City seal third with comfortable win at Bolton

Bolton 0 Manchester City 2

Manchester City will join the elite clubs in the Champions League next season after finishing with a flourish.

Roberto Mancini's side cemented third place in the Barclays Premier League with this victory and with it automatic entry to the group stages of Europe's premier club competition.

Goals from Joleon Lescott and substitute Edin Dzeko either side of half-time were enough to overcome Bolton at the Reebok Stadium.

It was just the result City were looking for and capped a superb season with the FA Cup now installed in their trophy cabinet.

City were forced to make a late change with Pablo Zabaleta replacing Micah Richards who was apparently injured in the warm-up.

They almost made the breakthrough in the fourth minute when David Silva cut the ball back into the path of Carlos Tevez. The Argentina striker rattled in a shot from close range but it was blocked by Zat Knight.

Bolton responded five minutes later with Vincent Kompany being pulled back for a challenge on Daniel Sturridge. Lee-chung Yong picked out Gary Cahill only for the defender to send the header wide.

The home side kept up the pressure when Kevin Davies saw his effort shave the post after a corner from Lee.

City were again forced on the back foot in the 19th minute when Sturridge released Galatasaray-bound Johan Elmander and he thumped in a shot that was superbly turned over the bar by goalkeeper Joe Hart.

Hart then reacted quickly to turn away a header from Kevin Davies in a good spell of pressure by the home side.

However, City should have taken the lead in the 33rd minute when Dedryck Boyata delivered a superb ball to the back post.

Gareth Barry found himself unmarked but only succeeded in sending his header against the bar.

City suddenly had the momentum and Carlos Tevez saw his shot blocked after a galloping run by Yaya Toure in the 38th minute.

The ball broke to Silva only six yards out but he sent his shot high into the crowd.

The visitors eventually made the breakthrough in the 43rd minute from a set piece. Adam Johnson swung in a corner and Lescott delivered a looping header over goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen and into the net.

Sturridge saw his effort go the wrong side of the post in the 51st minute but back came City.

Toure and Silva linked up only for the Spanish forward to find Jaaskelainen's body with his shot.

Mancini made his first change in the 61st minute with Dzeko replacing Adam Johnson. The Bosnian made an instant impact putting City 2-0 ahead a minute later after Barry played the ball into the area.

Gary Cahill got in a terrible muddle and failed to make a routine clearance, leaving Dzeko to smash the ball home for only his second league goal since arriving from Wolfsburg in January.

City maintained the momentum and Tevez wriggled his way into the area but his shot was blocked.

Elmander was given a round of applause by the home fans when he came off in the 71st minute with Tamir Cohen given a run-out.

Bolton were struggling to get any kind of a foothold in the game and found themselves reduced to 10 men four minutes from time.

Former City striker Sturridge, on loan from Chelsea, was given a straight red card for a challenge on Dzeko.

It completed a miserable day for the home side who slumped to a fifth successive defeat after a bright start to the campaign.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
fashionHealth concerns and 'pornified' perceptions have made women more conscious at the beach
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Sport
Ojo Onaolapo celebrates winning the bronze medal
commonwealth games
Arts and Entertainment
Rock band Led Zeppelin in the early 1970s
musicLed Zeppelin to release alternative Stairway To Heaven after 43 years
Arts and Entertainment
High-flyer: Chris Pratt in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
filmHe was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
Sport
Van Gaal said that his challenge in taking over Bobby Robson's Barcelona team in 1993 has been easier than the task of resurrecting the current United side
footballA colourful discussion on tactics, the merits of the English footballer and rebuilding Manchester United
Life and Style
Sainsbury's could roll the lorries out across its whole fleet if they are successful
tech
Travel
The shipping news: a typical Snoozebox construction
travelSpending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Arts and Entertainment
'Old Fashioned' will be a different kind of love story to '50 Shades'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Tracey Emin's 'My Bed' is returning to the Tate more than 15 years after it first caused shockwaves at the gallery
artTracey Emin's bed returns to the Tate after record sale
Arts and Entertainment
Smart mover: Peter Bazalgette
filmHow live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences
Environment
Neil Young performing at Hyde Park, London, earlier this month
environment
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

Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz