Tevez (left), Silva, and Balotelli all linked brilliantly for City during the first half
By Chris Whyatt
Mario Balotelli's two goals inspired Manchester City to a much-needed win at West Brom but the Italian was sent off as both sides finished with 10 men.
Brilliant David Silva passes created Balotelli's first-half double, the first slid in from a Carlos Tevez cross and the second a muscular low shot.
But Balotelli got a straight red in the second half for kicking out at Youssuf Mulumbu minutes after being booked.
Mulumbu was then dismissed for sliding through the back of Tevez.
Under-pressure City arrested a run of three straight defeats with an ultimately convincing victory that showed the very best and worst of controversial Balotelli, whom manager Roberto Mancini signed from former club Inter Milan this summer for a reported £24m fee.
Amid reports of disharmony, many of City's players had stressed ahead of the match that they were united behind Mancini.
Just as importantly, the 45-year-old Italian boss was able to call upon the services of talismanic captain Tevez after a spell recovering from injury in his native Argentina.
And the former West Ham and Manchester United striker showed no signs of rustiness as helped City to a win that put them fourth in the Premier League, the minimum position they need at the end of the season to have the chance to qualify for the Champions League.
They were given a genuine early scare in a fast-paced start to the game when Mulumbu brilliantly split their defence from deep for Chris Brunt to nearly force an own goal from Kolo Toure.
We will appeal Balotelli red card - Mancini
City responded when Tevez, who boasted 28 goals in his previous 31 Premier League starts, curled a shot just wide before compatriot Pablo Zabaleta blazed over.
From then on the Baggies were second best, although City knocked the ball about laboriously at times.
Balotelli initially struggled to adapt to the physicality of the match, but all that changed after 23 minutes when Silva created a textbook goal which put City in control.
Picking up the ball in space, the Spain international's brilliant 'no-look' pass was weighted perfectly down the channel into which Tevez scampered.
He let the ball run in front of him before firing it across the box to allow Balotelli to slide in his first Premier League goal with relative ease past a despairing West Brom goalkeeper Scott Carson.
Silva then telegraphed an attempted curling shot after Yaya Toure played him in cleverly, before Brunt put in a threatening cross for the home side as a result of Balotelli's failure to track back.
Seconds later Silva made the second when he pinged a precise lofted pass over West Brom's defensive line for Balotelli, who used his strength to hold off Gabriel Tamas before cracking a low shot across Carson and into the corner of the net.
Balotelli's tangle with Mulumbu earned him a straight red card
Balotelli's presence had clearly provided a spark City had been lacking recently, and with Silva and Tevez continuing to display real chemistry, chants of "Mancini" began ringing out around the ground from their travelling fans.
The Baggies rediscovered some poise after the interval and Simon Cox, in only his second Premier League match since moving from Swindon Town, cracked an instinctive drive against City keeper Joe Hart's upright from all of 20 yards.
Balotelli was then booked for a hack at Marek Cech, but did not learn his lesson and minutes later was given a straight red card for continuingly swinging his leg, even when the ball had gone, in a meaty tussle with midfielder Mulumbu.
West Brom substitute Peter Odemwingie immediately had City backs against the wall, with Hart clawing the ball off the line from a header as the ball zipped around the penalty area.
Hart then had to tip over Nicky Shorey's whipped free-kick before Yaya Toure proved an unlikely threat for 10-men City on the break, as he bundled his way forward to create a chance which Gareth Barry could not convert.
Di Matteo gives credit to Man City
Lacking a little craft, the home side lost steam in their search to get back into the game while City right-back Zabaleta was booked for unsporting behaviour.
And referee Lee Probert then lost patience with Mulumbu, when he raced into a potentially dangerous sliding tackle on Tevez.
Contact was minimal but the Congolese player was sent on his way, and the match was effectively over as City sought to preserve energy ahead of Wednesday's Manchester derby against United.
90:00+5:36 The referee brings the game to a close.
90:00+3:55 Gnegneri Toure Yaya fouled by Ibanez Pablo, the ref awards a free kick. Carlos Tevez shoots direct from the free kick.
90:00+3:55 Booking Ibanez Pablo goes into the book for unsporting behaviour.
90:00+3:13 The ball is sent over by Gabriel Tamas, Joe Hart makes a save.
90:00+2:12 The referee penalises Carlos Tevez for handball. Nicky Shorey takes the direct free kick.
90:00+1:13 Jerome Thomas produces a cross, save made by Joe Hart.
90:00+1:02 Chris Brunt takes the chance to get an effort at goal. Blocked by Kolo Toure.
90:00+0:55 A cross is delivered by Jerome Thomas, clearance by Kolo Toure.
88:26 The referee blows for offside. Giles Barnes restarts play with the free kick.
87:21 Gnegneri Toure Yaya fouled by Chris Brunt, the ref awards a free kick. Carlos Tevez restarts play with the free kick.
