Manchester City passed the 100-goal mark for the season as they saw off a determined Cardiff side to stay one point behind leaders Arsenal at the top of the Premier League.

Edin Dzeko's opener brought up City's century of strikes in just 34 games in all competitions, the quickest that landmark has been reached in the Premier League era.

But, despite the final scoreline, this game was not simply a celebration of their attacking verve.

Cardiff, who fall to the bottom of the table after their second straight league defeat under new manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, worked hard throughout to stop this being the kind of free-flowing victory that City have enjoyed so often during this campaign.

Premier League sides fastest to 100 goals in a season

Team Season Games

Man City

2013-14

34

Chelsea

2012-13

42

Chelsea

2009-10

43

Man Utd

1998-99

44

Man Utd

2011-12

44

Source: Opta

The Bluebirds levelled through Craig Noone's neat finish and although Jesus Navas quickly restored the home side's lead, the three points - and City's 100% home record in the league this season - were not secure until Yaya Toure and Sergio Aguero added late goals.

Manuel Pellegrini's men were not at their best but they began well enough, going close in the first minute when Kevin McNaughton's last-ditch challenge denied Dzeko, before Navas turned the loose ball wide.

City continued to dominate but they had to wait until the 14th minute to score their opener - and even then they were unsure at first whether it would count.

Dzeko swivelled to meet David Silva's pull-back at the near post but his scuffed shot was hacked clear as it bounced over the line and, for the first time in the Premier League, goal-line technology was used to show it had gone in.

We will always score more - Pellegrini

That meant the celebrations at Etihad Stadium came in instalments, as some fans took time to realise referee Neil Swarbrick had given a goal. They were then shown the Hawk-Eye replay on the big screens around the ground to prove Swarbrick's decision was correct.

Those same giant screens immediately flashed up the message 'City, 100 goals and counting' but, the next time the ball was in the net, it was Cardiff who put it there.

The Bluebirds had offered little threat in the early stages but, after surviving a flurry of further City attacks, they equalised with their first meaningful foray forward, after 29 minutes.

Jordon Mutch's flick found Craig Noone dashing into the area from the right and he turned past Vincent Kompany before beating Joe Hart with a low strike.

The home fans, who had seen their team win all 10 of their previous Premier League games this season, were stunned into silence, but it did not last long.

Four minutes later, Dzeko was crowded out as he ran in on goal from Toure's clipped ball but Ben Turner's tackle sent the ball into Navas's path and he slotted past David Marshall.

Century for Hart

Goalkeeper Joe Hart became the first Man City player to record 100 Premier League wins for the club.

Cardiff's resistance did not stop there, however, and they also enjoyed the better chances immediately after the break.

Mutch saw his fizzing strike pushed away by Hart, who also did well to deny Noone after he again cut in from the right.

City looked frustrated rather than anxious at the fact the game was still in the balance as it entered the final 15 minutes, but Toure soon put it to bed.

He burst forward and exchanged passes with substitute Aguero before burying a low shot into the bottom corner.

Aguero added City's fourth soon afterwards, taking his side's tally to 103 in what has become a spectacular season in front of goal, before Frazier Campbell's injury-time volley brought some consolation for a Cardiff side who had given so much.

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini: "Maybe I am not 100% happy because we conceded the second goal in the last minute. But we scored four and missed five or six clear chances so if we continue to play like we are, we are always going to score more than we concede.

"We are playing fantastic football at the moment. We play with fantastic intensity and that is how we must continue. The best way to play is the way we are playing now. I know it is easier to go back with 10 players in our box and try and have a couple of counter attacks, but that is not my way, it is not the style I think this club wants.

We can stay up - Solksjaer

"It is impossible for me to have a headache when you have three strikers [Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko and Alvaro Negredo] playing at the level they are at the moment."

Cardiff City manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: "We did feel that after about 60 minutes we were in the game. The crowd was maybe turning a little against them and you start wondering if we could get something from the game, but obviously they have quality players who scored their extra two goals.

"They have been dominant, our gameplan was to start on the front foot, be aggressive but we played against a very good team. When you are in the run of form like they are, they just go into the next game expecting to win, so good luck to them.

"We can stay up. No doubt about that. The league got tighter today - from bottom to 10th it is five points. We will look to improve. Parts of all the performances have been very good. For half an hour we did very well today but for two or three minutes they blitzed us."

Lineup, Bookings (2) & Substitutions (6)

Manchester City

  • 01 Hart
  • 05 Zabaleta
  • 13 Kolarov Booked
  • 42 Y Touré
  • 04 Kompany
  • 26 Demichelis
  • 15 Jesús Navas (Clichy - 82' )
  • 14 Javi García
  • 10 Dzeko
  • 09 Negredo Booked (Agüero - 62' )
  • 21 Silva (Milner - 80' )

Substitutes

  • 06 Lescott
  • 07 Milner
  • 16 Agüero
  • 22 Clichy
  • 25 Fernandinho
  • 30 Pantilimon
  • 33 Nastasic

Cardiff City

  • 01 Marshall
  • 28 Théophile-Catherine
  • 25 McNaughton (John - 68' )
  • 08 Medel
  • 04 Caulker
  • 06 Turner
  • 16 Noone
  • 17 Gunnarsson (Wolff Eikrem - 78' )
  • 10 Campbell
  • 18 Mutch
  • 07 Whittingham (Bellamy - 68' )

Substitutes

  • 05 Hudson
  • 11 Odemwingie
  • 13 Kim Bo-kyung
  • 15 Wolff Eikrem
  • 32 Lewis
  • 39 Bellamy
  • 42 John
Ref: Neil Swarbrick
Att: 47,213

Match Stats

Shots

24 7

On target

9 6

Corners

10 7

Fouls

6 5

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Manchester City 4, Cardiff City 2.

90:00 +4:32 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Manchester City 4, Cardiff City 2.

90:00 +2:11 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Manchester City 4, Cardiff City 2. Fraizer Campbell (Cardiff City) left footed shot from very close range to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Magnus Wolff Eikrem with a cross following a corner.

90:00 +2:00

Attempt saved. Aleksandar Kolarov (Manchester City) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Edin Dzeko.

90:00 +1:50

Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Joe Hart.

90:00 +1:46

Attempt saved. Craig Noone (Cardiff City) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Magnus Wolff Eikrem.

90:00 +0:51

Attempt blocked. Magnus Wolff Eikrem (Cardiff City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

90:00 +0:18

Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Gaël Clichy.

89:51

Foul by Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City).

89:51

Jordon Mutch (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

89:28

Attempt missed. Vincent Kompany (Manchester City) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Aleksandar Kolarov with a cross following a corner.

88:55

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Fraizer Campbell.

86:44

Attempt saved. Edin Dzeko (Manchester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Aleksandar Kolarov.

86:43

Attempt missed. Aleksandar Kolarov (Manchester City) left footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Gaël Clichy.

85:31

Edin Dzeko (Manchester City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

85:31

Foul by Kévin Théophile-Catherine (Cardiff City).

85:21

Attempt blocked. Sergio Agüero (Manchester City) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

84:48

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Ben Turner.

84:16

Foul by Sergio Agüero (Manchester City).

84:16

Jordon Mutch (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

82:03

Attempt missed. Martín Demichelis (Manchester City) header from a difficult angle on the left is high and wide to the left. Assisted by James Milner with a cross following a corner.

81:48 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Manchester City. Gaël Clichy replaces Jesús Navas.

81:13

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Kévin Théophile-Catherine.

80:26

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Declan John.

79:39 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Manchester City. James Milner replaces David Silva.

78:34 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Manchester City 4, Cardiff City 1. Sergio Agüero (Manchester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the top left corner. Assisted by Yaya Touré.

77:15 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Cardiff City. Magnus Wolff Eikrem replaces Aron Gunnarsson.

75:57 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Manchester City 3, Cardiff City 1. Yaya Touré (Manchester City) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Sergio Agüero.

75:29

Offside, Cardiff City. Aron Gunnarsson tries a through ball, but Jordon Mutch is caught offside.

73:53 Booking

Booking Aleksandar Kolarov (Manchester City) is shown the yellow card.

73:36

Attempt missed. Sergio Agüero (Manchester City) left footed shot from the right side of the box is too high. Assisted by Edin Dzeko following a fast break.

67:28 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Cardiff City. Craig Bellamy replaces Peter Whittingham.

67:17 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Cardiff City. Declan John replaces Kevin McNaughton.

65:55

Edin Dzeko (Manchester City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

65:55

Foul by Craig Noone (Cardiff City).

64:07

Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Joe Hart.

64:04

Attempt saved. Craig Noone (Cardiff City) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

61:19 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Manchester City. Sergio Agüero replaces Álvaro Negredo.

60:17

Attempt missed. David Silva (Manchester City) left footed shot from the left side of the six yard box misses to the right. Assisted by Edin Dzeko.

58:39

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Kevin McNaughton.

57:19

Offside, Cardiff City. Peter Whittingham tries a through ball, but Jordon Mutch is caught offside.

55:03

Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Edin Dzeko.

54:10

Foul by Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City).

54:10

Fraizer Campbell (Cardiff City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

51:42

Attempt missed. Edin Dzeko (Manchester City) left footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Jesús Navas following a fast break.

49:36

Attempt saved. Jordon Mutch (Cardiff City) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Peter Whittingham.

48:51

Attempt missed. Yaya Touré (Manchester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Pablo Zabaleta with a headed pass.

48:49

Attempt blocked. David Silva (Manchester City) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

47:27

Attempt missed. Álvaro Negredo (Manchester City) left footed shot from outside the box is too high.

45:00

Second Half begins Manchester City 2, Cardiff City 1.

45:00 +2:05 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Manchester City 2, Cardiff City 1.

44:17

David Silva (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

44:17

Foul by Craig Noone (Cardiff City).

41:50

Attempt missed. Aleksandar Kolarov (Manchester City) left footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Javi García.

39:41

Yaya Touré (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

39:41

Foul by Aron Gunnarsson (Cardiff City).

39:11

Attempt blocked. Aleksandar Kolarov (Manchester City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by David Silva.

38:40

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Kevin McNaughton.

37:01

Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Álvaro Negredo.

36:19

Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Pablo Zabaleta.

32:46 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Manchester City 2, Cardiff City 1. Jesús Navas (Manchester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the top left corner.

28:54 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Manchester City 1, Cardiff City 1. Craig Noone (Cardiff City) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Aron Gunnarsson.

27:40

Attempt saved. Jordon Mutch (Cardiff City) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Kevin McNaughton.

26:56

Offside, Manchester City. Aleksandar Kolarov tries a through ball, but Álvaro Negredo is caught offside.

25:05

Foul by Vincent Kompany (Manchester City).

25:05

Jordon Mutch (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

23:47

Attempt missed. Álvaro Negredo (Manchester City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Pablo Zabaleta.

20:33

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by David Marshall.

20:31

Attempt saved. Álvaro Negredo (Manchester City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

18:24

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

17:24 Booking

Booking Álvaro Negredo (Manchester City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

17:11

Delay in match Aron Gunnarsson (Cardiff City) because of an injury.

16:49

Foul by Álvaro Negredo (Manchester City).

16:49

Aron Gunnarsson (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

15:17

Offside, Manchester City. Yaya Touré tries a through ball, but Edin Dzeko is caught offside.

13:10 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Manchester City 1, Cardiff City 0. Edin Dzeko (Manchester City) left footed shot from very close range to the bottom right corner. Assisted by David Silva.

11:01

Attempt blocked. Aleksandar Kolarov (Manchester City) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Jesús Navas.

10:21

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by David Marshall.

9:59

Offside, Cardiff City. Kevin McNaughton tries a through ball, but Fraizer Campbell is caught offside.

9:00

Attempt missed. Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Jesús Navas with a cross following a corner.

8:40

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Kevin McNaughton.

8:29

Attempt saved. Edin Dzeko (Manchester City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

5:29

Foul by Jesús Navas (Manchester City).

5:29

Kévin Théophile-Catherine (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

4:45

Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Vincent Kompany.

4:09

David Silva (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

4:09

Foul by Aron Gunnarsson (Cardiff City).

2:27

Offside, Manchester City. David Silva tries a through ball, but Jesús Navas is caught offside.

0:38

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Kévin Théophile-Catherine.

0:34

Attempt saved. Jesús Navas (Manchester City) right footed shot from very close range is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Álvaro Negredo.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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