x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Mancini extends winning touch

Two goals from Carlos Tevez and a Javier Garrido free-kick earned Manchester City their first away win in four months

Two goals from Carlos Tevez and a Javier Garrido free-kick earned Manchester City their first away win in four months - and their second victory in three days under new boss Roberto Mancini - against Wolves at Molineux. Tevez continued his hot scoring streak with his seventh and eighth goals in his last seven appearances and his 11th of the campaign. Substitute Garrido, frozen out of the first team picture by previous City boss Mark Hughes, netted the decisive second midway through the second period. It was the first away win in eight league games for City since the 1-0 success at Portsmouth in late August and moved them level on points with fifth-placed Aston Villa. City always looked the more threatening once Mancini had reverted to a 4-4-2 formation midway through the opening period. Craig Bellamy was a constant menace to the Wolves rearguard alongside Tevez and, with more clinical finishing, City could have doubled their final tally. Wolves showed plenty of endeavour and rattled the visitors in the opening quarter of the game but they lacked quality in the final third despite the physical threat of Chris Iwelumo. Their leading scorer Kevin Doyle had the first effort on goal but the club's record signing dragged his 20-yard shot well wide of Shay Given's goal. The first semblance of a chance fell to Wolves with Iwelumo the creator. The Scottish international headed a cross from Michael Mancienne into the path of Andrew Surman 15 yards out but he failed to keep his shot down.

Mancini looked concerned at his side's lack of cohesion and reverted to a 4-4-2 formation with Bellamy playing down the middle alongside Tevez. It appeared to reap its rewards with City immediately looking more comfortable when going forward. But Bellamy was guilty of a dreadful miss just after the half hour mark. Stephen Ireland's first time centre was picked up by Tevez who did well to get to the byline and turn the ball back across the box. Bellamy was the first to react and the goal was gaping but from eight yards out he shot over the bar.

Bellamy made amends by creating the opening goal for Tevez after 33 minutes. He cut in from the left and picked out Tevez whose first-time shot took a deflection off Christophe Berra on its way past Marcus Hahnemann. Wolves tried to retaliate and Pablo Zabaleta became the first player to be yellow carded for a foul on Ronald Zubar. Tevez then showed his worth in a defensive capacity when deflecting George Elokobi's header wide from a Kevin Foley corner. Berra did not return after the interval after landing on his head following a clash with Bellamy and was replaced by Richard Stearman. Bellamy should have doubled City's lead after he beat the offside trap to race onto a pass from Martin Petrov but his shot flew wide of the far post. Wolves responded and Iwelumo shot over when well placed after taking a pass from Surman in his stride. Mancini made his first change with Garrido replacing Stephen Ireland who appeared to have taken a knock and went straight down the players' tunnel. Given was finally called into action just after the hour mark when blocking a shot from Doyle with his legs after the striker had robbed Toure. Foley was booked after bringing down City midfielder Gareth Barry. Mancienne was also booked for a foul on the England player and it led to Garrido doubling their lead.

He curled his free-kick around the defensive wall and past a flat-footed Hahnemann. Wolves boss Mick McCarthy was incensed because he felt Bellamy should have been given offside in the move immediately before the free-kick awarded against Mancienne. Hahnemann's frustration boiled over and he was also booked after hurling the ball in the direction of a referee's assistant. The bookings were coming thick and fast with Tevez cautioned after not retreating at a free-kick. Tevez should have made it 3-0 but chipped his shot wide after good play by Bellamy created the opening. * PA Man of the match: Craig Bellamy