Preston North End 1 Manchester City 3

Last updated : 18 February 2007 By Footymad Previewer
Manchester City finished comfortable 3-1 winners at Preston North End, but it could have been very different after the hosts took an early lead before Michael Ricketts had a great chance to double their advantage.

City started with four corners in the first five minutes with Joey Barton involved in everything.

But Preston weathered the storm and David Nugent scored his 17th goal of the season after eight minutes.

Danny Pugh's inswinging corner was headed goalwards by Ricketts. Nicky Weaver made a great save but Nugent pounced from close range to score.

Bernardo Corradi then volleyed wide from a Hatem Trabelsi cross after 13 minutes and Barton followed up his corner which came straight back to him and shot right-footed just wide of the left-hand post.

Ricketts had a great chance after 22 minutes when Paul McKenna put him clear but Weaver made a great save and then Nugent had a shot blocked and Pugh shot over.

Richard Dunne shot well over and then City equalised in the 35th minute.

Corradi received the ball in the penalty area and managed to turn and hit a great left-foot shot against the right-hand post.

The ball rebounded to Michael Ball and he hit a left-foot shot against the right-hand post and into the back of the net for his first goal for City.

Ricketts then went up with Sylvain Distin and went down awkwardly and was stretchered off with a dislocated shoulder to be replaced by Patrick Agyemang.

In the second half Barton had another shot off target and Corradi shot wide of the right-hand post. Matthew Hill was booked for a foul on Barton and Paul McKenna headed just wide for Preston.

Trabelsi, Barton and Corradi all had efforts which flew wide.

City made it 2-1 with six minutes to go when a throw-in was flicked on by Corradi and Georgios Samaras got a snap-shot in from eight yards which took a deflection off Liam Chilvers and Matt Hill before crossing the line.

Neil Mellor replaced Simon Whaley but in the last minute City scored again. Corradi set up Stephen Ireland and he hit a 20-yard left-foot shot into the bottom left-hand corner of the net to leave Preston broken-hearted.