Anelka key to Keegan's strategy

Manchester City 4 - Charlton Athletic 0

Kevin Keegan hopes he has assembled a squad capable of giving Manchester City supporters "a season to remember". Charlton's manager Alan Curbishley will have spent most of the weekend trying to add to his, following their second successive four-goal away defeat.

Kevin Keegan hopes he has assembled a squad capable of giving Manchester City supporters "a season to remember". Charlton's manager Alan Curbishley will have spent most of the weekend trying to add to his, following their second successive four-goal away defeat.

Keegan was understandably upbeat about City after an impressive first win of the season at a time when some were questioning his and the club's ability to survive in the Premiership. If this is the start of something good, Keegan will be hoping he does not receive a massive offer for Nicolas Anelka ahead of tomorrow's transfer deadline.

Anelka scored twice in this game and laid on the fourth for Shaun Wright-Phillips after Trevor Sinclair had also netted for City. Lyon and Monaco have both attempted to lure Anelka back to his native France this summer, but Keegan insists City have to keep him, even if a £20m bid surfaced.

"Nicolas is irreplaceable," he said. "We have not got millions to spend on players and I don't think we'll be adding to the squad now. It is a small squad, but we have cover in most positions and I think we have the players to give our supporters a season to remember." Curbishley wishes he could share that optimism, after coming into this game after two convincing home wins following a 4-1 loss at Bolton on the opening day.

"We'll see what the weekend brings," Curbishley said. "I'd like to bring at least one more in before Tuesday and in my eyes that would give us enough strength all round. If the chairman had been at Manchester City, he might have wanted 11 new players. The deadline is now tight and I would like to do something. I want to bring in some players. We had an offer for Marcus Bent turned down by Ipswich and we may move off that one now, then we'll crack on with other things."

Curbishley held an impromptu meeting on the pitch with his coaching staff, Mervyn Day and Keith Peacock, immediately after a game in which his side offered little resistance after Anelka struck a 13th-minute opener. Sinclair added a second in the 35th before further strikes by Anelka and Wright-Phillips finished it off.

Curbishley explained: "I wanted to make sure I had seen what I thought I had seen out there in terms of our performance before I went in to the players. That left me a lot to think about - we can't concede eight goals in two away games and expect to do well. Last season we were better away from home."

Wright-Phillips is doubtful for England's World Cup qualifiers against Austria on Saturday and Poland on 8 September. Keegan confirmed: "He's got a problem with his back, so he may have to come back to us. He's doubtful but obviously we'll let the England physios decide."

Goals: Anelka 13 (1-0); Sinclair 35 (2-0); Anelka 60 (3-0); Wright-Phillips 78 (4-0).

Manchester City (4-4-2): James; Mills, Dunne, Distin, Thatcher; Wright-Phillips, Barton (McManaman, 75), Reyna, Sinclair (Macken, 80); Fowler, Anelka. Substitutes not used: Waterreus, Jihai, Bosvelt.

Charlton Athletic (4-4-2): Kiely; Young, Fish, Fortune (El Karkouri, 65), Hreidarsson; Murphy, Kishishev (Konchesky, 65), Euell, Rommedahl (Johansson, 65); Jeffers, Lisbie. Substitutes not used: Andersen, Hughes.

Referee: Mark Halsey (Lancashire).

Booked: Charlton: Murphy.

Man of the match: Nicolas Anelka.

Attendance: 43,593.

Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
News
A poster by Durham Constabulary
news
Sport
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Emily McDowell Card that reads:
artCancer survivor Emily McDowell kicks back at the clichés
Sport
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvBadalamenti on board for third series
Life and Style
tech
Sport
Standing room only: the terraces at Villa Park in 1935
football
Sport
Ben Stokes celebrates with his team mates after bowling Brendon McCullum
sportEngland vs New Zealand report
News
Amal Clooney has joined the legal team defending 'The Hooden Men'
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine