Thursday, 21 October 2010

Manchester City 3 Lech Poznan 1: Hat-trick hero Adebayor feels Rooney factor

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQRYLVBiMOUendofvid

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By CHRIS WHEELER

Behind you: Emmanuel Adebayor was left unmarked to head home his second


The most controversial of transfers may still be some way off, but it would appear Wayne Rooney is already having a positive effect on Manchester City.

Because if talk of the Old Trafford talisman crossing the Manchester divide has got City's current crop of strikers worrying about what the future might hold, it certainly raised Emmanuel Adebayor from his slumber last night.

The Togo forward had done little to justify his �25million price tag and inflated wages since arriving from Arsenal last year. Indeed, he had not scored since May 1 and many thought that could have been his last goal in a City shirt after a summer spent agitating for a move.

But handed the striker's role in place of captain Carlos Tevez last night, and surrounded by speculation that Rooney could be set to join his former United team-mate at Eastlands, Adebayor responded with a hat-trick of real quality to cement top spot in Group A for Roberto Mancini's side.

Mancini said: 'It was an excellent performance from Manu. It was very important for us and for him because strikers need to score. It's important for Manu he finds a way to play well for the team, and he could play against Arsenal on Sunday now.

'He and Tevez can play together. Usually my teams play with two strikers. But this was a good day for Manu and for the squad.'

Adebayor's first goal brought a ribald, rhyming chant from the stands that began: 'If Rooney's right …' but that was about the only mention of the United man.


Hat-trick hero: Emmanuel Adebayor makes the game safe for City with his third


These are early days. It is too soon to taunt their rivals, too early to risk singing the name of a player who might, just might, perform a dramatic U-turn and sign a new contract with their reviled neighbours.

So by the Rooney rule of thumb, can City match the ambitions he claims United cannot? They certainly have the money. And surely they will soon be leaving the Europa League behind, given the players at Mancini's disposal.


Like Sir Alex Ferguson 24 hours earlier, he also made changes but this was by no means a weak City side. In came Adebayor and Patrick Vieira. Hardly B-team material. Maybe it was the prospect of a more important meeting with Arsenal - the fixture which last season saw Adebayor banned for raking his studs down Robin van Persie's face and running the length of the pitch to celebrate in front of Gunners fans - or a pre-match tribute to former manager Malcolm Allison, but the atmosphere inside Eastlands seemed subdued.

At times the 6,000 fans who turned out to offer Poznan noisy support made it feel like a home game for the Polish side, even though they were temporarily silenced by two goals from Adebayor inside 25 minutes.

The first followed a sublime piece of skill after 13 minutes. Vieira slid a pass towards the edge of the area and Adebayor left Bartosz Bosacki chasing shadows with an exquisite dragback before slipping the ball beyond keeper Jasmin Buric.

It was a wonderful moment from the striker and a glimpse of what he can do when he puts his mind to it.

His second after 25 minutes was equally clinical and also required hard work - a quality that has hardly been his hallmark at City.

Adebayor got a flick to Joe Hart's long kick downfield and then turned to race towards goal, anticipating a cross into the middle. Vieira again played a part, knocking the ball wide to David Silva on the right, and his pass picked out the big striker, who rose to guide a header into the bottom corner.

This was far from a procession for City, however. The Poles threatened throughout and were well worth the goal that came their way five minutes after half-time.


Noisy Backing: More than 8,000 Lech Poznan fans turned out

Adam Johnson gave away possession on the left flank and Joleon Lescott was slow to close down Slawomir Peszko as he latched on to the loose ball. Peszko went down under the defender's challenge but referee Alexandru Tudor waved away Poznan's penalty claims and, in the scramble that followed, Joel Tshibabma buried his shot past Hart from 12 yards.

But this was Adebayor's night, and he rounded off a fine hat-trick in the 73rd minute. Silva was involved again, taking a pass from Shaun Wright-Phillips and curling a wonderful ball into the path of his striker, who met it with a first-time finish with his right foot.
Maybe they don't need Rooney after all.



source :dailymail
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