Man City beats Bolton 2-0 to secure 3rd place

Man City beats Bolton 2-0 to secure 3rd place

Published May. 22, 2011 8:14 p.m. ET

Manchester City finished third in the Premier League and gained automatic qualification for the Champions League group stage after beating Bolton 2-0 on Sunday.

Joleon Lescott scored in the 43rd minute at the Reebok Stadium and Edin Dzeko added a second for the FA Cup winners in the 62nd.

Man City ended the season with 71 points - the same as Chelsea which took the runners-up position with a superior goal difference. The top three English teams advance to the Champions League group stage.

City owner Sheikh Mansour has made an investment of more than $1 billion in players since 2008 but manager Roberto Mancini said he needed to strengthen his squad for the Champions League.


''Every game is a hard game and, if you don't have many players you can change in the Champions League and Premier League, it would be a really hard season,'' Mancini said.

''For this we need good players, many players for these competitions. In football if you don't spend, you don't win.''

Fourth-place Arsenal ended three points behind City after drawing 2-2 at Fulham.

City, which beat Stoke 1-0 in the FA Cup final on May 14, almost made the breakthrough in the fourth minute when David Silva cut the ball back into the path of Carlos Tevez. The Argentina striker rattled in a shot from close range but it was blocked by Bolton's Zat Knight.

City was forced on the back foot in the 19th when Daniel Sturridge released Johan Elmander and he thumped in a shot that was superbly turned over the bar by Joe Hart. The England goalkeeper then reacted quickly to turn away a header from Kevin Davies in a good spell of pressure by Bolton.

The visitors eventually made the breakthrough from a set piece. Adam Johnson swung in a corner and Lescott delivered a looping header over goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen and into the net.

Mancini made his first change in the 61st with Dzeko replacing Johnson. The Bosnian made an instant impact putting City 2-0 ahead a minute later after Barry played the ball into the area. Gary Cahill failed to make a routine clearance, leaving Dzeko to smash the ball home for only his second league goal since arriving from Wolfsburg in January.

Former City striker Sturridge, on loan to Bolton from Chelsea, was given a straight red card for a challenge on Dzeko.