Saturday 23 April 2016

Kelechi Iheanacho Helps Man City Over Stoke

                                     Man of the match for Man City- Kelechi Iheanacho

Manchester City moved up to third in the Premier League with a routine win over Stoke ahead of Tuesday's Champions League semi-final with Real Madrid.
Fernando headed the hosts in front from a corner before a Sergio Aguero penalty - awarded for Ryan Shawcross's foul on Kelechi Iheanacho - doubled the lead.

Iheanacho, 19, added the third from close range, then the teenager rounded the keeper to seal an emphatic win.
Stoke conceded four goals for the third straight Premier League game.
Relive the action from the Etihad Stadium
Reaction from the Etihad and from Saturday's Premier League and FA Cup games

               Man City ready for Real test

Manuel Pellegrini rested a number of players, including captain Vincent Kompany and midfielder Kevin de Bruyne, with the first-leg visit of 10-time champions of Europe Real Madrid in mind.
Yet his side go into one of the biggest games in the club's history with confidence high after moving above Arsenal, who play at Sunderland on Sunday, in the table.
Manchester City's place at the top of table of European football next season is by no means certain but, a slow start notwithstanding, they showed their ruthless side to dispose of a Stoke team that missed several good chances.
Such was their dominance, Pellegrini could afford the luxury of bringing off influential players David Silva and Sergio Aguero to rest legs for the heavyweight meeting with Real, who lost striker Karim Benzema to injury in their match at Rayo Vallecano on Saturday.

                     Will Iheanacho play against Real?

The biggest roar of the game came five minutes from time, when Iheanacho was announced as man of the match.
Just as neighbours United have an exciting young forward in Marcus Rashford, so do Manchester City in the shape of the young Nigeria international, who has had a hand in 11 goals (seven goals, four assists) in eight competitive starts in 2015/16.
After Fernando had risen above Geoff Cameron to glance home the opening goal from a corner, Iheanacho won the penalty that Aguero promptly dispatched before scoring twice himself in the space of 10 second-half minutes.
His first, to make it 3-0, was a cool finish from Pablo Zabaleta's clever run and pass, while Iheanacho showed maturity beyond his years to round substitute keeper Jakob Haugaard and slot home after being sent clear by substitute Wilfried Bony.
He now has 11 goals in 30 senior outings for City and is turning into a real prospect. Real Madrid will offer different level of test to Stoke City but Iheanacho's pace off the bench could be a useful weapon for Pellegrini.

                    What now for Stoke City?

Mark Hughes' side started well, missed several chances at 2-0 down, and eventually caved in. They have now conceded 12 goals in three games.
Their task was not helped by the absence of Ibrahim Afellay, the Netherlands midfielder who suffered a serious knee injury on the eve of the game.
The Potters, whose hopes of a top-10 finish are diminishing after one win in seven games, were also forced to replace 40-year-old keeper Shay Given at the start of the second half due to a suspected groin injury.
Joselu squandered a great opportunity to reduce the deficit at 2-0, while Mame Biram Diouf went close with a header before City took the game out of sight.

Stoke still have to face Sunderland (home), Crystal Palace (away) and West Ham United (home) and manager Hughes faces a battle to rouse his players and ensure the season does not end on a flat note.

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