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Friday, 23 November, 2001, 14:47 GMT
Man City 2-1 Rotherham
Negouai scored City's controversial equaliser
Negouai scored City's controversial equaliser

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Goals from Ali Benarbia and Christian Negouai cancelled out Chris Swailes opener for Rotherham as Manchester City completed a superb comeback.

On his home debut Christian Negouai appeared to have punched the ball into the net for City's first goal after Chris Swailes had headed the Yorkshire team in front.

And in the dying minutes Ali Benarbia conjured a wonder goal with a stunning 25-yard chip for the winner just when it seemed Rotherham had held out for a point.

Rotherham gave an outstanding display of commitment on their first league visit to Maine Road since 1966.

City, missing the injured Shaun Goater, were poor for long spells of the game.

The Millers tackled hard, worked the flanks well and gave the hosts more than enough problems.

Mark Robins missed with a point-blank header early in the first half, and it was no surprise when Rotherham took the lead on 23 minutes.

John Mullin's corner from the right was headed home by ex-Bury defender Swailes.

Furious

But on 43 minutes Negouai rose to force home a Stuart Pearce cross, enraging Rotherham's players and coaching staff, who believed the goalscorer had punched the ball home.

They argued long and hard - Rob Scott getting booked - but referee Mike Fletcher refused to change his mind.

Rotherham boss Ronnie Moore was so angry he waited for Negouai to walk off at half-time before sarcastically applauding him off the pitch.

Sixty seconds after the restart, City almost took the lead - but somehow Martin McIntosh hooked Huckerby's drive off the line.

Huckerby was unfortunate on 65 minutes when another fizzing cross-shot was turned away at full stretch by Mike Pollitt.

And a minute later the Rotherham goalkeeper saved superbly at Leon Mike's feet when the youngster was put clear by Benarbia.

Huckerby hit a shot against the left-hand post and, with just three minutes left, it seemed as though the Millers had survived City's onslaught.

But Benarbia clinched all the points with a stunning 25-yard chip into the top corner.


Man City: Weaver, Dunne, Mettomo, Pearce, Howey, Benarbia, Negouai, Tiatto, Wright-Phillips, Huckerby, Mike. Subs: Nash, Wiekens, Horlock, Cooke, Killen.

Rotherham: Pollitt, Hurst, Scott, McIntosh, Swailes, Talbot, Sedgwick, Richard Barker, Mullin, Monkhouse, Robins. Subs: Gray, Warne, Daws, Beech, Branston.

Referee: M Fletcher (Warley).

Links to more Eng Div 1 stories are at the foot of the page.

 

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