Premier League
Man City2West Brom1

Manchester City 2-1 West Bromwich Albion

Samir Nasri
Samir Nasri scored his first Premier League goal since August having had a long lay-off through injury

Manchester City maintained their grip on fourth place in the Premier League as Samir Nasri returned from injury to score the winner against West Brom.

City had to come from behind after Stephane Sessegnon beat Joe Hart at his near post just six minutes in.

Sessegnon then brought down Aleksandar Kolarov in the area to allow Sergio Aguero to equalise from the spot.

Nasri tapped into an empty net with 25 minutes remaining to put City four points above rivals Manchester United.

United can close that gap if they beat Tottenham on Sunday, but City will also be keeping an eye on leaders Leicester City, who could reinstate a 15-point advantage over Manuel Pellegrini's side with victory over Sunderland.

Relive Man City's win over West Brom

City with one eye on PSG

Wilfried Bony touches
Wilfried Bony had the fewest touches of any of City's starting XI (25) and barely registered an impact for his side

The prospect of reaching a first ever Champions League semi-final by beating Paris St-Germain at Etihad Stadium on Tuesday is more pressing for City, and the visit of the French side hung very much over Pellegrini's team selection and the performance as a whole.

The Chilean, who will be replaced by Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola in the summer, realises he can still leave an indelible mark on the club by taking them to European glory, and made five changes from the 2-2 draw in the first leg of their quarter-final with PSG last week.

Top-scorer Aguero started and took his goal tally for the season to 23, but hobbled off near the end of the contest after taking a set of studs to the calf from Albion's Craig Gardner, although the Argentinian did not look to be seriously hurt.

The hosts, with Nasri making a Premier League start for the first time since September after a thigh injury, took a while to get to grips with the reshuffle from midweek and looked flat without the twin creative sparks of Kevin de Bruyne and David Silva.

Wilfried Bony was rarely an influence up front and it was not until the hour mark and the introduction of De Bruyne and Yaya Toure - a welcome sight to City fans after a three-week layoff - that City came alive.

Belgian De Bruyne was integral to the winning goal, with his clever ball inside from the right flank allowing Jesus Navas to roll across to Aguero, whose blocked effort fell to the unmarked Nasri for a simple finish.

Baggies almost bounce City

West Brom will feel they missed an opportunity to take a point from the two-time Premier League champions with a performance that forced City to battle until the end.

Boss Tony Pulis has come under scrutiny from Albion fans for his direct style of play - despite having comfortably achieved safety - but their goal was well crafted, with James McClean whipping in a cross for Sessegnon to finish a swift counter-attack.

The Baggies do have goal-scoring concerns, though, and for all their grit, they ended the game with just two shots on target - however, that was two more than they had mustered in their two previous games.

Saido Berahino had a pair of good chances that he put wide, although one was clearly offside, and Sandro wanted a penalty when he was shoved by Eliaquim Mangala.

McClean could have snatched a point with the last kick of the game with a volley that zipped the wrong side of Hart's post.

Man of the match - Samir Nasri

Samir Nasri
With a goal, four key passes and the highest pass accuracy in the Man City side (95.5%), this was an impressive return for Samir Nasri

What they said

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Pellegrini praises Nasri impact

Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini: "It was a very important win. You cannot lose these three points at home if you want to fight to be in the Champions League next year.

"Now we have a championship with four or five teams to try and play in the Champions League.

"When you have players like Kevin de Bruyne and Yaya Toure and they play with Samir Nasri and Sergio Aguero, the way the team played changed immediately. I'm very happy with Samir Nasri."

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Baggies performance please Pulis

West Brom boss Tony Pulis: "I thought we played well today. We've got 40 points and the important thing is the lads turn up in all the games. We did that today and gave them a game and the disappointing thing is we've got nothing out of it.

"We've got to hit the target more - it's been a fault of ours this season. And one or two decisions didn't go our way.

"I'm not sure it's a penalty for them. I think everyone in the stadium thought we should have had a penalty."

What's next?

It has already been mentioned once or twice, but City have a Champions League quarter-final second-leg to play against PSG on Tuesday, with the tie poised at 2-2. Their next Premier League fixture is at Chelsea on Saturday. West Brom host Watford on the same day, with the Albion two points above their opponents.

Stats you need to know

  • Samir Nasri has scored four Premier League goals against West Brom (his equal-best, alongside Spurs).
  • City have won consecutive Premier League games for the first time since October.
  • No player has scored more Premier League goals in 2016 than Sergio Aguero (11, level with Harry Kane).
  • Stephane Sessegnon scored just his second goal in his last 42 Premier League games.
  • West Brom have had just four shots on target in their last four Premier League games, yet have scored with two of them.
  • Sergio Aguero has scored four times in four home league games against the Baggies.
  • Manchester City have won each of their last nine Premier League games against West Brom.
  • West Brom have enjoyed just one win in their last 11 Premier League away games (D5 L5).

