City slicker eager to break duck

Together with Jerome Boateng, the quartet were all awaiting their

first City goals this season – until Sunday that is, when De Jong

and Zabaleta both struck in the 2-1 win over West Ham that leaves

the Blues odds-on to claim a Champions League place next term. It

leaves Kompany fearing he is going to be the butt of renewed

dressing room banter about a failure to find the net in his 41

appearances so far this term. “We joke about this but it is also a

challenge,” Kompany told the Manchester Evening News. “I had better

start working on it now – I can score as well so it can’t be that

long before I get one.” Having been set the twin pre-season aims of

finishing in the top four and ending City’s 35-year trophy drought

by owner Sheikh Mansour, the Blues are tantalisingly close to

achieving both objectives. An FA Cup final meeting with Stoke has

already been booked for May 14, whilst that Champions League spot

could be achieved by Saturday evening if Tottenham lost at home to

Blackpool after City had beaten Everton at Goodison Park. The

chances of that double do appear remote. Tottenham’s recent

disappointments should not be extended against a club who have

struggled badly since the turn of the year and remain outside the

drop zone by the narrowest of goal difference advantages. In

addition, Everton have become something of a bogey side for Roberto

Mancini, whose three head-to-head duels with David Moyes’ men have

not garnered a single point so far. “I never win against them,” he

said. “I also lost 2-1 against Everton when I played for Leicester

in 2001. “But we need to focus on this game because it will be a

really important one.”