Football: Tevez returns for City in closed door match

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  • Wednesday, February 29, 2012
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  • LONDON, February 28, 2012 (AFP) - Carlos Tevez played his first 45 minutes of football for Manchester City since ending his self-imposed exile from the Premier League leaders' when he appeared in a reserve match on Tuesday.
    The Argentina striker had a run-out in the first half of the City elite development squad's home defeat by Preston reserves at Carrington.
    The fixture was originally scheduled for Wednesday but City moved it to their training ground on Tuesday and played the match behind closed doors in a bid to reduce what would otherwise have been a large media contingent.
    According to a City statement, quoted by the BBC, Tevez "saw plenty of action without getting a goal chance in his first 45 minutes back".
    In his absence, the City side lost 3-1 to Preston's second string.
    Tevez fell-out with Roberto Mancini after the City manager accused him of refusing to warm-up during a Champions League defeat away to Bayern Munich back in September.
    The 28-year-old then spent more than three months in Argentina without City's permission before returning to north-west England two weeks ago after failing to secure a move during the January transfer window.
    Tevez has provided Mancini with the apology the Italian sought for the forward's conduct and the manager has since said he will consider him for selection as normal when the former Manchester United striker is match-fit.
    Mancini said last week he believed Tevez was two or three weeks away from full fitness, meaning he was unlikely to return until the match away to Swansea on March 10 at the earliest.
    City, bidding for the first English title since 1968, lead the table by two points with 12 games remaining.
    Tevez may have scored 52 goals in 91 appearances for City but he is by no means certain to regain a place in a side where strikers Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko and Mario Balotelli, have scored 52 goals between them in all competitions this term.


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