Reading 0-2 Manchester City
Manchester City started the post-Roberto Mancini era with a dominant win at Reading to secure second place in the Premier League.
Brian Kidd was tasked with lifting City following Mancini's departure and he oversaw a fine display by the visitors.
Sergio Aguero opened the scoring in the first half, despatching a low effort into the corner.
Substitute Edin Dzeko sealed victory late on, latching on to David Silva's ball to score from close range.
The margin of victory could have been greater but for a number of fine saves from Reading goalkeeper Alex McCarthy.
The hosts had a couple of chances themselves, with Adrian Mariappa's header cleared off the line by Carlos Tevez, while Joe Hart saved well from Jem Karacan, but ultimately they could have few complaints with the scoreline.
A pleasing performance and victory was much needed for City after a testing couple of days.
While it was a weekend of celebration for Manchester United it was undoubtedly one to forget for City.
Ben Watson's late goal at Wembley on Saturday secured a shock FA Cup win for Wigan to deny City their final chance of silverware this season.
Mancini subsequently paid the price for a barren campaign as he was dismissed late on Monday - exactly a year after he had guided them to the Premier League title.
City's travelling support showed their appreciation to Mancini, with banners held aloft ahead of kick-off as they chanted his name.
The City players were evidently determined to put behind them recent disappointments as they started with aplomb at the Madejski Stadium.
McCarthy parried away a low drive from Aguero after a matter of minutes before he kept out a close-range James Milner effort with his feet soon after.
The visitors' early momentum was disrupted in the 15th minute when defender Kolo Toure limped off with an apparent knee injury, replaced by Maicon.
It took City a little while to readjust and consequently Reading enjoyed a decent spell of possession that yielded their first effort on goal. Hal Robson-Kanu scampered goalwards before hitting a low effort from 25 yards that had Hart scrambling at his left-hand post.
City set about pressing the Reading defence, with Yaya Toure seeing a shot blocked before a goalbound effort from Aguero was deflected over his own goal by Sean Morrison.
Aguero was not to be denied five minutes before the break as the Argentine finished off a delightful City move.
Milner and Silva exchanged passes on the right of the area before the latter picked out Aguero unmarked in the middle and the striker steered a first-time effort into the bottom corner.
The lead was no less than City deserved but they had Hart to thank for preserving their advantage five minutes into the second half. Pavel Pogrebnyak got between City's defenders to power a header goalwards and Hart did well to parry the ball to safety.
City endured a nervy few minutes as Reading enjoyed arguably their best spell of the game, with Mariappa's header kept out by Tevez, before Hart dived at full stretch to prevent Karacan from snatching an equaliser.
But victory was made certain in the 88th minute when Silva ran unchallenged towards the edge of the area, feigned to shoot and slid a clever pass to Dzeko, who kept his composure before firing beyond McCarthy from six yards.
Reading manager Nigel Adkins:
"Great credit to the Manchester City players. They were certainly up for it and put a performance in. I think certainly in the second half we gave them something to think about. All in all there was something for both teams to be happy about.
"There were lots of positives for us - the players' application and attitude has been first class. We are seeing a progression from the first game when we took over and we could have scored goals today against a team who were hurting.
"The future of Reading looks bright. There is a hunger and desire to get back to the Premier League. The objective is to bounce back in one. That is the mindset. We want to be in the Premier League."
