Post Match Thoughts: City 3 - 1 West Brom

Laurence Griffiths

A bright start before tailing off but the three points keeps City's hopes alive.

Down and out less than a week ago, Manchester City responded with a 3-1 victory to keep their slim title hopes alive and in doing so showed they still may have some fight remaining in this Premier League season.

Perhaps irked by the coronation of Liverpool as champions-in-waiting following their win at Norwich on Sunday, there was an early verve and intent to City's play. They may have been stung into action, but it looked apparent that they had designs on making a statement of intent.

The incentive is certainly there for City. It will require a slip up from Liverpool along the way but should they do so City could find themselves in position to strike. The permutations are simple though: five games remaining, five wins realistically needed.

There was certainly no early sign of the mental or physical tiredness that afflicted their play in the recent Sunderland game, the return of the talented David Silva being the catalyst. Never too far from the ball, Silva was key in everything City did -elevating the play of those around him and his withdrawal with an ankle injury caused consternation all-round.

And, just like the Sunderland game, City started fast and were a goal to the good with barely two minutes on the clock. This time around, though, that was not to be the apex of their evening as Sergio Aguero, having made the opener, doubled the lead with a beautiful curled shot into the bottom corner.

City's progress was checked with a goal for West Brom, the by-product of what was a free-kick in an attacking position that they somehow contrived to concede in calamitous fashion.

Damaging individual mistakes have hit City far too often this season and they were grateful to the third member of their Argentinean contingent, Martin Demichelis, who bundled home at the far post to restore their two-goal lead.

Silva's injury led to a final 20 minutes or so that owed more to graft than style with tired legs coming into play as West Brom threatened the City goal but without Joe Hart being truly tested.

They were grateful though for the early cushion. Had they had to chase the game or find a way to unlock West Brom's defence late on, it could have proved beyond them as their second-half performance lacked the pace and impetus that was a feature of their early performance.

But City achieved what was needed; winning the first of their remaining five games to serve notice that the red ribbons on the Premier League may have to wait that bit longer. They remain in the race then but still face an uphill battle to come out on top - one which will be that bit harder depending upon the outcome of David Silva's injury.

Article first appeared in The Metro.

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