Emmanuel Adebayor's hat-trick moved Manchester City FC three points clear at the UEFA Europa League Group A summit and inflicted a first defeat of the campaign on KKS Lech Poznań.
With City captain Carlos Tévez on the bench ahead of Sunday's Premier League visit of Arsenal FC, Adebayor assumed the job of matchwinner. He scored twice before the interval and although Joël Tschibamba revived Lech's hopes soon after, Adebayor's 73rd-minute strike made sure.
Lech had the backing of 5,000 fans, more than half from Britain's Polish ex-pat community, ensuring a lively atmosphere. They almost had an early goal to cheer too when Slawomir Peszko flashed an effort wide after robbing Nigel de Jong. But after Adam Johnson had driven a cross-shot just past the far post, Adebayor broke the deadlock.
Receiving the ball from Patrick Vieira on the edge of the box he left Bartosz Bosacki for dead with a slick turn before slotting home his first goal of the season. His second came 12 minutes later as he headed David Silva's pinpoint cross into the far corner. Lech halved the deficit after 50 minutes. After Johnson had surrendered possession, Peszko wriggled into the box from the right and fell under Joleon Lescott's challenge; Pablo Zabaleta then failed to clear and Marcin Kikut fired the loose ball into the middle where Tshibamba found the bottom corner.
The Congolese forward was a surprise selection by Lech coach Jacek Kieliński in place of Artjoms Rudņevs and he could have equalised in the 70th minute only to shoot over. Instead Adebayor killed off Lech's hopes with a close-range finish from Silva's superb curled through ball. Johnson later bent a shot on to the goalframe while Tshibamba almost deflected Joe Hart's clearance back into the net but the points already belonged to City, who visit Poland on 4 November knowing a win will take them through.
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