- 21 McCarthy
- 02 Gunter
- 06 Mariappa
- 15 Morrison
- 27 Kelly
- 04 Karacan
- 11 McAnuff (Blackman - 69' )
- 19 Robson-Kanu
- 20 Guthrie
- 07 Pogrebnyak (Le Fondre - 62' )
- 12 McCleary
- 41 Taylor
- 05 Pearce
- 23 Harte
- 28 Akpan
- 29 Daniel Carrico
- 09 Le Fondre
- 30 Blackman
- 01 Hart
- 02 Richards
- 06 Lescott
- 22 Clichy
- 28 K Toure (Maicon - 15' )
- 07 Milner
- 18 Barry Booked (Garcia - 58' )
- 21 Silva
- 42 Y Toure
- 16 Aguero (Dzeko - 62' )
- 32 Tevez
- 30 Pantilimon
- 03 Maicon
- 13 Kolarov
- 08 Nasri
- 14 Garcia
- 17 Rodwell
- 10 Dzeko
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The match has reached full-time.90:00 +0:28
Carlos Tevez takes a shot. Save made by Alex McCarthy. David Silva takes a short corner, Nick Blackman fouled by James Milner, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Jem Karacan.88:49
The ball is swung over by Garath McCleary.87:26
The assist for the goal came from David Silva.87:26 Goal scored
Goal! - Edin Dzeko - Reading 0 - 2 Man City Edin Dzeko grabs a goal from just inside the area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Reading 0-2 Man City.85:15
Yaya Toure takes a shot. Save made by Alex McCarthy. Corner taken left-footed by David Silva from the right by-line to the near post, Nick Blackman makes a clearance.84:40
The ball is sent over by Gael Clichy, Adrian Mariappa manages to make a clearance. Inswinging corner taken by Carlos Tevez from the left by-line.83:21
Yaya Toure has an effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the left of the goal.82:10
Jem Karacan takes a shot. Save made by Joe Hart. Centre by Jem Karacan, clearance made by Micah Richards.79:55
Adam Le Fondre produces a cross, Gael Clichy gets a block in. Corner taken by Danny Guthrie, free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Edin Dzeko by Stephen Kelly. Direct free kick taken by James Milner.79:02
Edin Dzeko has a shot on goal from outside the area which misses right.78:05
Adrian Mariappa is ruled offside. Joe Hart restarts play with the free kick.77:02
Garath McCleary has an effort at goal from outside the penalty area which goes wide right of the goal. Corner taken right-footed by Danny Guthrie from the left by-line, Adrian Mariappa takes a shot. Danny Guthrie takes a short corner. Blocked by Yaya Toure.76:30
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Jem Karacan by Francisco Javi Garcia. Danny Guthrie restarts play with the free kick.76:09
Edin Dzeko is penalised for a handball. Direct free kick taken by Danny Guthrie.75:47
Foul by Sean Morrison on Joe Hart, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Joe Hart.74:37
Free kick awarded for a foul by James Milner on Stephen Kelly. Direct free kick taken by Danny Guthrie.73:22
Free kick awarded for a foul by Francisco Javi Garcia on Hal Robson-Kanu. Direct free kick taken by Jem Karacan.72:35
The ball is sent over by James Milner, Effort on goal by Micah Richards from inside the box misses to the right of the target.71:44
Yaya Toure takes a shot. Save by Alex McCarthy. Outswinging corner taken right-footed by James Milner from the right by-line, clearance made by Adrian Mariappa.
Edin Dzeko takes a shot. Save made by Alex McCarthy.69:41
Chris Gunter delivers the ball, Adrian Mariappa takes a shot. Save by Joe Hart.69:03
Corner taken right-footed by Chris Gunter.68:10 Substitution
Substitution Jobi McAnuff goes off and Nick Blackman comes on.66:57
Garath McCleary produces a cross, save by Joe Hart.65:56
The assistant referee signals for offside against Carlos Tevez. Direct free kick taken by Alex McCarthy.61:10 Substitution
Substitution Sergio Aguero leaves the field to be replaced by Edin Dzeko.61:10 Substitution
Substitution Adam Le Fondre on for Pavel Pogrebnyak.61:10
Carlos Tevez has an effort at goal from just inside the box that misses to the right of the goal.59:33
James Milner sends in a cross.58:33
Unfair challenge on Jem Karacan by Sisenando Maicon results in a free kick. Jem Karacan takes the free kick.57:22 Substitution
Substitution Francisco Javi Garcia is brought on as a substitute for Gareth Barry.56:24
Corner taken right-footed by James Milner, save by Alex McCarthy.56:08
Yaya Toure takes a shot. Save by Alex McCarthy.55:39
Garath McCleary gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Gareth Barry. Yaya Toure restarts play with the free kick.54:37
