Tevez strikes as City close gap to United

Manchester City 4 West Bromwich Albion 0

Carlos Tevez scored for the first time in 11 months as Manchester City sparked back into life to keep their faint title hopes alive tonight.

Sergio Aguero struck twice and David Silva was on target in a routine defeat of West Brom as City, perhaps belatedly, showed why they were once firm favourites for the Premier League crown.

Manchester United's failure to beat Wigan meant the gap at the top was cut to five points, and with a derby to come the game may not yet be up, but it could still be too little too late.

City suffered an apparently fatal blow to their title chances as they slumped to defeat at Arsenal on Sunday but they lived up to promises to go down fighting as they returned to the Etihad Stadium.

For much of the game they were a side far removed from the tension-ridden one of recent weeks and played much more like the carefree team they were in the autumn.

City were without injured lynchpin Yaya Toure while the suspended Mario Balotelli was present only in an executive box.

Tevez's first start since his much-publicised dispute with the club gave the side a different look while West Brom, making five changes after manager Roy Hodgson claimed they were virtually safe, offered little.

They was a further change in the middle as referee Lee Mason, involved in controversy in United's weekend win over QPR, was replaced by Kevin Friend.

City began well with Aguero breaking into the box in the opening minutes and cutting back, only to have his shot blocked.

The opener came after just six minutes as Aguero collected the ball midway inside the West Brom half and ran diagonally towards goal before lashing in a low shot past Ben Foster from 25 yards.

City looked back to their best as Aguero and Samir Nasri combined to set up Tevez, but he blasted over.

The fit-again Silva, whose outstanding early season form has tailed off in recent months, then skipped into the area and beat Foster only to get in a tangle with Tevez.

Silva linked better with Tevez moments later but Foster parried his close-range shot.

Micah Richards should have doubled the lead just after the half hour as he timed his run onto Tevez's pass perfectly and cut back to shoot past Foster, but Craig Dawson blocked on the line.

Graham Dorrans shot straight at Joe Hart as West Brom made a rare foray forward but City began to slow as the first half wore on.

Tevez turned nicely to release Silva but the Spaniard was caught and it was not until after the interval City regained their zest.

Nasri volleyed wide from a Silva cross soon after the restart and City really started to lift themselves as news filtered through to the crowd that United had fallen behind at Wigan.

City's second came in the 54th minute as Nasri seized on a poor clearance and slipped in Aguero to slide the ball past Foster.

It almost immediately got worse for the Baggies as Nasri found space and shot narrowly wide and Youssouf Mulumbu headed an Aguero cross-shot off the line.

Tevez claimed his goal on the hour, the Argentinian finding himself in the right place to tuck home an Aguero cut-back from a Nasri pass.

That proved Tevez's final involvement as he was replaced moments later by Adam Johnson but City continued to pour forward.

A fourth goal duly arrived after Jonas Olsson conceded possession to Aguero and he quickly released Silva, who took the ball in his stride and sublimely chipped the advancing Foster.

After that, City then seemed to put their cue on the rack and play out time.

Edin Dzeko came on for the outstanding Aguero after 73 minutes and much of City's cutting edge appeared to go with the Argentinian.

City seemed happy to wind down the clock safe in the knowledge that victory had been assured.

Nasri attempted to set up Dzeko with a delicate chip in the closing moments but the Bosnian was unable to make the most of the opportunity.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Life and Style
A nurse tends to a recovering patient on a general ward at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham
health
News
science
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
News
Chuck Norris pictured in 1996
people
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Lucas, I SCREAM DADDIO, Installation View, British Pavilion 2015
artWhy Sarah Lucas is the perfect choice to represent British art at the Venice Biennale
News
A voter placing a ballot paper in the box at a polling station
i100
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
The Queen (Kristin Scott Thomas) in The Audience
theatreReview: Stephen Daldry's direction is crisp in perfectly-timed revival
Sport
football
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power