Taken from Premierleague.com
Joey Barton rasped home a brilliant 30-yard strike to put Manchester City on their way to a thrilling Barclays Premiership win over Charlton Athletic.
Richard Dunne gave City a half-time lead and the hosts were able to hold onto their advantage despite conceding twice in a four-goal spell at the start of the second period which saw both Darren and Marcus Bent convert for the visitors and £6million new-boy Georgios Samaras nod home his first City goal before Barton's thunderous winner.
It is only two weeks since Barton stunned City officials by slapping in a transfer request, but with the midfielder admitting he may have acted hastily, the Blues fans were chanting his name in glee when he latched onto Kiki Musampa’s lay-off and sent a brutal 30-yard strike flashing past Charlton keeper Thomas Myhre.
The first half could best be described as cagey, with City supplying most of the sporadic attacking threat.
A trawl through the record books takes you back to April 2005 for the last of Richard Dunne’s three previous strikes for City.
But none of the Irishman’s other efforts could have been better hit than the one he rasped home midway through the half.
Barton, beginning an inspirational man-of-the-match performance, was the supplier, swinging over an excellent cross which Hermann Hreidarsson half cleared straight to Dunne, who promptly smashed a volley into the net through a crowded area.
Aside from a curling Musampa free-kick which flew over the area and almost crept in at the far post, Dunne’s effort was about the only thing worth talking about during the opening period.
How things changed after the break though, with four goals in 21 spellbinding minutes, each one a story of its own.
First there was Darren Bent clinically dispatching his 16th goal of the season to enhance his World Cup claims after defender Talal El Karkouri had found him 12 yards out with a superb defence-splitting pass.
Almost immediately, City regained the initiative through Georgios Samaras, who became the second most expensive player in the club’s history behind Nicolas Anelka when Pearce spent £6million luring him from Heerenveen last month.
Just 20, the Greek-born youngster still has much to learn and judging by the woeful effort to finish when put clean through by Barton later on, could do with plenty of shooting practice.
But at 6ft 3in, Samaras’ height is an clear advantage and when Barton chipped over an excellent cross, the striker easily outjumped Hreidarsson to nod home his first City goal.
Then came the Barton piledriver which ultimately proved to be the match-winner.
It should have been game over for the hosts. Instead, Marcus Bent nodded Charlton back into the contest with a firm header from a Radostin Kishishev cross.
Charlton would have snatched a draw had David James not produced a superb low save in stoppage time to deny El Karkouri but City were able to hold on.