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Queens Park Rangers Football Club and Mark Hughes returned to the Etihad this afternoon, the first meeting between the clubs since that unforgettable day at the end of last season where both parties had great cause for celebration. There was nothing of the sort this time though as Rangers were surprisingly competitive in spite of a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Manchester City.
Yaya Toure converted from a corner as City asserted themselves early on. An onslaught was on the cards but Rangers took it to half time after which they came out rejuvenated. Bobby Zamora equalized after Joe Hart could only parry Andy Johnson's stinging shot. The Blues regained the lead shortly after though as Carlos Tevez set up Edin Dzeko to head in at near post. Thereafter Rangers took the game to City for the second and had decent openings come their way. Right at the death City scored again â€“ like in May â€“ through Tevez to secure three points for Roberto Mancini's team.
Rangers will take heart from their performance though, especially their second half response. For City, three points is all that matters in what is going to be a long season. (Full match Report)
Manchester City :
Joe Hart 5/10
Virtually dormant in the first period, kept substantially busier in the second as Rangers created many an opening.
Pablo Zabaleta 6/10
Spent most of the first half linking up with Silva, curled one onto the bar. Substituted late in the game.
Vincent Kompany 4/10
Little to do for the captain initially, he was turned by Johnson for the Rangers opening goal. Pressured for a while by Rangers possession.
Joleon Lescott 5/10
Easy opening 45 mins for the Englishman on his return, but it was far more complex after the interval. Managed well enough in the end though
Alexander Kolarov 5/10
Attacked with aplomb in the first half doing business with Nasri. Had much more defending to do later on.
Yaya Toure 4/10
Scored the first from a loose ball in the box but was not his usual commanding self. Little sluggish overall from City's main man.
Jack Rodwell 4/10
Started brightly alongside Yaya but he too could not impose himself in the game. Seems to be more occupied with defensive duties under Mancini.
David Silva 7/10
Wandered from right to left, silky touches from the Spaniard, close control and incisive passing. Good outing overall. Taken off for Milner.
Samir Nasri 6/10
Along with Silva, Nasri was City's primary outlet while getting forward. Involved in many chances for the home team.
Carlos Tevez 7/10
Sprightly display in the first half, he assisted both Yaya's and Dzeko's goals. Justly rewarded with the third goal. The Argentine looks to be in menacing form this season.
Edin Dzeko 6/10
Scored to regain the lead, Dzeko played well enough to command another start. Movement was positive and held the ball well in tight corners.
Kolo Toure 3/10
On for Zabaleta, didn't have much to do in the end.
On for Silva in a defensive role to protect City lead.
Late entry but made a crucial block to prevent Park from running through.
Unused Subs: Pantilimon, Clichy, Sinclair, Balotelli
Queens Park Rangers:
Robert Green 5/10
Kept on his toes for the entire opening half, Green might have done better helping out his defenders by collecting corners. Could not do much for the other goals.
Jose Bosingwa 5/10
Had to deal with Nasri and Kolarov's overlapping runs, got forward on a few occasions as the game wore on. Decent stuff from the Portuguese.
Ryan Nelsen 5/10
Had his task cut out, making several blocks and interceptions. Slow to cover for City's second goal but commendable show from the veteran, who also had a couple of chances to equalize at the other end.
Anton Ferdinand 5/10
A tough assignment for Anton, having to fend off Dzeko's strength and Tevez's trickery. Suffered a bad clash with Kolarov which led to him being replaced soon after.
Unable to get forward due to the constant threat down his side. Not afraid to the tackle and typically feisty. Sloppy crosses after doing well to make space for himself.
Shaun Wright Parker 4/10
Few touches in the first half for the winger, generally not in the game.
Esteban Granero 5/10
The new import was a steady presence in the middle of the park, his technique standing out. His partnership with Faurlin could be one of the more interesting ones this season.
Provided cover to the defence for most part in the initial stages, he showed glimpses of understanding with Granero. Substituted for Dyer on 72 mins.
Ji Sung Park 7/10
Starting on the left but drifting in to assist attacks, the Korean led by example. Played smart passes and moved into spaces. Industrious as ever.
Bobby Zamora 4/10
Picked up the pieces in a fruitless first half. Popped up to score the equalizer but would have liked to do more.
Chased down whatever little was handed to him in the first half, he created the equalizing goal with some smart play at the edge of the box. Full of running.
Replaced Ferdinand for the final twenty minutes. Much to do as Rangers left space open for counter attacks.
On for Faurlin, but was not able to create any opportunity with time running out.
Came on for Granero as QPR went searching for the equalizer with time running out.
Unused Subs: Murphy, Hoilett, Derry, Mackie.
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