Bassett, of course, turned down City before arriving at Nottingham Forest in February, barely a month after Clark had pitched up at Maine Road. Results this season may have been strikingly different, yet City were purposeful throughout.
Lee Bradbury had already shot straight at Marco Pascolo from a chance set up by Georgi Kinkladze's back-heeled pass before Richard Edghill released him on the right flank in the 21st minute. The pounds 3m recruit from Portsmouth cut the ball for Ged Brannan to sweep City ahead.
Without the seven-goal Pierre van Hooijdonk - away on Netherlands duty - Forest's attacks lacked a focal point. Dean Saunders did fire just wide on one occasion but, with Edghill showing no ill-effects in his first game after an injury absence of nearly two years, City's defence looked untypically solid.
Kinkladze, moreover, was so industrious he gave the impression of playing both in midfield and up front. Ten minutes before half-time the Georgian unleashed a rising drive from 30-yards which caught Pascolo cold, but the ball shook the bar and passed behind.
Bradbury spurned another opportunity to claim his first City goal on the hour. Played in by Nicky Summerbee's low cross, he again directed a free shot into Pascolo's hands.
Forest's best chance came in the scramble that followed Thierry Bonalair's corner after 68 minutes. Steve Chettle's header was cleared off the line by Ian Brightwell and the heroic Edghill did likewise from Saunders' follow- up.
Within three minutes Kinkladze initiated City's clinching goal. As Brannan chased his through pass, Pascolo charged from his area to clear. The ensuing collision would leave the Swiss keeper needing stitches in a knee; the midfielder added insult to his injury by lobbing into the unguarded net from 25 yards.
Kevin Campbell halved the arrears eight minutes from time with a messy goal following Chris Bart-Williams' corner, but Bradbury's header across the six-yard box created a simple goal for the substitute, Paul Dickov, to ensure City's first win since May.
Nottingham Forest (4-4-2): Pascolo; Lyttle (Moore, 85), Hjelde, Chettle, Rogers; Bonalair (Johnson, 79), Gemmill, Thomas, Bart-Williams; Saunders, Campbell. Substitute not used: Armstrong.
Manchester City (4-4-2): Margetson; Edghill, Brightwell, Symons, Van Blerk; Summerbee, Wiekens, Brannan, Horlock; Kinkladze (Dickov, 76), Bradbury. Substitutes not used: McGoldrick, Vaughan.
Referee: C Finch (Bury St Edmunds).Reuse content