2016 – City Go Easy On Watford
It’s fair to say that over the last few years, Watford had become City’s whipping boys, but in 2016, Pep Guardiola was just getting used to the Premier League and Watford weren’t the easy ride they would become.
The blues were fourth in the league, seven points behind leaders Chelsea, while Watford were in a respectable 9th, just nine points behind the blues. City hadn’t won a home league match since beating Bournemouth 4-0 on 17th September and had lost their last two matches – 3-1 at home to Chelsea and 4-2 at Leicester.
It was all about the result than the performance and a goal by Pablo Zabaleta in the 33rd minutes was added to with four minutes remaining by David Silva, making his 200th appearance for the club.
Final Score: City 2-0 Watford
2002 – City Leave It Late To Deny Charlton
It was the battle of the mid-table teams on this day in 2002 as City travelled to The Valley to face Charlton. The blues sat in 12th place in the league with their hosts one place above them, equal on points and with an identical record – won 7, drawn 2, lost 8 with City’s goal difference worse than Charlton’s by a solitary goal.
Kevin Keegan’s City had beaten Sunderland 3-0 at the Stadium of Light five days earlier and were looking to leapfrog the Londoners in the league.
After a goalless first half, it was clear why these two were in mid-table, but the home side took the lead six minutes into the second half. Kevin Lisbie was brought down in the box and Jason Euall, who had earlier committed a nasty challenge on Eyal Berkovic, dispatched the resulting penalty. It got worse for City eleven minutes later when substitute Claus Jensen made it 2-0 from Lisbie’s pass.
But City weren’t to be beaten and eleven minutes later, they were back in the game. Ali Benarbia laid the ball off for Marc-Vivien Foe to pull a goal back. Nicolas Anelka was denied a penalty, but Foe had the final word to score the equalizer with three minutes to go.
Final Score: Charlton 2-2 City
1991 – Blues Throw It Away Against QPR
In the final ever First Division season, City were one of the better teams in the league. Manager Peter Reid had got the team playing, guiding them up to fourth in the league by the time QPR arrived at Maine Road.
But the blues had stuttered in recent games, having won just once in six games. Their opponents sat in 17th place, just four points above the relegation zone and for a while, City looked like they were piling on the pressure.
Michael Hughes played a defence-splitting pass to David White, and the speedy winger took a touch before firing into the bottom corner on 13 minutes. The blues were in cruise control 12 minutes later when Hughes’ weaving run was ended with a trip inside the penalty area and the referee pointed straight to the spot. Steve Redmond stepped up to take the penalty and when it was saved, Keith Curle was on hand to bury the rebound.
Nine minutes after the restart and a smart turn on the ball by Roy Wegerle created enough space to fire home and halve the deficit. The visitors were awarded a penalty when Curle was judged to have brought down a QPR man, but Wegerle’s penalty was saved by Tony Coton. But that was just a reprieve for the blues. With two minutes left, City conceded a corner and poor defending allowed Dennis Bailey to equalise.
Final Score: City 2-2 QPR