Manchester City vs. Cardiff City: Final score 4-2, smooth sailing for Citizens

Richard Heathcote

Cardiff were within one goal for most of the match, but Manchester City always looked in control at home.

Despite getting a pretty incredible piece of magic from Craig Noone, Cardiff City never looked like grabbing points at the Ethiad Stadium on Saturday. They were level for good chunks of the first half, but only managed five shots on the day as Manchester City eventually cruised to a 4-2 victory.

Manchester City's opener came via Edin Dzeko and a bit of controversy. The hosts created the goal off a throw-in that shouldn't have been theirs and a handball control by David Silva that wasn't spotted, but their third and final protest about the goal was invalidated. A shot by Dzeko off a square ball by Silva looked to be cleared out of the goalmouth, but the referee gave the goal once he was told that the ball had crossed the line.

Out of nowhere, Noone created Cardiff's equalizer in the 29th minute. He beat multiple defenders on a long run with the ball down the right flank, capped off with a juke that broke Vincent Kompany's ankles before he beat Joe Hart low and to his near post comfortably, with the City keeper coming nowhere near the ball.

Unfortunately for the visiting fans, their joy didn't last long, with Manchester City going ahead again just four minutes later. Dzeko set up the goal with a run onto a ball over the top, and he did well to hold off two defenders before squaring to Navas. The Spanish winger steadied himself and hit an impressive blast into the back of the net from the edge of the area, making it 2-1 on the afternoon.

The second half featured City in control, but few clear chances for either side until Yaya Toure clinched the result for his team in the 76th minute. It was a signature effort, started with a tackle in his own half and a 60-yard run, followed by a one-two exchange with Sergio Aguero and a finish from 10 yards. Three minutes later, Aguero netted one of his own, turning Steven Caulker inside-out before placing his team's fourth past David Marshall.

Frazier Campbell got one back for Cardiff off a corner in stoppage time, but it was way too little, too late for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side.

Manchester City: Hart, Kolarov, Demichelis, Kompany, Zabaleta, Garcia, Toure, Navas (Clichy 82'), Silva (Milner 80'), Negredo, Dzeko (Aguero 62')

Goals: Dzeko (14'), Navas (33'), Toure (76'), Aguero (79')

Cardiff: Marshall, McNaughton (John 68'), Caulker, Turner, Theopile, Medel, Gunnarsson (Eikrem 78'), Mutch, Whittingham (Bellamy 68'), Campbell, Noone

Goals: Noone (29'), Campbell (90')

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