The big screens that two hours later were to show Manchester City top of the Premier League began with pictures of Carlos Tevez holding his baby daughter, Katie. More than money – which nobody at Eastlands on Saturday would begrudge him – family is what matters to the man who grew up in the vast impersonal tower blocks, known with too much romanticism as the Army of the Andes.
The frustration that their families were in Buenos Aires while they were playing their football across the Atlantic is what drove both Javier Mascherano and Tevez to demand transfers. However, while Mascherano forced through his move to Barcelona from Liverpool, Tevez remained, ending the spat with a statement declaring his "absolute commitment" to Manchester City. In other hands, this might have been taken as a paper promise to be ignored while his agent, Kia Joorabchian, glided the streets of Madrid and Barcelona looking for an opening. Instead, six days after issuing it, Tevez scored twice at Newcastle and then again here against Wolverhampton on Saturday. The first, a fluid, balletic run at three Wolves defenders, he thought might be his best since he exchanged Old Trafford for Eastlands.
"I'm very happy at Manchester City now," he said. "We've had some disagreements in the past but everything has been sorted."
He was taken off eight minutes before the end – or 13 if you count the five frantic minutes of stoppage time in which Wolves might have snatched a draw from a game they were once losing 4-1. The stadium stood to him and Tevez applauded back. "It was important to thank the fans for their support," he said.
"I don't 'owe' the fans for what happened. All I have to do is score goals and win games and then we can think about winning the title. The feeling is there that we can do it but sometimes we can lose against a weak team and then win against a strong one. But, if we continue to play well, the results will come. This club hasn't won anything for many years and my dream is to win something for the club and something for myself."
At first glance, you would have regarded Wolves as a "weak team" but Mick McCarthy's side has been punching hard and playing with considerably more imagination than the stereotype would suggest. McCarthy, who is not thought to be among the contestants for Celebrity Come Dine With Me, used a baking analogy to describe the performance: Wolves had begun and finished well "but our cake's gone soft in the middle".
His counterpart, Roberto Mancini, admitted he was "angry" at some of the defending "because before this game we had the best defensive record in the Premier League".
Here, though, City showed just how well they can attack.
Man of the match Tevez.
Referee L Mason (Lancashire).
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