Manchester City maintained their unbeaten start to the season with a close fought 3-2 win over QPR at Loftus Road to preserve their five point leave over rivals United at the top of the Premier League.
Roberto Mancini’s have walked over teams at times this season but were far from their best and were made to sweat in West London as Rangers produced a performance worthy of ending City’s undefeated streak. Neil Warnock’s side were superb as they brought the Manchester millionaires crashing back down to Earth with arguably their best home display of the season in a game where the odds were stacked firmly against them. Their cause wasn’t helped by the absence of mercurial midfielder Adel Taarabt and hard man Shaun Derry. On the flip side the visitors boasted a legion of international stars with the inform David Silva deployed in a devastating attacking trio alongside Edin Dzeko and Sergio Aguero. However they, along with the rest of the City side, struggled to contain the R’s as they came straight out of the traps from the first whistle.
Heidar Helguson threatened twice early on giving the City defence a few jitters before Jay Bothroyd opened the scoring just before the half hour rising highest to power home a header from Joey Barton’s superb free kick delivery. Instead of resting on their laurels the home side continued in the same vein with Jamie Mackie’s long range effort forcing Joe Hart into a save with Helguson’s headed follow up ruled out for offside. Bothroyd then came close to doubling his tally striking the post with a low effort and it proved costly as the visitors woke the away side up from their slumber to equalise two minutes before half time. Dzeko, earlier denied by a superb block from Anton Ferdinand, got the better of him taking James Milner’s pass in his stride before finishing past Paddy Kenny.
They could have led at the break after Aguero struck the post from 25-yards but that late revival gave City the imputes in the second half and it wasn’t long before they took the lead through the majestic Silva on 52 minutes. The Spaniard controlled Dzeko’s pass brilliantly before hammering the ball past Kenny as the game started to swung in their direction. Despite that Ranger’s continued to endeavour forward and were rewarded for their persistence with an equaliser on 69 minutes with Bothroyd’s header from Armand Traore’s cross striking the back of Helguson to wrong foot Hart and send the Loftus Road crowd wild. Still it was only a matter of time before City scored a third and it duly came 14 minutes from time through their midweek hero. Yaya Toure had scored twice against Villarreal in the Champions League on Wednesday and was at it again to secure all three points for Mancini’s men rising highest to power Aleksander Kolarov’s cross in to make sure City go into the international break unbeaten and clear at the Premier League summit.