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City slickers keep up goal blitz with four v Plzen

Manchester City's Edin Dzeko (2nd R) heads to score to score during their Champions League soccer match against Viktoria Plzen at the Etihad
Manchester City's Edin Dzeko (2nd R) heads to score to score during their Champions League soccer match against Viktoria Plzen at the Etihad

MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) - Manchester City continued their dynamic scoring blitz at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday, brushing aside Viktoria Plzen 4-2 in the Champions League to keep up the pressure on Group D leaders Bayern Munich.

City's remarkable recent record has seen them plunder 25 goals in their last five home matches in the Champions League and Premier League.

The scoring sequence features three goals against Everton, four versus Plzen, five against CSKA Moscow, six versus Tottenham Hotspur and seven against Norwich City.

The four-goal show against Group D bottom club Plzen gave City 12 points from five matches, three behind leaders Bayern who beat CSKA 3-1 earlier on Wednesday.

"Plzen played a very good game," City manager Manuel Pellegrini told reporters. "I watched them against Bayern the other week and I was very impressed with their performance against such a strong team.

"I told my team before the game that they had players who could cause us problems if we gave them time and space."

City dominated possession and wasted several good scoring chances but their Czech opponents put up a spirited fight and did not look like a team without a point in the competition.

Plzen went close on a number of occasions thanks to the lively pair of Frantisek Rajtoral and Michal Duris who almost broke the deadlock before City took the lead.

A worry for the home team was the non-appearance after halftime of Sergio Aguero with an undisclosed injury but encouraging for them was the form of Joe Hart in goal.

FLYING SAVES

The England keeper, back in the side after being left out following some indifferent form, pulled off a couple of flying saves as Plzen pressed forward.

City went in front after 33 minutes when Aguero sent Matus Kozacik the wrong way from the penalty spot after Rajtoral was harshly adjudged to have handled.

Plzen leveled two minutes before halftime when Tomas Horava smashed the ball past Hart's right hand and into the top corner of the net from long range.

City restored their lead after 65 minutes when the busy Samir Nasri, who also hit the bar in the first period, volleyed in a cross from Jesus Navas.

Plzen equalized again four minutes later as the home defense backed off and Stanislav Tecl ended a fine passing move by side-footing the ball home.

The visitors then tired and substitute Alvaro Negredo, on for Aguero, tapped the ball in at the far post from a Navas pass in the 78th minute and Edin Dzeko's header completed the scoring a minute from time.

"We started our campaign with too much respect for Bayern and City but gradually we lost the fear," said Plzen coach Pavel Vrba.

"Unfortunately we have not got a single point but we showed football that we do not have to be ashamed. I think today was our best display in the group stages."

(Reporting by Tony Goodson; editing by Tony Jimenez)

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