Wright-Phillips (42), Boyata (57)
FC Timisoara 0
- Match reports
- 26 August 2010 23:40
- Posted by Chris Bailey
City cruised into the group stages of the Europa Cup thanks to a 2-0 win over FC Timisoara
A much-changed City side – only four survived rotation following the win over Liverpool on Monday night – never had to hit the heights to oust FC Timisoara.
Mario Balotelli’s second half strike in Romania was the comfort blanket the Blues needed and once Shaun Wright-Phillips had doubled the aggregate advantage in the 42nd minute the tie was effectively over as a contest.
From that moment on it was a matter of 'how many' for a Blues side packed with players attempting to show boss Roberto Mancini that they are ready, willing and able should standards dip below the dizzying heights on display in the Premier League home opener.
Amongst the success stories of the night were Shaun Wright-Phillips whose vivacity was eye-catching, Jo, who with only a children’s size portion of luck could have helped himself to a couple of goals on the night, and the assured Dedryck Boyata who looks every inch a star of the future and sneaked away with man of the match honours.
However, despite their territorial advantage it took a long time for the Blues to make their class tell
Best move of the opening half came in the 34th minute when David Silva’s cross was met with a firm header from Jo that just was helped over the bar by the keeper.
A minute later, as the game temperature at last got above tepid, Adebayor shaved the far post with a cross shot having earlier wasted a decent Patrick Vieira through ball by performing his own version of the Venus Fly Trap catching the ball on his arm when he meant to use his chest.
Then came the moment for which the fans had waited patiently and another of Vieira’s superbly weighted through ball was despatched clinically by the darting Wright-Phillips.
Captained by Vincent Kompany this shadow eleven containing not one, but two, World Cup winners was always in the ascendancy against a Timisoara outfit that is one of the coming sides in its homeland but had its real stab at glory a week ago on their own patch.
They knew their fate for sure as the hour mark approached and Boyata scored his first senior goal for the club, sneaking in at the back post to nod home Silva’s free kick from the right.
Adebayor and Jo then went close again as the fight ebbed from the visitors and the rest of the game was akin to attack and defence with City just hunting goals to add gloss to the final aggregate.
They didn’t manage any but no matter, the Blues now go into tomorrow’s draw for the group stage when 48 qualifiers will be split into a dozen sections of four.
The top two in each mini league – all sides play one another home and away - will progress into the knockout stage next February when eight Champions League losers are added and there will be no second chances only Crocodile tears for the losers.