On 11th September 2010, Roberto Mancini’s City took on Sam Allardyce’s Blackburn Rovers at the Etihad Stadium. After three games, the blues had drawn at Spurs, beaten Liverpool and lost at Sunderland and Rovers were to prove tough opposition for Mancini’s men.
And the blues would have easier games as Rovers took the lead in the first half, which was held until the 56th minute when Patrick Vieira made it 1-1. The result marked the start of a five match unbeaten run for the blues, who would win the next four before losing at home to Arsenal.
For some reason and with a couple of exceptions, City have always seemed to struggle when playing newly promoted sides early in the season, and that was the case when new boys Reading arrived at the City of Manchester Stadium in 2006. Again, the blues had won, drawn and lost in each of their opening three matches but a trip to Berkshire should have yielded three points.
City’s very brief former boss Steve Coppell had guided Reading to the Premier League and also guided them to a win over the blues as a 23rd minute goal was enough o defeat Stuart Pearce’s men. It was a second successive away defeat for the blues, who wouldn’t win away until 29th November at Aston Villa.
In 1999, the blues emerged from English football’s third tier and set about trying to regain their top flight status. Having won the previous three matches, the blues faced Crystal Palace at Maine Road. The visitors took the lead in the 39th minute, a lead that lasted all of three minutes as Richard Jobson equalised almost immediately.
It took the blues just five minutes of the second half to score the winner through Gareth Taylor to give Joe Royle’s men a fourth victory in six matches, extending their unbeaten run to five games and set them on a journey to promotion at the end of the season.
11th September 1987 saw the blues travel to Gay Meadow and a match with Shrewsbury Town. City had been relegated from the First Division and had only won one of their opening four matches, a 2-1 victory over Plymouth on the opening day of the season.
That winless run would by extended as the young blues failed to break the Shrewsbury defence, but came away with a point, their third successive draw of the season.
In 1976, the blues faced Bristol City in a First Division clash at Maine Road. The visitors team contained a future blue in the form of Gerald ‘Gerrie’ Gow, who would sign for City in October 1980. It wasn’t a happy visit to Maine Road for Gow as his team were beaten 2-1.
Dennis Tueart and Peter Barnes gave the blues a 2-0 half time lead, but still put the fans through hell as they allowed substitute Keith Fear to pull a goal back for Bristol City. The blues hung on to record their second win of the season and maintain their unbeaten start to the season.