City parade with the Citizens Coronation
Written By: Robert Halter
The Barclays Premiership title was in the hands of Manchester City ahead of their final Super Sunday showdown with West Ham United at the Etihad Stadium in the 2013/14 season finale on May 11. On ten minutes, the Citizens had their first sight of goal as David Silva blazed over a right wing cross from Pablo Zabaleta as the Hammers had an early reprieve. Three minutes later, a harsh challenge by Mohamed Diama in the area went unpunished by referee Martin Atkinson, after it was perceived that Zabaleta got his foot in first. On seventeen minutes, a neat lay off by Aleksandar Kolarov provided the space for Sergio Aguero to strike a low drive which Adrian comfortably collected. News then filtered around the ground that a Martin Skrtel own goal had put Newcastle United ahead at Anfield and with Liverpool behind, Manchester City were in the box seat for the title. On twenty one minutes, Samir Nasri put the ball on a plate for Yaya Toure but his curling strike drifted past the left post. The Citizens continued to press forward in the twenty fourth minute, when a screamer by Kolarov from over thirty five yards out had to be tipped over by Adrian, after Toure had created the move. A minute later, Aguero cut in from the left flank but Edin Dzeko couldn’t keep the ball down as he fired over. Finally the Irons resistance was broken in the thirty eighth minute, after Toure’s touch to Nasri, whose sweeping low strike took a slight deflection off Winston Reid before the ball clipped off the inside of the left post and nestled into the net as Adrian’s hand was helpless in stopping the goal. On forty two minutes, a free kick whipped in by Nasri brushed the head of Aguero before going wide following a needless challenge by Diame on Nasri as George McCartney vented his frustration. Just before the break, a short corner by Nasri was played forward by Toure and a shot by David Silva had to be diverted onto the underside of his own crossbar by the outstretched leg of Andy Carroll. Four minutes into the second half, City’s captain marvel, Vincent Kompany sealed the Premiership title as an in swinging corner by Nasri was met by a turning foot from Dzeko and Kompany was quick to pounce by poking the ball in from close range. The party began with the City fans performing their famous Poznan celebration while singing the club’s signature tune of Blue Moon. On fifty eight minutes, Adrian had to scoop up a bobbling low strike by Nasri, after Toure was again provider. The Hammers were offering no cut and thrust in the forward line and the best they could muster was a glancing header by McCartney which went wide of the target from Stewart Downing’s corner in the fifty seventh minute. Five minutes later, the Citizens were back on the attack, as Aguero miscued a header from Zabaleta’s right wing cross. The Irons then replaced their captain, Kevin Nolan for Matt Jarvis. A Daniel Agger equaliser at Anfield had arrived too late for the Reds to spoil the City victory parade despite Daniel Sturridge immediately putting Liverpool ahead. But the Citizens charge continued as from Zabaleta’s cross, Aguero missed an open goal by losing his footing in the sixty seventh minute. Manager Manuel Pellegrini then gave the Blues Fernandinho a run out in favour of Dzeko. Another Hammers change by their boss, Sam Allardyce saw Carroll replaced by Carlton Cole. Soon after City took off Silva for James Milner. On seventy eight minutes, a ball over the top by Toure set up Nasri but his strike cannoned off the legs of Adrian but the flag went up with Zabaleta in an offside position. With ten minutes of normal time remaining, the Irons gave Joe Cole a brief role in favour of Diame. In the proceeding five minutes, Toure was replaced by Alvaro Negredo for the final Citizens change. The scenes got ugly at the end as Aguero caught Mark Noble late, who chased the Argentine down before being surrounded by a group of players but after referee Atkinson got matters under control, Manchester City claimed their second title in three years.