• FT

    Man City

    1

    West Brom

    0

  • FT

    Wigan

    2

    Swansea

    3

BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE

Etihad Stadium

Attendance: 46158

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Manchester City

  • Edin Dzeko 35'

1 - 0

FT

Mancini given selection dilemma

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini felt Edin Dzeko had given him an FA Cup final selection nudge by scoring his side's winner against West Brom.

The Bosnian struck against the Baggies for the third time this season to hand a much-changed City a 1-0 win from a surprisingly open Premier League contest at the Etihad Stadium.

The victory strengthened City's grip on second place in the table and also made mathematically certain of Champions League football next season.

Mancini had made eight changes with Saturday's Wembley date with Wigan in mind but Dzeko could have played himself into contention.

The Italian said: "Yes, could be. I am happy because he scored an important goal. With his goal we are in the Champions League and probably in second position. We have four days to recover from this game, so could be."

Dzeko's future has been the subject of speculation and Mancini feels the 27-year-old, who has now scored 14 times this season, can improve.

He said: "In the end he has scored important goals this season. I think he can do better. For me he is a top striker but he could score more goals.

"It is clear he didn't play all the games. I think he is one of the best in Europe for me but he can do better than this year."

Yaya Toure, Vincent Kompany, Pablo Zabaleta, Sergio Aguero and David Silva were among those players rested by Mancini.

Toure had been a fitness doubt after being withdrawn at half-time at Swansea last Saturday through fatigue but Mancini expects him to be fit for Wembley.

He said: "Yaya was at home to sleep. He had a problem, he was tired. Against Swansea he had a problem and we prefer he had a rest.

"We have four days and I need to see the players the next couple of days. I will take the last decision on Saturday.

"I thought this was a difficult game because we changed a lot of players.

"We needed fresh players for this game and in the end it is important that we won."

City hit the woodwork through Carlos Tevez and James Milner while Jack Rodwell had a number of good chances.

But West Brom created several good opportunities themselves and hit the bar through Markus Rosenberg.

Baggies boss Steve Clarke said: "We didn't have too much time to prepare for the game but thew way the players applied themselves was excellent.

"We played well and were unlucky not to get something.

"We had chances, Joe Hart made his usual number of good saves.

"Markus hit a free-kick against the crossbar and we were a bit wasteful at times.

"But when you come to these places you have to be on top of your game all the time.

"I felt in the first half we had a spell where we lost our way a little bit, we lost momentum, we made a few mistakes and encouraged them into the game.

"When you encourage a team like Manchester City into the game they will punish you, and that is what they did."

One controversial incident saw City's Aleksandar Kolarov catch Gabriel Tamas on the head with a high boot but Clarke did not complain.

He said: "My impression at the time was Kolarov was high but Gabby also stooped his head.

"He has got a nasty cut on the back of his head but I wouldn't be shouting it was a red card without seeing it again."

Scoring Summary

  • Manchester City
  • West Bromwich Albion
Edin Dzeko (35')
 

Match Stats

  • Manchester City
  • West Bromwich Albion
24(7) Shots (on goal) 20(7)
10 Fouls 10
6 Corner kicks 8
0 Offsides 1
54% Time of Possession 46%
2 Yellow Cards 1
0 Red Cards 0
7 Saves 6

Teams

  • Manchester City
  • West Bromwich Albion
Substitutes
Substitutions
Yellow Cards