City make their point the hard way
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Man City 3 Wolves 3
Match Report by Simon Codling for Get Your Kits Out at the City of Manchester Stadium Saturday April 10 2004
Shaun-Wright Phillips (pictured right) grabbed a dramatic injury-time equaliser to rescue a point for Manchester City against Wolves as the two Barclaycard Premiership strugglers played to a 3-3 draw in a barnstorming clash at Eastlands.
enry Camara's 78th-minute strike had looked enough to secure all three points for Dave Jones' bottom-of-the-table side until City's England hopeful ensured a share of the spoils.
After racing into a 2-0 lead after 23 minutes through Mark Kennedy and Carl Cort, the visitors contrived to squander their advantage and allow the hosts to pull level at the break courtesy of Nicolas Anelka and Antoine Sibierski.
City assistant boss, holding fort in the absence of Kevin Keegan, made three changes to the side that salvaged a point at Aston Villa last weekend.
Anelka and Robbie Fowler returned at the expense of John Macken and Paulo Wanchope, while Sibierski filled the void created by the absence of Claudio Reyna, who missed because of an ankle injury.
Wolves manager Jones handed Isaac Okoronkwo his first Barclaycard Premiership start since the Nigerian international's arrival at Molineux from Shakhtar Donetsk in the summer.
Also returning to the Wolves line-up were Mark Clyde, Shaun Newton and Colin
Cameron, as the visitors looked for the points to keep their survival hopes
Okoronkwo made two confidence-boosting interceptions early on - first, easily halting Fowler's progress before cutting out Anelka's through-ball destined for the former England international.
Camara should have given the visitors the lead after David James could only palm Shaun Newton's shot into the path of the Senegalese forward, who directed his header wide.
Fowler then forced Paul Jones into an excellent one-handed save with a low shot after Steve McManaman had put his former Liverpool teammate clear on goal.
Kennedy forgets he was a Blue once!!
Wolves made the breakthrough after 13 minutes when Michael Tarnat cleared Camara's corner into the path of Kennedy, who unleashed a fierce shot past James from 25 yards out.
The visitors doubled their lead midway through the half, when Naylor bundled Wright-Phillips over en route to a pass by Kennedy, before crossing into the City box.
Camara beat Tarnat to be ball before blasting into James' body, and Cort was on hand to tuck home the rebound.
The visitors were pegged back a minute later when Anelka rose highest to head home Tarnat's
After taking advantage of some shambolic defending by City, Camara almost grabbed a third for the visitors, but saw his toe-poke come off the post.
City capitalised on their good fortune by drawing level six minutes before the break, with Tarnat again the provider, this time curling in a free-kick for Sibierski to head home unaccosted.
Camara took the wrong option just after the break when he opted to go solo instead of cutting back for Cort, who was in acres of space at the far post.
When Denis Irwin, who had come on for Clyde after the break fouled Anelka, Paul Butler did well to clear Tarnat's resultant free-kick.
Fowler was next too take the wrong option when he opted for a first-time volley instead of bringing the ball under control first, and as a result the former Leeds forward dragged his effort wide.
Wolves regained the lead with 12 minutes to play when Camara latched on to a lose ball after James could only parry Kennedy's free-kick.
And with injury time at the end of 90 minutes ticking away, the visitors thought they had done enough to repel relentless late pressure by the home side until Wright-Phillips' cruel last-gasp intervention to deny Wolves a first away league win of the season.
Again it was one of Tarnat's trademark set-pieces into the box, and this time Wolves failed to clear and Wright-Phillips was on hand to drill home the equaliser.
The result leaves Wolves seven points from safety, while City are three points away from the relegation zone.
Man City: James, Jihai, Dunne, Distin, Tarnat, Wright-Phillips, Bosvelt (Barton
72), Sibierski, McManaman, Anelka, Fowler (Wanchope 72).
Subs Not Used: Arason, Macken, Sinclair.
Wolverhampton: Jones, Clyde (Irwin 45), Okoronkwo, Butler, Naylor, Newton (Gudjonsson 66), Cameron, Ince, Kennedy, Cort, Camara (Miller 90).
Subs Not Used: Oakes, Ganea.
Referee: J Winter (Cleveland). Return to Main Page