After an unexpectedly great battle that was contested into the final second of the match, it was Manchester City that sneaked out a huge win over Reading, 1-0.
This win continues to prove that Man City is one of the best teams in the English Premier League, and they continue to inch closer to Manchester United for the top spot on the EPL table.
As for Reading, they slip further down the table and into position to be relegated at season's end. Despite looking strong throughout the game, the side is in serious trouble.
In what should have been an offensive showcase for Manchester City, Reading’s usually porous defense stiffened against the improved competition throughout the match.
Both teams had their share of offensive chances in the second half after a tough defensive first half that saw more fouls than anything else. But it wasn’t until Gareth Barry scored his first EPL goal this season in stoppage time that the Blues were able to steal the win.
In what was a defensively pleasing matchup, Manchester City finally snapped out of their funk and netted the goal they desperately needed with just seconds left. The great teams always find a way to pull out a win despite not playing well on a given day.
The official Twitter account of the English Premier League shared a photograph of Man City forward Carlos Tevez expressing his frustration after a tough first half—a feeling that most of those watching at home shared:
Reading’s manager Brian McDermott deserves a lot of credit for his team’s performance, but this photo is just too funny not to share. Thanks, PaddyPower.com:
Brian McDermott seems fairly happy for Reading to be still level with Man City... twitter.com/paddypower/sta…— Paddy Power (@paddypower) December 22, 2012
After the wild goal that ended the game, the official Twitter account of the EPL brought the news to the masses:
GOAL Gareth Barry has broken the deadlock in the 93rd minute with a header. It's Man City 1-0 Reading. #MCIRDG— Premier League (@premierleague) December 22, 2012
Carlos Tevez, Forward, Manchester City
After not adding much to the game offensively and never getting on the same page with his teammates, what should have been a coming-out party for star Carlos Tevez turned into a less-than-stellar outing.
While he played smart football all day, he couldn't separate himself from his opponents.
Final Grade: C
Edin Dzeko, Forward, Manchester City
After coming onto the pitch as a substitute, the pace of the game changed. The favor fell onto the side of Manchester City when Edin Dzeko entered the matchup. While he did not contribute to the goal, his play opened up the game for the rest of his teammates.
Final Grade: A
Joe Hart, Goalkeeper, Manchester City
Manchester City goaltender Joe Hart wasn’t tested much Saturday, facing just five shots (one on goal), but he continued to be the backbone of the strong defensive unit of the Blues.
With a sheer lack of offense, the strength of the side's goalkeeping remains a huge factor.
Final Grade: B