87:21 Substitution Pablo Zabaleta goes off and Aleksandar Kolarov comes on.
87:21 Booking Booking for Chris Brunt.
85:34 Ishmael Miller takes a shot. Blocked by Vincent Kompany.
83:31 Gabriel Tamas delivers the ball, save made by Joe Hart.
81:14 Carlos Tevez fouled by Youssouf Mulumbu, the ref awards a free kick. Pablo Zabaleta takes the free kick.
81:14 Sent off The referee shows Youssouf Mulumbu a red card.
79:53 Substitution Ishmael Miller comes on in place of Paul Scharner.
79:01 Chris Brunt takes a shot from just outside the penalty area which clears the crossbar.
78:18 A cross is delivered by Chris Brunt.
77:51 Unfair challenge on Paul Scharner by Pablo Zabaleta results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Chris Brunt.
75:27 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Pablo Zabaleta by Giles Barnes. Joe Hart takes the direct free kick.
75:15 The ball is sent over by Giles Barnes, blocked by Pablo Zabaleta.
75:01 Jerome Thomas crosses the ball, clearance by Pablo Zabaleta.
74:46 Gareth Barry takes a shot. Giles Barnes gets a block in.
74:38 The ball is sent over by Gnegneri Toure Yaya, Scott Carson makes a clearance.
74:18 The ball is swung over by Peter Odemwingie, save by Joe Hart.
73:27 Shot by Youssouf Mulumbu from outside the box goes over the net.
73:21 Giles Barnes crosses the ball, Jerome Boateng makes a clearance.
73:08 The ball is delivered by Giles Barnes, Vincent Kompany makes a clearance.
72:30 Shot by Jerome Thomas. Adam Johnson gets a block in.
72:12 Vincent Kompany gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Peter Odemwingie. Free kick taken by Peter Odemwingie.
71:35 Gnegneri Toure Yaya concedes a free kick for a foul on Simon Cox. Direct free kick taken by Gabriel Tamas.
68:43 Giles Barnes delivers the ball, Headed effort from deep inside the area by Paul Scharner misses to the right of the target.
68:04 The referee blows for offside against Carlos Tevez. Gabriel Tamas takes the indirect free kick.
Correction - 66:02 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Youssouf Mulumbu by Pablo Zabaleta. Direct strike on goal from the free kick
comes in from Nicky Shorey, save by Joe Hart. Corner taken left-footed by Chris Brunt from the right by-line, Foul by Paul
Scharner on Gnegneri Toure Yaya, free kick awarded. Joe Hart restarts play with the free kick.
Correction - 66:02 Substitution Adam Johnson joins the action as a substitute, replacing David Silva.
66:02 Youssouf Mulumbu fouled by Pablo Zabaleta, the ref awards a free kick. Direct strike on goal from the free kick comes in from
Nicky Shorey, save by Joe Hart. Inswinging corner taken by Chris Brunt, Foul by Paul Scharner on Gnegneri Toure Yaya, free
kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Joe Hart.
66:02 Substitution (Man City) makes a substitution, with Adam Johnson coming on for David Silva.
66:02 Booking The referee books Pablo Zabaleta for unsporting behaviour.
64:39 Peter Odemwingie produces a cross, Kolo Toure makes a clearance. Corner from the right by-line taken by Chris Brunt, Peter
Odemwingie takes a shot. Joe Hart makes a save.
64:09 Gareth Barry fouled by Youssouf Mulumbu, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Vincent Kompany.
63:10 Free kick awarded for a foul by Mario Balotelli on Youssouf Mulumbu. Direct free kick taken by Gabriel Tamas.
63:10 Booking The referee books Youssouf Mulumbu for unsporting behaviour.
62:03 Sent off Mario Balotelli shown a red card.
59:39 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Marek Cech by Mario Balotelli. Direct free kick taken by Scott Carson.
59:39 Substitution Marc-Antoine Fortune goes off and Peter Odemwingie comes on.
59:39 Substitution Giles Barnes is brought on as a substitute for Marek Cech.
59:39 Booking Mario Balotelli is cautioned by the ref for unsporting behaviour.
59:15 Mario Balotelli delivers the ball, Ibanez Pablo manages to make a clearance.
57:25 Simon Cox delivers the ball.
57:08 The referee blows for offside against Mario Balotelli. Scott Carson takes the free kick.
55:58 Free kick awarded for a foul by Ibanez Pablo on Carlos Tevez. Free kick taken by Pablo Zabaleta.
54:23 Centre by Chris Brunt, clearance by Kolo Toure.
53:43 Corner taken by Chris Brunt from the left by-line, Paul Scharner takes a shot.
53:28 Simon Cox has an effort at goal from outside the penalty area that bounces off the post.
53:16 Gabriel Tamas takes a shot. Blocked by Vincent Kompany.
50:02 Free kick awarded for a foul by Jerome Thomas on Nigel De Jong. Joe Hart takes the free kick.
