Good evening, ladies and gentlemen! It’s been a long time, but for this season we’re going to be getting back on the whole live-blogging thing, kicking off this evening with the Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Manchester City. Manuel Pellegrini threw a spanner in the works of a few of his detractors when it was confirmed that he had signed a new contract extension keeping him at the club, whilst this time last year the West Bromwich Albion manager Tony Pulis was licking his wounds after having been sacked barely a couple of days prior to the start of the new season, so at least he can’t have any worse a start to the season than he had last year. First up, though, how about some hot team news action:

West Bromwich Albion: Myhill, Chester, Dawson, Lescott, Brunt, Morrison, Gardner, Fletcher, McClean, Lambert, Berahino.

Manchester City: Hart, Sagna, Kompany, Mangala, Kolarov, Yaya Toure, Fernandinho, Jesus Navas, Silva, Sterling, Bony.

So, Raheem Sterling makes his league debut for Manchester City, whilst West Bromwich Albion have a curiously retro-sounding first eleven. I’m not going to say “British-sounding” because I don’t much want to incur the wrath of James McClean, but you know what I mean. Anyway, I’ll be back about ten minutes before kick-off – in an act of grandiosity that threatens to border on recklessness, I’m also going to try to stay up to date with a small handful of games being played in the National League South (that’s the Conference South, in old money), whilst my own beloved Enfield Town are playing Hendon in the Ryman League this evening, so you can probably expect a squawk or two about that, as well. Meanwhile, to get you all in the mood, here’s a couple of Manchester City vs West Bromwich Albion matches from the archive, as Albion win at Maine Road in February 1980, during one of City’s sporadic crises, and then City exact some sort of revenge by beating them at home on the opening day of the 1981/82 season.

 

 

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Ian August 10, 20157:57 pm

7.53: And we’re here. Well, I am, anyway. West Bromwich Albion against Manchester City! Okay, now, you’re amongst friends, here. Hands up who amongst us, in spite of our better judgement, couldn’t help but feel a little deflated by the first weekend of football? I can’t believe it’s only me. It’s not difficult to get sucked into the hype. So anyway, it’s a marathon not a sprint, and tonight’s match may not set the world alight. Neither will this evening’s result signal triumph nor disaster, barring anything very, very unusual happening. But hey! Football!

Ian August 10, 20158:01 pm

8.00: And they’re off! Manchester City shooting from right to left in the first half, in sky blue. Aren’t their away kits both navy blue or similar?

Ian August 10, 20158:06 pm

8.05: I saw this new Premier League ball being used over the weekend. From a distance, it reminds me a little of that official Football League ball they used at some clubs between about 1979 and 1982 or so. Not so sure about the exo-skeleton, though. Seems a little unnecessary, to me, but perhaps that’s just my age showing.

Ian August 10, 20158:11 pm

8.09: Goal: West Bromwich Albion 0-1 Manchester City – heavily deflected shot gives City the lead after they’d dominated early possession without threatening since kick-off.

Ian August 10, 20158:12 pm

8.11 Bony has a shot deflected away for a corner, but West Bromwich Albion clear the ball. Straight back into Manchester City possession, though. The home side can’t get anywhere near the ball, and it’s the away supporters making most – if not all – of the noise.

Ian August 10, 20158:16 pm

8.16: I can’t remember what Edward’s view of this year’s West Brom kit was, but I’ll this much, it looks really good from a distance. City too, with that colour socks.

Ian August 10, 20158:21 pm

8.20: Just looking for some other scores. Hendon 1-0 Enfield Town, St Albans City 1-1 Oxford City. Meanwhile, Manchester City cause a moment of panic in the West Bromwich Albion six yard box, and then The Hawthorns suddenly finds its voice as Albion get forward for the first time, but Hart plucks the final cross out of the air.

Ian August 10, 20158:26 pm

8.24: GOAL: West Bromwich Albion 0-2 Manchester City – Phew, an absolute beauty from Yaya Toure, curled in from the edge of the penalty area after a break saw West Brom with getting no-one anywhere near them. It was a great, great finish, but really there were no home defenders anywhere near them.

Ian August 10, 20158:29 pm

8.29: Rickie Lambert attempts a shot from a direct free kick, thirty yards out. It drops harmlessly over the goal, but it counts as a shot on goal, I guess. Then another one! Morrison shoots into the side-netting.

Ian August 10, 20158:33 pm

8.32: Cutting again like a hot knife through butter, Manchester City break on the left and the ball ends up with Wilfried Bony, whose low shot deflects off the thigh of Gardner.

Ian August 10, 20158:40 pm

8.39: Sorry, zoned out for a minute, there. Manchester City still on top, as Fletcher puts in a clumsy challenge and picks up a yellow card for his troubles.

