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Saturday, 25 November, 2000, 16:58 GMT
Ipswich give City the blues
Manchester City 2-3 Ipswich Town
Ipswich Town moved into third position in the Premiership after a 3-2 victory against Manchester City in a superb match at Maine Road.
First-half goals from Marcus Stewart and Hermann Hreidarsson set Ipswich up for a fifth victory in six Premiership away matches.
Ipswich were comfortable winners in this Maine Road encounter, although they were pushed all the way as City attempted a second-half comeback.
These two sides came up from the First Division last season, but on the evidence of this game Ipswich have by far the better chance of surviving in the top flight this season.
Both sides attempted to assert control in the opening spell of a match that began at a hectic pace, but neither side could create any concrete chances.
It was Ipswich who broke the deadlock following a lightening burst down the left flank, which resulted in a super cross from Jamie Clapham being headed home in spectacular style by Stewart.
The former Huddersfield man dived in front of the City defenders to powerfully head the ball past a helpless Nicky Weaver into the bottom corner.
City's attempts at getting back into the match quickly were thwarted by the visitors, who harried them every time they got possession.
Ipswich were looking dangerous, and Clapham came close to adding a second after 24 minutes, when his powerful shot from 12 yards was blocked by Alfie Haaland.
Shaun Goater was denied at the other end moments later, when he connected with a loose ball from eight yards, only to be denied by a superb one-handed save by Richard Wright.
City went further behind on 32 minutes after Ipswich forced a couple of corners.
From the second flag-kick Hreidarsson rose unchallenged to head the ball down into the right corner from his position on the penalty spot.
The goal meant City were further stretched as they attempted to fight their way back into the game, and George Burley's men were finding lots of space as they counter-attacked.
The Maine Road men were being restricted to shots from long-range, and in their haste to open up the Town defence, City were hitting stray passes, much to the annoyance of the home fans.
Joe Royle obviously had some harsh words for his charges during the break, as City looked much sharper, but they were dealt a hammer blow eight minutes into the second period.
A hopeful cross from the Ipswich left eluded James Scowcroft and Stewart ghosted in at the back post to knock the ball past Weaver, before tapping into an empty net.
Stewart's second goal of the match took his tally to double figures for the season and ended any remote hopes City had of taking anything from this match.
City, to their credit, refused to buckle and continued to take the game to the visitors, and were almost rewarded on 67 minutes when Mark Kennedy's cross found substitute Paulo Wanchope, whose effort spun over the bar.
And when Wanchope picked up the ball at the edge of the box four minutes later he made no mistake, stepping over the ball before his low drive took a slight deflection past Wright and found the corner of the net.
Ipswich substitute David Johnson almost added a fourth for when his shot came off the foot of the post, but that would have been harsh on City.
And City cut the deficit to just one goal two minutes after that Johnson chance, when Steve Howey rose to head home a Kennedy free-kick from six yards.
There was even time for the visitors to hit the woodwork in the dying minutes of a highly entertaining match as Ipswich deservedly held on for the points.
Man City: Weaver, Haaland, Howey, Prior, Dunne, Bishop, Charvet, Wright-Phillips, Goater, Dickov, Kennedy. Subs: Wanchope, Wiekens, Tiatto, Whitley, Wright.
Ipswich: R. Wright, Wilnis, Clapham, Scales, Venus, Hreidarsson, Magilton, Holland, Scowcroft, Stewart, J. Wright. Subs: Salmon, Johnson, Bramble, Karic, Reuser.
Referee: M Dean (The Wirral).
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