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City 3 Middlesbrough 1

Things just keep on getting better.

A fifth straight home victory keeps us well placed in the top three, and perhaps importantly, results elsewhere see us put further distance between ourselves and the teams who will likely be realistic challengers for the European positions.

Three more goals left fans and pundits praising the manner of the performance, with a new king ready to be annointed as Elano once again had the usually reticent Eriksson praising him as he has now well and truly burst on to the national consciousness.

I found it ironic that it was Gareth Southgate - believed to be behind the 'we needed Churchill, we got Ian Duncan-Smith' put down when describing an Eriksson England team-talk, who was the manager who has to turn around a half-time deficit, which of course he failed to do. I think it is clear that Southgate is struggling as a manager - and very much like Stuart Pearce proved, the Premiership is no place for a rookie to be cutting his teeth. Shorn of attacking options in Yakubu and Viduka, I don't envisage Southgate lasting the season.

Following his thunderous free-kick last week, Elano followed this up with a beautifully crafted finished from outside the area following a cheeky back heel from Michael Johnson, and a free-kick which for me surpassed the Newcastle effort. It was perfectly placed and weighted, the ball seeming to almost float into the net as if carried along by a gentle breeze - leaving Schwarzer grasping around to try and keep it out - all to no avail. It was something that I rewound and watched again and again on MOTD2 last night.

As we approach the quarter mark of the season, it is clear that the team is beginning to gel as the players become a lot fitter and benefit from being more familiar with one another - which makes our start even more impressive (and all credit to Eriksson) for us being able to grind results out during the early stages of the season.

One thing Eriksson was keen to point out is that (Bojinov and Isaksson apart) we have been fairly injury free this season, and the squad is light and quality past the obvious starting XI - something which I expect to be rectified in the January transfer window. It is to be hoped that we manage to keep the key players healthy during what will be a testing part of the season.

Reaction:

We played good football and there were good combinations and
Elano scored two fantastic goals.
"I was pleased we scored from a corner as
well. I am very happy.
"Maybe we defender better last weekend than we did
today but that is a minor criticism. We have been doing very well at home and if
we keep going like this, that is very good."
-Sven-Goran Eriksson.

We planned to keep things tight. But we were on the back
foot after an early set-piece.
"We had as much possession as them and
created chances. But we are giving away sloppy goals and that costs you games.
"We had to be more offensive after the break and we had a couple of chances,
but they broke, we conceded a free-kick and they punished us."
-Gareth Southgate.

Reports:

The exhilarating Brazilian samba beat at the heart of Sven-Goran Eriksson's revivified Manchester City thumped out loud and clear again at Eastlands yesterday afternoon as Elano, first with a wonderfully struck right-foot shot, and then with a mischievously chipped free-kick, kept the Blues in the top three and sent the home fans skipping out of the exits with thoughts of Europe and - whoever would have thought it - the Premier league title. -The Guardian.

Manchester City’s renaissance under Sven-Göran Eriksson gathered momentum yesterday when two goals from Elano and Chris Riggott’s defensive blunder secured an emphatic victory for the home side and strengthened their grip on third place in the Barclays Premier League. -Times Online.

Sven-Goran Eriksson says he can't ask any more of Brazilian superstar Elano after Manchester City romped to a 3-1 win over Middlesbrough. -Channel4.com

Boro suffered their fifth defeat in six games on Sunday as they became the latest victims of Sven-Goran Eriksson's stunning start in charge of Manchester City. -Fly me to the moon.