CARDIFF CITY 3 MANCHESTER CITY 2
Manuel Pellegrini was given a rude awakening to the realities of the Barclays Premier League when Cardiff City came from behind to beat Manchester City 3-2 with the help of a second half double strike by former Manchester United striker Frazier Campbell.
After 50 years out of the top flight the Welsh side were determined to put on a good show for their fans in their first home match in the Premier League and they matched their illustrious visitors for workrate during the first half of a breakneck speed contest in which Campbell and Peter Whittingham terrorised City’s makeshift defence which featured midfielder Javi Garcia in place of injured captain Vincent Kompany.
City took the lead through Edin Dzeko early in the second half after Sergio Aguero’s backheel created space for the Bosnian. It could have been business as usual thereafter but Cardiff refused to be overawed though and levelled just seven minutes later when Aron Gunnarsson poached a deserved equaliser.
Joe Hart hadn’t had the best of games when he saved Campbell’s goalbound shot but spilled the ball and the Icelandic midfielder reacted first.
Despite the setback City seemed to be taking a grip on proceedings as the home side began to tire but they were hit with a sucker punch when Campbell struck twice in less than 10 minutes at the end of the game with a pair of headers from corners to put Cardiff 3-1 up as City’s goalkeeper and defence continued to flounder.
Alvaro Negredo came on and scored his first goal for City from David Silva’s cross in six minutes of added time to reduce the deficit and there was room for nail biting late drama as Sergio Aguero hit the side netting as City chased the equaliser.