Robinho fires City to rare away win
Robinho fired Manchester City to only their second away win in the league this season with a 2-1 victory as Everton showed the effects of their recent efforts against Manchester United and Chelsea.sports Updated: Apr 25, 2009 22:15 IST
Robinho fired Manchester City to only their second away win in the league this season with a 2-1 victory as Everton showed the effects of their recent efforts against Manchester United and Chelsea.
The Brazilian striker scored City's opener and then set up Stephen Ireland for their second as the visitors claimed their first win at Goodison Park since 1992.
Substitute Dan Gosling claimed an injury-time consolation for Everton but City were always in control against the FA Cup finalists.
A reported training ground bust-up with manager Mark Hughes did not prevent England defender Micah Richards from being included in the City starting XI as a replacement for the injured Pablo Zabaleta.
Everton made four changes from the midweek goalless draw at Chelsea. Defenders Tony Hibbert and Phil Jagielka came in for Lars Jacobsen and Joleon Lescott, Marouane Fellaini replaced Tim Cahill and Louis Saha came in up front for the on-loan Jo, who was ineligible to play against his parent club.
Robinho has been criticised for some lacklustre performances in the club's away fixtures but City's Brazilian forward appeared in the mood as he mesmerised Hibbert with multiple stepovers before tumbling in the box.
The referee was unimpressed and it was Everton who registered the first shot on target although Saha's effort scarcely troubled Shay Given.
At the other end, Tim Howard had to pull off a full-stretch save to keep out Robinho's strike after Elano's shot had been blocked by Leighton Baines.
Left-back Baines came to Everton's rescue once more, snuffing out the danger when Ireland was sent through the middle by Felipe Caicedo.
But the defender was powerless to prevent City from taking the lead in the 35th minute.
Hibbert's forward punt was headed down by Nedum Onuoha and Elano's brilliant first-time pass sent Robinho racing down the left and he left Jagielka trailing before slotting his finish through Howard's legs.
Everton might have equalised just before half-time but Saha's header from Hibbert's inviting cross sailed over the bar.
The home side continued to press after the break only to be floored by a rapid counterattack from City nine minutes after the restart.
From wide on the left, Robinho picked out Ireland's run and the midfielder finished smoothly.
It took another good save from Howard to deny Robinho a second goal and Everton's afternoon took another turn for the worse when Jagielka was carried off on a stretcher with what appeared to be an injury to his left knee.
Seven minutes of injury time gave Gosling the time to claim his consolation effort but Moyes never looked like he would be able to enjoy his 46th birthday.