Ian August 10, 20158:43 pm

8.43: Kingstonian 0-3 Leatherhead. There’s another latest score for you. Meanwhile, Back at The Hawthorns, excitement! Sterling breaks clear but his low shot is well blocked by Myhill. Berahino has a “goal” ruled out for offside, but that’s not particularly exciting as he was definitely offside. At the other end of the pitch, Berahino, tackling back, blocks Kolarov’s shot.

Ian August 10, 20158:44 pm

8.45: Kingstonian 0-3 Leatherhead. There’s another latest score for you. Meanwhile, Back at The Hawthorns, excitement! Sterling breaks clear but his low shot is well blocked by Myhill. Berahino has a “goal” ruled out for offside, but that’s not particularly exciting as he was definitely offside. At the other end of the pitch, Berahino, tackling back, blocks Kolarov’s shot.

Ian August 10, 20158:48 pm

8.46: Half-time: West Bromwich Albion 0-2 Manchester City – I’m going to be charitable and say that West Bromwich Albion did improve a little as the half wore on, but it wasn’t by much and they were starting from a low, low base. Manchester City completely on top and this, mesdames et messieurs, is the performance of the weekend.

Ian August 10, 20159:10 pm

9.09: And we’re back for the second half, with West Bromwich Albion starting a little more encouragingly than they played for most of the first half. Oh, while I think of it, there was a substitution at half-time, Yacob on for McClean.

Ian August 10, 20159:14 pm

9.14: Yellow card for Gardner, for a late and clumsy challenge on Jesus Navas, then a second one for James Chester. All of this came with a delicious David Silva not getting a yellow card filling. Seems to have lifted the crowd a little.

Ian August 10, 20159:18 pm

9.16: GOAL: West Bromwich Albion 0-3 Manchester City – A simple goal, again. With West Bromwich Albion’s defence completely static, Vincent Kompany flicks the ball over off his shoulder and in. Less than an hour played, and this game is over.

Ian August 10, 20159:20 pm

9.20: Yellow card for Yacob, for taking a little nip at David Silva. Unnecessary, really, but it reeked of frustration, really. Sergio Aguero comes on for Wilfried Bony, so *that’s* good news for Tony Pulis.

Ian August 10, 20159:25 pm

9.25: Here’s a quick reminder that in a couple of weeks time we’re going to start running an updated league table with Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal, Manchester United, Spurs and Liverpool taken out of the equation. It’s starting in two weeks, because no-one should ever publicly produce a league table until three games have been played.

Ian August 10, 20159:15 pm

9.14: Yellow card for Gardner, for a late and clumsy challenge on Jesus Navas, then a second one for James Chester. All of this came with a delicious David Silva not getting a yellow card filling. Seems to have lifted the crowd a little.

Ian August 10, 20159:31 pm

9.30: West Bromwich Albion are current forcing corner after corner. It’s the best pressure they’ve had all evening, but they haven’t really threatened a goal from any of them. Substitutions for both teams: Rickie Lambert off and replaced by Victor Anichebe, whilst Raheem Sterling is taken off for Samir Nasri.

Ian August 10, 20159:35 pm

9.34: West Bromwich Albion’s best piece of play of the night. Some lovely interplay on the right and side involving Berahino before Morrison’s header shoots straight into Hart’s arms. Kind of feels as though Manchester City have taken their feet off the pedal, if anything. Yaya Toue comes of, and Martin Demichalis comes on the replace him. Ten minutes plus stoppage time left.

Ian August 10, 20159:37 pm

9.34: West Bromwich Albion’s best piece of play of the night. Some lovely interplay on the right hand side involving Berahino before Morrison’s header shoots straight into Hart’s arms. Kind of feels as though Manchester City have taken their feet off the pedal, if anything. Yaya Toue comes of, and Martin Demichalis comes on the replace him. Ten minutes plus stoppage time left.

Ian August 10, 20159:41 pm

9.39: An extremely half-hearted shout for a penalty from West Bromwich Albion, surely more in hope than anticipation. Albion are still pushing forward, though City’s commendable energy conservation model is allowing them a bit more time and space on the ball.

Ian August 10, 20159:48 pm

9.45: Manchester City are just playing keepball with West Bromwich Albion now, to be honest. The home side look well beaten, as if there might even be a tacit agreement settle for the score as it stands and not take too many more chances. West Bromwich Albion have been outplayed today, on just about every level. If you so want to see the disparity of wealth and resources that exists even solely within the Premier League, then here it is. Manchester City are as slick and accomplished as one might expect, considering the amount of money lavished up on the team there.

Ian August 10, 20159:53 pm

FULL-TIME: West Bromwich Albion 0-3 Manchester City.

Simultaneously just as one-sided and not remotely representative of the overall ninety minutes, Manchester City completely dominated this match from beginning to end, even though they were given too much space on all three goals and, although West Bromwich Albion managed a little sustained pressure at the start of the second half, conceding when it finally looked like they might have been able to get back into the game was not their strongest possible move.

And that’s just about me for the evening, I guess. Have a safe journey home and don’t forget to switch off your television set before you go to bed.