maak. Manchester slaagt er niet in de Lokerse verdediging te ontwrichten. Tot Robbie Fowler met een lucky goal toch de gelijkmaker kan aantekenen en City meteen gelanceerd is voor een hevig slotoffensief. In 3 minuten tijd kantelt de wedstrijd volledig. Michaël Van Hoey begaat een strafschopfout. Anelka trapt loeihard de 3-2 tegen de netten. Lokeren kraakt in het laatste kwartier, maar begeeft niet. Alles is dus nog open voor de return op 15 oktober in het Daknamstadion.
Wedstrijdverslag website Manchester city:
Manchester City lined up against the little known Belgium side Lockeren in the first round proper of the UEFA cup. Kevin Keegan had so far boosted his side into the top 6 of the Premiership and was hoping for an equally successful start to the Blues European campaign. The city faithful turned out in numbers to watch a strong side that included strike pairing Nicolas Anelka and Robbie Fowler, bolstered in the midfield by new boys Steve McManaman, Paul Bosvelt and Claudio Reyna. No place in the starting line-up for header hero Paulo Wanchope who finished well against Fulham to rescue City a point at Loftus Road. Amongst the names warming the bench where Shaun Wright Phillips and Eyal Berkovic City started well with some confident and controlled football passing the ball around the midfield with purpose and poise. The opposition looked somewhat overawed with the surroundings and in the 11th minute Sibierski put the blues ahead from a free kick. Anelka went down under a heavy challenge 20 yards out, McManaman, Anelka and Sibierski lined up over the ball, keeper Dabanovic found himself well out of position and as a result made it all to easy for the midfielder to stroke home his second goal of the season. The joy was short lived however, as Lockeren scored the unexpected equalizer. A horrible mix up between Seaman and Sun saw Zoundi wonder in behind the defender and toe poke the ball over the keepers head and into the back of the net. A vital away goal that looked to have pleased the 850 travelling fans. City looked to be stunned by the reply but continued to press forward playing sure and confident passes and looking to spread the ball well. Indeed Paul Bosvelt nearly made the difference when he gathered just outside the box and volleyed a sweet shot goal bound, the ball flew agonizingly wide of the right stick. Claudio Reyna also looked to be in sharp form when he unleashed stunning shot from 25 yards out, the effort beat the keeper all ends up and skimmed just wide of the post and behind for a goal kick. City began to look more and more in control, midfield pairing McManaman and Reyna combined well on the 25 minute mark and the ex Liverpool winger hit a sweet lofty volley towards goal, the keeper was beaten once again but the ball went wide of the crossbar. The Blues were clearly winning the possession stakes as they camped out in Lockeren?s half, but with the visitors sticking to a rigid formation they found it difficult to make in roads on goal. City nerves were frayed when Seaman failed to collect a tame shot from 10 yards out; the England international spilled the ball behind for a corner that eventually was cleared. Nerves were even more jangled when the away side took an unexpected lead, Conte Sory made a breaking run down the right flank before picking out Kristinsson who stroked the ball easily past Seaman. The defence looked guilty of being flatfooted when the cross came in. Two vital away goals for the away side. City could have restored parity to the score line within a minute of the restart after Robbie Fowler rose well to meet an accurate Sun cross, he headed goal bound but the effort was deflected behind for a corner, much to the frustration of the striker and the crowd in the North Stand. The visitors looked ever more confident in dealing with City?s advances into their half, tracking back, getting men behind the ball and clearing up field when necessary. Lockeren fans continued to sing, packed away into the top tier of the south stand, trying start a Mexican wave at every opportunity. On the pitch Kevin Keegan decided to send the younger members of his bench out to warm up. Joey Barton and Shaun Wright Phillips hoped that if they got on they could provide the magic spark that could get City an equalizer. On the 58th minute Sibierski could have scored his second of the night when he headed well from another Sun corner, the ball lacked pace and the keeper claimed with ease. With time now an issue for City and goals a priority Kevin Keegan made his first substitution of the evening, the dynamic youngster Wright Phillips entered the fray, hoping to bring more life back to the lacklustre midfield. Seconds later Tiatto went down from a 50-50 ball crutching his leg, the injury looked to be a serious one; he was subsequently to be replaced by Richard Dunne. On the 70th minute mark City?s fortunes were looking no better, unable to string any meaningful attacks together and getting frustrated at Lockeren?s ability to get men behind the ball. The majority of the action was played in the visitors half, and they looked content keeping it that way. City struck gold however 2 minutes later when Sun crossed deep, the ball fell to Fowler who casually flicked his heels at it sending the keeper the wrong way and the ball over the line. The players and fans looked more relieved than overjoyed. With Lockeren on the back foot City struck again, Sun made an excellent breaking run down the right, Van Hoey cut him down in the box and the referee awarded a penalty. Up stepped Anelka who casually blasted the ball into the corner of the net, 3-2 to Manchester City. Kevin Keegan?s men then looked hungry for more, coming closer and closer to getting a fourth. First Anelka with a screaming free kick and then Fowler who had his shot blocked at the last second. The crowd seemed to be enjoying the game more and more indeed; most of them had expected the visitors to be easy to roll over. As the final whistle neared City looked more of a threat, winning all of the 50-50 balls and pressing forward in search of another goal, giving the fans value for money on a Wednesday night. As 3 minutes where held aloft by the fourth official Richard Dunne came in with a match saving tackle right outside the box, it could have been different had he mistimed the challenge. Late drama saw Sibierski felled 30 yards out, Anelka casually hit a shot at goal but his effort went just wide of the post. City held on for the win to take the tie into the away leg in Belgium. Kevin Keegan's men must have left the field disappointed after a mediocre performance. Foto uitwedstrijd Manchester City Foto uitwedstrijd Manchester City Foto uitwedstrijd Manchester City Foto uitwedstrijd Manchester City Foto uitwedstrijd Manchester City Foto uitwedstrijd Manchester City Foto uitwedstrijd Manchester City Foto uitwedstrijd Manchester City Foto uitwedstrijd Manchester City