Hughes hails perfect City show

Schalke 04 0 Manchester City 2

Goals from Benjani and Stephen Ireland gave Manchester City a precious Uefa Cup victory at Schalke.

Benjani found the back of the net in the 32nd minute following a neat cross from Daniel Sturridge, who featured instead of the injured Robinho, before Ireland doubled the lead in the 67th minute.

The win in Gelsenkirchen puts Mark Hughes' side top of Group A and they need just one point from the final two pool matches to secure passage to the next round. "It couldn't have gone any better for us," Hughes said, "we had a game plan and the players executed it perfectly – it was a very accomplished performance."

The City manager made two changes from the side that beat Arsenal 3-0 at the weekend, with Sturridge replacing Robinho, who was nursing an ankle injury. The former Germany international Dietmar Hamann also found himself in the starting line-up, replacing Pablo Zabaleta (thigh). Vincent Kompany and Richard Dunne featured as centre-backs, with Micah Richards and Javier Garrido completing the back four. Also missing for the visitors were Elano, for personal reasons, and Gelson Fernandes (hamstring).

Sturridge set the pace for an entertaining first half just five minutes into the game when he delivered a dangerous cross from the left which flew past everybody. Joe Hart then made a spectacular diving save after Heiko Westermann had sent Jermaine Jones into the clear with an incisive midfield pass.

The Germany midfielder pulled the trigger from 14 yards out on the right, but Hart diverted the ball for a corner. The Schalke goalkeeper Manuel Neuer was alert too, catching a promising cross from Richards under pressure. After Hart saved a 20-yard volley from Jones, Darius Vassell tried his luck with a shot from outside the right corner of the box which flew well wide.

There were chances on either side, with Neuer saving a header from Vassell and Hart clearing from Kevin Kuranyi inside the six-yard box. The visitors eventually opened the scoring in the 32nd minute following a superb counter-attack.

Kompany turned the ball over for Sturridge to dart down the left wing and the 19-year-old outstripped his opponent and fired in a low cross. It failed to reach Ireland in the middle but Benjani was there at the far post to sweep the ball home.

Schalke failed to create any significant openings in the rest of the half but were vulnerable to counter-attacks, with Neuer denying Ireland from 14 yards out. The rebound was driven in by Benjani and Ireland knocked it home – only for the linesman to raise his flag.

Michael Ball replaced Garrido after the break as City's defence continued to stand tall against Schalke's toothless attacks. It was the visitors who had the first chance of the half when Shaun Wright-Phillips' right-footed shot from 30 yards out forced Neuer into a good save. Richards then saw the first yellow card of the match for stopping a Halil Altintop counter-attack. The resulting free-kick, however, brought no danger.

Ireland was also cautioned shortly afterwards – but moments later, in the 67th minute, the midfielder found the back of the net for a second time, this time legitimately. Benjani had a strike blocked in the left channel, and the ball landed at the feet of the unmarked Ireland who easily beat Neuer with a low shot.

The sell-out crowd of 54,142 fans grew impatient with their team's fruitless attempts to break down City's defence. Substitute Gerald Asamoah came closest in the 76th minute, but his header from seven yards out was superbly saved by Hart. Jo then replaced Benjani in the 84th minute, and the in-form striker received a standing ovation from the 3,000 City fans in attendance as the game drew to a close.

Schalke 04: Neuer; Westermann, Rakitic (Asamoah, 63), Bordon (Howedes, 73), Pander, Engelaar, Jones, Rafinha, Farfan, Altintop (Sanchez, 80), Kuranyi. Substitutes not used: Schober (gk), Kobiashvili, Ernst, Zambrano.

Manchester City: Hart; Richards, Kompany, Dunne, Garrido (Ball, h-t), Wright-Phillips, Hamann, Ireland, Vassell, Mwaruwari (Jo, 84), Sturridge. Substitutes not used: Schmeichel (gk), Evans, Ben-Haim, Berti, Logan.

Referee: A Tudor (Romania).

29

Manchester City have not lost away in Europe for 29 years – though have only played six matches.

News
The Banksy image in Folkestone before it was vandalised
people
Life and Style
tech

Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts

Sport
football West Brom vs Man Utd match report: Blind grabs point, but away form a problem for Van Gaal
Arts and Entertainment
Gotham is coming to UK shores this autumn
tvGotham, episode 2, review
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Bloom Time: Mira Sorvino
tvMira Sorvino on leaving movie roles for 'The Intruders'
News
First woman: Valentina Tereshkova
peopleNASA guinea pig Kate Greene thinks it might fly
News
Brian Harvey turned up at Downing Street today demanding to speak to the Prime Minister
news

Met Police confirm there was a 'minor disturbance' and that no-one was arrested

Arts and Entertainment
George Lucas poses with a group of Star Wars-inspired Disney characters at Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2010
films

George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios

Voices
Chris Grayling, Justice Secretary: 'There are pressures which we are facing but there is not a crisis'
voices

Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?

Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

Life and Style
The charity Sands reports that 11 babies are stillborn everyday in the UK
lifeEleven babies are stillborn every day in the UK, yet no one speaks about this silent tragedy
News
Blackpool is expected to become one of the first places to introduce the Government’s controversial new Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs)
news

Parties threaten resort's image as a family destination

Life and Style
Northern soul mecca the Wigan Casino
fashionGone are the punks, casuals, new romantics, ravers, skaters, crusties. Now all kids look the same
Life and Style
gaming

I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Salisbury ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities

The city is home to one of the four surviving copies of the Magna Carta, along with the world’s oldest mechanical clock
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album