Line-ups

Man City

  • 1Hart
  • 5Zabaleta
  • 30Otamendi
  • 20Mangala
  • 11Kolarov
  • 15Navas
  • 6Reges
  • 18DelphSubstituted forY Touréat 60'minutes
  • 8Nasri
  • 10AgüeroSubstituted forClichyat 90'minutes
  • 14BonySubstituted forDe Bruyneat 60'minutes

Substitutes

  • 13Caballero
  • 17De Bruyne
  • 22Clichy
  • 25Fernandinho
  • 26Demichelis
  • 42Y Touré
  • 72Iheanacho

West Brom

  • 1Foster
  • 25Dawson
  • 23McAuley
  • 6Evans
  • 4Chester
  • 30Guimaraes Cordeiro
  • 24Fletcher
  • 29SessegnonSubstituted forLekoat 80'minutes
  • 18Berahino
  • 14McClean
  • 33RondónSubstituted forGardnerat 21'minutesBooked at 33mins

Substitutes

  • 3Olsson
  • 5Yacob
  • 8Gardner
  • 10Anichebe
  • 13Myhill
  • 19McManaman
  • 45Leko
Referee:
Mike Jones
Attendance:
53,920

Match Stats

Home TeamMan CityAway TeamWest Brom
Possession
Home62%
Away38%
Shots
Home13
Away13
Shots on Target
Home4
Away2
Corners
Home8
Away8
Fouls
Home10
Away7

Live Text

Match ends, Manchester City 2, West Bromwich Albion 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Manchester City 2, West Bromwich Albion 1.

Attempt missed. James McClean (West Bromwich Albion) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left following a corner.

Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by Fernando.

Foul by Gaël Clichy (Manchester City).

Jonathan Leko (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Nicolás Otamendi (Manchester City).

Craig Gardner (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Substitution

Substitution, Manchester City. Gaël Clichy replaces Sergio Agüero.

Aleksandar Kolarov (Manchester City) hits the left post with a left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left. Assisted by Samir Nasri.

Foul by Aleksandar Kolarov (Manchester City).

Craig Gardner (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by Joe Hart.

Attempt saved. Craig Gardner (West Bromwich Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

Foul by Nicolás Otamendi (Manchester City).

James McClean (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt missed. Samir Nasri (Manchester City) right footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Sergio Agüero.

Substitution

Substitution, West Bromwich Albion. Jonathan Leko replaces Stéphane Sessegnon.

Offside, Manchester City. Joe Hart tries a through ball, but Sergio Agüero is caught offside.

Attempt blocked. James McClean (West Bromwich Albion) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Saido Berahino.

Attempt saved. Sergio Agüero (Manchester City) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Yaya Touré with a through ball.

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

Foul by Darren Fletcher (West Bromwich Albion).

Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by Jesús Navas.

Attempt missed. Saido Berahino (West Bromwich Albion) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right.

Attempt blocked. Craig Gardner (West Bromwich Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Darren Fletcher.

Offside, Manchester City. Joe Hart tries a through ball, but Kevin De Bruyne is caught offside.

Attempt missed. Saido Berahino (West Bromwich Albion) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by James Chester with a through ball.

Offside, Manchester City. Samir Nasri tries a through ball, but Kevin De Bruyne is caught offside.

Goal!

Goal! Manchester City 2, West Bromwich Albion 1. Samir Nasri (Manchester City) right footed shot from very close range to the bottom left corner.

Attempt blocked. Sergio Agüero (Manchester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Jesús Navas.

Offside, West Bromwich Albion. Saido Berahino tries a through ball, but Craig Dawson is caught offside.

Substitution

Substitution, Manchester City. Yaya Touré replaces Fabian Delph.

Substitution

Substitution, Manchester City. Kevin De Bruyne replaces Wilfried Bony.

Attempt missed. Craig Gardner (West Bromwich Albion) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Saido Berahino.

Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by Pablo Zabaleta.

Foul by Fabian Delph (Manchester City).

Stéphane Sessegnon (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Ben Foster.

Attempt saved. Sergio Agüero (Manchester City) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Fernando.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Leicester32209355312469
2Tottenham321711457253262
3Arsenal32178755332259
4Man City32176958332557
5Man Utd31158839271253
6West Ham321313652401252
7Southampton331481144341050
8Stoke32138113639-347
9Liverpool3012994641545
10Chelsea321111104942744
11Bournemouth33118144055-1541
12Swansea331010133442-840
13West Brom321010123139-840
14Everton31912105243939
15Watford32108143137-638
16Crystal Palace32107153542-737
17Norwich3387183557-2231
18Sunderland3169163655-1927
19Newcastle3267193261-2925
20Aston Villa3337232364-4116
View full Premier League table

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