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Posted on 10 January 2006  - 12:00

We maintained our unbeaten record at the City of Manchester Stadium with a 2-0 win courtesy of goals from Mido and Robbie Keane.

We maintained our unbeaten record at the City of Manchester Stadium with a 2-0 win courtesy of goals from Mido and Robbie Keane.

Aaron Lennon was the architect of the opening strike, as he was of most of our attacking cut and thrust. It was not a game packed with incident and goalmouth action, but the team did a professional job to register a fourth away win of the season that takes our tally of points to a healthy 40 points with 17 games remaining.

It was only half - or not even that - chances in the opening 15 minutes as the teams sized each other up with neither establishing a genuine foothold in the encounter. Both Aaron Lennon and Lee Young-Pyo got played into some useful wide positions and, while Lennon made the wrong choice from the right, Lee failed to deliver from the left flank.

Jermaine Jenas, who was an energetic early presence in his favoured central role, made a smart interception after 18 minutes and played Mido into a shooting position, but the Egyptian was foiled by a block from the burly Richard Dunne. Five minutes later a Michael Carrick drive flashed just wide of David James' left hand upright.

City were not without their territory and Trevor Sinclair was causing difficulties down the right, forcing Carrick to get in a tangle with his former West Ham team mate. From the resulting free-kick, Michael Dawson managed to head behind before Dunne failed to keep his header down from the subsequent corner.

The determination of Lennon in hunting down a Paul Stalteri throughball when Sylvain Distin was clear favourite paid rich dividends on 31 minutes. Distin was attempting to shield the ball out of play but reckoned without our rapier winger who zipped in behind, nicked the ball just before the line and cut back in the direction of Mido, who slotted home his ninth goal of the season - his sixth in nine Premiership games.

Lennon was posing ex-Spur Ben Thatcher all sorts of problems down the right and it perhaps should have been two when he crossed into the centre and Mido deflected into the path of Robbie Keane, whose shot veered wide.

The boys contained a re-charged City with some comfort at the beginning of the second half and Lennon was again giving the home defenders some sprinting practice on the counter

From one such sortie, Keane could perhaps have done better when presented with a shooting opportunity.

Stuart Pearce then made an unpopular decision with the home support by withdrawing Nedum Onuoha with David Sommeil, especially with the left flank seemingly being the least of his problems.

The offside flag thwarted the thrusts of Keane a few times as the game entered its final third, his bursts came from the brilliant promptings of Carrick and Jenas in the middle. It could be argued the Jenas has had his two best games in our colours here and last time out against Newcastle. He appears to be developing a real edge to his game, some snap and crackle to go with his pop, if you like...

City started to pick up a bit of momentum, reflected by the increase in noise level from the crowd of 40,808. It was a time to stand firm, in line and be alive to the break. They had to stand tall to face up to a run from the rampaging Joey Barton on 68 minutes. Anthony Gardner then came to the rescue when the ball hit Stalteri and fell invitingly in front of goal. Full marks to the big fella.

There followed a bit of a flashpoint when Michael Brown upended Barton and was booked, but a worse challenge came straight after by Sommeil on Lee, the full-back being taken off on a stretcher.

Brown responed by zooming a shot just wide after James had earlier mishandled with Mido failing to capitalise.

No such problems with Keane on 83 minutes when a Paul Robinson punt was flicked on by Mido into the path of the livewire Robbie, who planted the ball firm and true past James and into the bottom right hand corner of the net.

Game over.