Quickfire Tevez treble keeps City in title race

Manchester City 3 West Bromwich Albion 0: Faithful honour a light-blue legend before skipper sinks all-at-sea Albion

In time-honoured Manchester fashion, the skies wept for Neil Young, the late, greatly underrated Manchester City forward who died last week. Another deluge, in the form of a 13-minute hat-trick by Carlos Tevez on his 27th birthday, deepened West Bromwich's relegation worries and dragged City back into the title race the Argentinian had claimed they were no longer in.

Tevez's gloomy rationale was that one point from games with Aston Villa and Birmingham had left Roberto Mancini's side too far off the pace. Albion were rather more accommodating. In a boost to morale before next Saturday's derby at Old Trafford, Tevez converted two first-half penalties either side of a superbly worked goal as City comfortably maintained their record of never having lost in the 25 games in which their captain has scored.

Deputising for Mancini, who had a sore throat, David Platt said the only disappointment was that City did not add to their haul after half-time. "But the clean sheet is a bonus," he said. "Next week is a very difficultgame, especially with 80 per cent of our players disappearing to play in internationals. But Robbie [Mancini]believes he can win every match."

The City manager has yet to lose to an Italian counterpart in five games in England. Roberto Di Matteo, who styles himself head coach at Albion, magnanimously commended City's "movement" but was frustrated that the penalties had stemmed from mistakes rather than incisive play by the home side.

City had marked the 66-year-old Young's passing with an honour guard of former players, including Colin Bell, Francis Lee and Mike Summerbee from the 1967-68 championship-winning side in which he was top scorer. Mancini joined thousands of fans in sporting a scarf in red and black, the colours Joe Mercer's team wore when Young's goal won the FA Cup in 1969.

Young came from south Manchester. This match, however, belonged to a South American. Tevez hinted at what was to come as early as the fourth minute when he stretched to meet a cross by Aleksandar Kolarov and sent the ball against the near post. Kolarov, "promoted" from full-back to midfield for the first time, unleashed one swerving, long-range drive which left the crossbar quivering even after Boaz Myhill had laid fingertips on the ball.

Almost inevitably, the Serb and the Argentinian were the principal figures when City went ahead. Steven Reid, a midfielder playing at right-back, got himself into a bad position and was adjudged to have brought down Kolarov. Tevez, having missed his previous two spot-kicks, placed the ball to Myhill's left as the goalkeeper plunged to the right.

The decision compounded Albion's sense of grievance over penalties. Already this year they have been refused one, for a challenge by Gary Neville, that would serve as a dictionary definition for "stonewall", and it happened again last week when a stray Wigan hand cleared the ball.

Five minutes later, City needed no assistance from the referee, Martin Atkinson. An intricate one-two with David Silva saw Tevez race on to an exquisitely angled pass, skip over Jonas Olsson's attempted tackle and spear his second goal into the far corner of Myhill's net. It seemed harsh on Albion, who had tested Joe Hart with a shot by Chris Brunt and an Olsson header before City scored, and there was worse to come.

A Kolarov cross was headed out by Nicky Shorey. As the ball bounced, Jerome Thomas stuck out an arm to control it. Myhill was closer as Tevez drove the penalty kick high to his right, but not close enough to prevent his goal tally for the season reaching 20. Albion kept going forward, but the scoreline remained a fitting tribute to Young's memory.

Attendance: 46,846

Referee: Martin Atkinson

Man of the match: Tevez

Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and Clara have their first real heart to heart since he regenerated in 'Deep Breath'
TV
Life and Style
Apple showed no sign of losing its talent for product launches with the new, slightly larger iPhone 6 making headlines
techSecurity breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Oliver
filmTV chef Jamie Oliver turned down role in The Hobbit
News
The official police photograph of Dustin Diamond taken after he was arrested in Wisconsin
peopleDownfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson, left, and Richard Hammond upset the locals in South America
tvReview: Top Gear team flee Patagonia as Christmas special reaches its climax in the style of Butch and Sundance
News
people
Sport
Ashley Barnes of Burnley scores their second goal
footballMan City vs Burnley match report
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca alongside Harrison Ford's Han Solo in 'Star Wars'
film
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Man of action: Christian Bale stars in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
Arts and Entertainment
Tracy Emin's 1998 piece 'My Bed' on display at Christie's
artOne expert claims she did not
News
Ernesto Che Guevara and Fidel Castro, right, met at Havana Golf Club in 1962 to mock the game
newsFidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
News
Hackers revealed Oscar-winning actress Lawrence was paid less than her male co-stars in American Hustle
people
Arts and Entertainment
Clueless? Locked-door mysteries are the ultimate manifestation of the cerebral detective story
booksAs a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Sport
Robin van Persie is blocked by Hugo Lloris
footballTottenham vs Manchester United match report
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

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?