James Milner crosses the ball, blocked by Stephen Kelly.54:03
Garath McCleary sends in a cross, clearance by Micah Richards.53:14
Centre by James Milner, Yaya Toure takes a shot. Sean Morrison gets a block in.52:30
James Milner takes a shot. Blocked by Stephen Kelly.50:16
Carlos Tevez takes a shot. Sean Morrison gets a block in. Corner from the left by-line taken by James Milner, The ball is sent over by Carlos Tevez, Danny Guthrie makes a clearance.49:44
Centre by Danny Guthrie, Pavel Pogrebnyak takes a shot. Joe Hart makes a save.49:30
A cross is delivered by Chris Gunter, Joleon Lescott manages to make a clearance.48:55
Carlos Tevez delivers the ball, save by Alex McCarthy.47:49
Chris Gunter delivers the ball, blocked by Joleon Lescott.46:09
Jobi McAnuff gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Yaya Toure. Micah Richards takes the direct free kick.45:01
The referee gets the second half started.45:00 +2:21 Half time
Half Time The whistle is blown to end the first half.45:00 +1:43
The ball is swung over by Sisenando Maicon, David Silva takes a shot. Save made by Alex McCarthy.43:41
Sergio Aguero takes a shot. Shot from just outside the box by Gael Clichy misses to the left of the target. James Milner takes a shot. Adrian Mariappa gets a block in. Adrian Mariappa gets a block in.41:15
Sergio Aguero takes a shot. Save by Alex McCarthy. Corner taken right-footed by James Milner from the left by-line, Sean Morrison manages to make a clearance.39:25
Assist on the goal came from James Milner.39:25 Goal scored
Goal! - Sergio Aguero - Reading 0 - 1 Man City Sergio Aguero finds the net with a goal from inside the area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Reading 0-1 Man City.38:56
Sergio Aguero takes a shot. Sean Morrison gets a block in. Inswinging corner taken by James Milner,36:48
Jem Karacan restarts play with the free kick.36:48 Booking
Booking Booking for Gareth Barry for unsporting behaviour.36:45
Gareth Barry concedes a free kick for a foul on Garath McCleary.35:58
James Milner sends in a cross, clearance made by Sean Morrison.35:49
The ball is delivered by David Silva.34:13
Yaya Toure takes a shot. Adrian Mariappa gets a block in.33:28
Sisenando Maicon takes a shot. Blocked by Adrian Mariappa. Hal Robson-Kanu takes a shot. Save by Joe Hart.31:14
The ball is crossed by Gareth Barry. The assistant referee signals for offside against Carlos Tevez. Free kick taken by Alex McCarthy.28:25
Garath McCleary takes a shot. Joe Hart makes a save.27:13
Hal Robson-Kanu has an effort from just inside the box that misses to the left of the target.26:34
Gael Clichy crosses the ball.25:02
The ball is delivered by Hal Robson-Kanu, clearance made by Yaya Toure.22:33
James Milner delivers the ball, Sean Morrison makes a clearance.18:58
Free kick awarded for a foul by Adrian Mariappa on Sergio Aguero. Direct free kick taken by Sisenando Maicon.18:45
Garath McCleary produces a cross, blocked by James Milner.18:19
Effort from outside the penalty box by Hal Robson-Kanu goes wide right of the target.17:52
Sisenando Maicon concedes a free kick for a foul on Jobi McAnuff. Adrian Mariappa restarts play with the free kick.14:02 Substitution
Substitution Kolo Toure leaves the field to be replaced by Sisenando Maicon.11:48
Pavel Pogrebnyak gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Yaya Toure. Free kick taken by Yaya Toure.10:16
Garath McCleary sends in a cross, clearance by Gael Clichy. The ball is swung over by Chris Gunter, Kolo Toure makes a clearance.6:30
James Milner takes a shot. Sergio Aguero takes a shot. Save by Alex McCarthy. Inswinging corner taken right-footed by James Milner from the right by-line, save by Alex McCarthy.5:07
A cross is delivered by Danny Guthrie, Garath McCleary produces a right-footed shot from just outside the box that misses to the right of the net.3:42
David Silva takes a shot. Alex McCarthy makes a save.3:07
Sergio Aguero takes a shot. Save made by Alex McCarthy.0:39
Outswinging corner taken right-footed by David Silva from the right by-line to the near post, Effort on goal by James Milner from just inside the penalty area goes harmlessly over the target.0:00
The referee gets the match started.
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