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Saturday, 2 November, 2002, 16:59 GMT
Anelka adds to Baggies' gloom
Anelka and Berkovic celebrate City's opener at West Brom
Anelka and Berkovic celebrate City's opener
West Brom 1-2 Man City

Nicolas Anelka proved to be the difference between two hard-working teams at a wet and windy Hawthorns.

Shaun Goater scored the winner, but it was Anelka, the goal's provider, who was this game's class act.

The French striker opened the scoring on 51 minutes when the influential Eyal Berkovic unselfishly set him up for a simple tap-in.

  Key incidents
51 mins Anelka scores from Berkovic pass
62 mins Clement equalizes from free-kick
71 mins Goater restores City's lead
West Brom, who struggled with their passing throughout, did hit back 11 minutes later when Neil Clement blasted a long-range free-kick past Carlo Nash in the visitor's goal.

Clement's task was made marginally easier when referee David Elleray moved the ball forward 10 yards after Berkovic broke too early from the wall - which also earned him a booking.

But parity lasted less than 10 minutes, as Anelka, inevitably, sliced through the home defence before squaring the ball for Goater to finish.

The home side did miss a good chance to equalise when substitute Jason Koumas put Jason Roberts in on goal only to see the striker miscontrol his pass.

Nicolas has got everything - I don't think there are many better centre-forwards in the world
Kevin Keegan
Man City manager
But the visitors would also miss a few late chances of their own to increase their lead, with Goater being the chief culprit.

Both teams started the match at breakneck pace, with West Brom desperate to climb out of the bottom three and Man City keen to avenge last season's 4-0 drubbing in Division One.

The visitors, buoyed by last week's 2-0 win over Birmingham City, the other club promoted with City and West Brom, carried the greater early threat.

Berkovic was particularly prominent, combining well with Anelka and Goater to stretch the home team's rearguard on more than one occasion.

We can't work any harder than we did today - unfortunately that is not going to be enough
Gary Megson
West Brom boss
West Brom, on the other hand, appeared to rely on getting the ball forward as quickly as possible to Roberts.

But chances were at a premium for both sides before the break, as the driving rain held the upper hand.

Ultimately, it was the guile of Anelka that helped City get the better of both West Brom and the difficult conditions.

West Brom: Hoult, Moore, Gilchrist, Gregan, Balis, Clement, McInnes, Johnson, Adam Chambers (Koumas 67), Roberts, Dobie (Hughes 61).
Subs Not Used: Murphy, Wallwork, Sigurdsson.
Booked: McInnes, Gregan.

Man City: Nash, Jihai, Howey, Distin, Jensen, Foe, Tiatto (Horlock 86), Berkovic, Dunne, Goater, Anelka.
Subs Not Used: Flowers, Wright-Phillips, Benarbia, Huckerby.
Booked: Berkovic, Dunne.

Attendance: 27,044

Referee: D Elleray (Middlesex).

BBC Five Live's Stuart Hall
"Nicolas Anelka was magnificent"
Man City boss Kevin Keegan
"We could have scored more goals"
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