48:40 Foul by Simon Cox on Mario Balotelli, free kick awarded. Nigel De Jong takes the direct free kick.
47:27 The ball is sent over by Mario Balotelli, Ibanez Pablo makes a clearance.
47:15 Free kick awarded for a foul by Jerome Boateng on Jerome Thomas. Free kick taken by Gabriel Tamas.
46:31 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Nigel De Jong by Chris Brunt. Free kick taken by Nigel De Jong.
45:01 The second half kicks off.
45:00+2:07 It is the end of the first-half.
45:00+1:47 Jerome Thomas sends in a cross, Nigel De Jong makes a clearance.
45:00+0:57 Marc-Antoine Fortune is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Free kick taken by Kolo Toure.
45:00+0:36 Foul by David Silva on Youssouf Mulumbu, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Ibanez Pablo.
41:47 Free kick awarded for a foul by Gareth Barry on Paul Scharner. Free kick taken by Youssouf Mulumbu.
41:47 Booking Gareth Barry goes into the book for unsporting behaviour.
39:09 The ball is swung over by Marek Cech, Mario Balotelli gets a block in.
38:48 Jerome Boateng concedes a free kick for a foul on Jerome Thomas. Free kick taken by Jerome Thomas.
38:23 Youssouf Mulumbu fouled by Carlos Tevez, the ref awards a free kick. Youssouf Mulumbu restarts play with the free kick.
37:28 Simon Cox concedes a free kick for a foul on Gareth Barry. Free kick taken by Gareth Barry.
34:23 Unfair challenge on Nicky Shorey by Mario Balotelli results in a free kick. Chris Brunt sends in a cross, Ibanez Pablo takes
a shot. Comfortable save by Joe Hart.
33:13 The ball is swung over by Jerome Thomas, clearance by Kolo Toure.
31:19 Free kick awarded for a foul by Youssouf Mulumbu on Carlos Tevez. Carlos Tevez fires a strike on goal direct from the free
29:59 Jerome Thomas delivers the ball.
29:05 Youssouf Mulumbu challenges Mario Balotelli unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Mario Balotelli.
28:17 Corner taken by Chris Brunt from the left by-line to the near post, Paul Scharner takes a shot. Blocked by Pablo Zabaleta.
27:12 Ibanez Pablo fouled by Mario Balotelli, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Ibanez Pablo.
25:59 Gnegneri Toure Yaya provided the assist for the goal.
25:59 GOAL - Mario Balotelli:West Brom 0 - 2 Man City Mario Balotelli grabs a goal from just inside the area to the bottom left corner of the goal. West Brom 0-2 Man City.
25:36 Chris Brunt challenges Carlos Tevez unfairly and gives away a free kick. Nigel De Jong restarts play with the free kick.
23:21 Chris Brunt crosses the ball.
22:45 David Silva takes a shot. Save made by Scott Carson.
21:43 Free kick awarded for a foul by Pablo Zabaleta on Chris Brunt. Chris Brunt crosses the ball in from the free kick.
19:44 Assist by Carlos Tevez.
19:44 GOAL - Mario Balotelli:West Brom 0 - 1 Man City Mario Balotelli fires in a goal from close in to the bottom right corner of the goal. West Brom 0-1 Man City.
18:54 A cross is delivered by Jerome Boateng, Gabriel Tamas makes a clearance.
16:19 Gnegneri Toure Yaya produces a cross, Gabriel Tamas manages to make a clearance.
15:26 The ball is swung over by Pablo Zabaleta, Ibanez Pablo makes a clearance.
14:56 Jerome Boateng sends in a cross, Ibanez Pablo makes a clearance.
13:29 Carlos Tevez takes a shot. Ibanez Pablo gets a block in. Corner taken by Mario Balotelli from the left by-line to the near
post, clearance by Nicky Shorey.
10:37 Pablo Zabaleta produces a right-footed shot from outside the penalty box and misses wide left of the target.
8:24 Marc-Antoine Fortune challenges Vincent Kompany unfairly and gives away a free kick. Gareth Barry takes the direct free kick.
7:52 Effort from outside the penalty box by Carlos Tevez goes wide right of the target.
6:42 Jerome Thomas fouled by Jerome Boateng, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Marek Cech.
6:00 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Youssouf Mulumbu by Mario Balotelli. Nicky Shorey takes the direct free kick.
5:42 Marek Cech produces a cross, save by Joe Hart.
5:15 Nigel De Jong is penalised for handball and concedes a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Chris Brunt.
5:15 Booking Nigel De Jong booked.
2:57 Chris Brunt decides to take a short corner. Drilled left-footed shot by Chris Brunt. Vincent Kompany gets a block in.
2:19 Corner taken left-footed by Chris Brunt to the near post, clearance by Mario Balotelli.
1:16 The official flags Marc-Antoine Fortune offside. Pablo Zabaleta takes the free kick.
0:00 The game kicks-off.
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