Off-target Tevez has City living on their nerves

Manchester City 1 Blackpool 0: Johnson ensures third straight win but misses make it far from comfortable

Considering Jérôme Boateng's weekly salary would probably be enough to pay the wages of the entire Blackpool squad, this was one of the bigger mis-matches in Premier League history. But the reality was that City were forced to cling on in the final 10 minutes after failing to kill off their visitors and the Eastlands crowd will have to get used to having their nerves shredded in the final months of the season.

Adam Johnson scored the only goal but Carlos Tevez failed with a poor penalty shortly after and missed several more chances. Typical of the contrasting standing was Matt Phillips, a summer signing from Wycombe, dominating the former Lazio defender Aleksander Kolarov in the second half. Yet City collecteda third straight win, an impressive and significant response to losing to Everton before Christmas, ahead of their trip to Arsenal on Wednesday evening, although David Silva and Kolarov are doubtful after picking up knee problems.

"What we didn't do was take advantage of some good opportunities to get that second goal," said the City coach David Platt. "In recentgames we've managed to do that. It gives you that cushion and enables players to play with a bit more freedom. If you haven't got that second it gets a bit nail-biting and we were probably the happier side to hear the final whistle. The disappointing thing for anyone up front is when they haven't had opportunities on goal. Carlos probably had eight or nine efforts on goal and if he continues to do that the goals will come."

With their fine away record, Blackpool saw no need to change their positive approach and produced an early opportunity when Joe Hart was forced to swat away a curling effort from Gary Taylor-Fletcher.

Johnson is not alone in having his problems with City's manager Roberto Mancini, and yesterday was the first time he had started successive Premier League matches this season, but he made the difference for his side who were without Mario Balotelli due to a minor knee injury. Taylor-Fletcher failed to get enough distance as he headed away Silva's corner and Johnson's drive deflectedoff Stephen Crainey and past Richard Kingson. Two minutes later, Yaya Touré was on a typical burst in the area when he was hauled over by Luke Varney but Tevez wasted the chance to add a second from the penalty spot.

It was typical of his afternoon and with Blackpool seeming to break forward after each missed opportunity it could have cost City. There were further misses when he was sent clear by Touré only to fall over after he had dribbled past Kingson and he also glanced a header wide from James Milner's cross.

With the crowd becoming increasingly anxious, Hart turned a shot over the bar from Neal Eardley and from the corner that followed the goalkeeper had to tip away Brett Ormerod's header. "If improvement was a piece of string it would go from here to Blackpool and back again for every one of my players," Blackpool manager Ian Holloway said. "Putting Matt Phillips on gave us hope and belief because he's not scared of anything or anyone. He pulled one playerinside out and he was taken off and then he did it to the new bloke and I was wondering if they had any more left-backs to put on.

"We've proved a few people wrong and hopefully we'll continue to do that. We were going to be the worst team ever. Six points after Christmas it said in one paper. I don't read papersanymore, I just look at the pictures. I don't think we'll get 96 points but I just want as many as we can possibly get, to play like we did."

After scoring his goal, Johnson revealed a t-shirt with "RIP Dale" as a tribute to his friend, the Rushden goalkeeper Dale Roberts, who killed himself last month.

Attendance: 47,296

Referee: Mark Clattenburg

Man of the match: Y Touré

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent