City pick up more silverware
Yaya Toure got Manchester City back on level terms
After the joy and wonder of an Olympic fortnight that will never be forgotten, English football delivered an ugly opening to the new season as Manchester City came from behind to beat 10-man Chelsea 3-2 at Villa Park.
Second-half goals from Yaya Toure, Carlos Tevez and Samir Nasri gave the Premier League champions their first Shield triumph since 1972.
But it was the succession of niggly tackles, eight yellow cards and a straight red for Branislav Ivanovic that left the biggest impression as Chelsea lost out, despite Fernando Torres and Ryan Bertrand scoring the first and last goals.
The community aspect of this game was missing from the first whistle as referee Kevin Friend struggled to keep control. Stefan Savic was booked after 10 minutes, which set the scene for a niggly opening period in which both sides were guilty of going too far at times. Ivanovic was the worst offender.
Forced to challenge for a stray John Terry pass, the Serbian slid straight into countryman Aleksandar Kolarov, studs raised. It was not two-footed, but it was dangerous. And though Chelsea protested, Friend was justified in dismissing Ivanovic, who must now miss next week's trip to Wigan, plus home encounters with Reading and Newcastle.
Ramires created Chelsea's opener, nipping past Pablo Zabaleta before surging into the box and flicking an astute pass past Eden Hazard to Torres on his right. The £50million man showed signs last season of starting to find his old form and, with Didier Drogba embarking on his new life in China, manager Roberto di Matteo needs Torres to justify that massive price tag.
His contribution was clinical, beating the advancing Costel Pantilimon, given a start due to the injury to Joe Hart, with the predatory instinct of old. Carlos Tevez, Samir Nasri and skipper Vincent Kompany had all gone close for the Premier League champions.
As so often on showpiece occasions, though, Toure was the man who did the damage. Seizing on Terry's poor clearance, the midfielder drilled a fierce shot straight back through a crowd of bodies, giving Petr Cech no chance of keeping it out. Now City had the momentum with them and made their extra man tell.
Six minutes later, neither David Luiz nor Terry were able to check Tevez's darting run along the edge of the penalty area. From a central position, Tevez belted a superb shot into the top corner to put the champions ahead. Six minutes after that, City scored again as Kolarov streaked past makeshift right-back Ramires and curled a cross to the near post which Nasri touched home.
If Ramires had not managed to steer James Milner's cross over the bar, an unmarked Tevez would have had a tap-in as a rampant City poured forward. Yet it was Chelsea who scored a consolation 10 minutes from time, through Bertrand, who promptly became involved in a spat with Pantilimon as he tried to wrestle the ball away to restart the game.
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instead of bitchin lets see what this season brings,
we all love our clubs, no harm in that.
mm nothing new then red yellow cards handbags from 10 yards a ref without a clue welcome to the start of the football seaon !!
well played City......not a full strength team but deserved the win......still room for improvement........Mancini needs to buy who he wants to buy.....Brian Marwood take note !!!!.....manager knows a thing or two about winning stuff..............Van Persie to Utd....??? unthinkable don't do it VP...!!!!
Welcome back football, nice to see that the dirty play has already started, so much for the spirit of the olympics. Some things will never change.
Congratulations City, was a funny game but i think the ref was right to send Ivanovic off but will wait to see if there is consistancy in the prem, there will be several red cards every week. I must admit I did enjoy seeing Hazards back heel, where he missed the ball and fell flat on his face, 32 mill well spent you might say. City deserved the win and Chelsea disappointed, one thing for sure though I hope Hart misses a few games as his understudy is shocking.
Bring on the League, should be a cracker.
@ John Westlake,
Hi John, some good postings but you let yourself down with the last one, If you tried to 'Shig' one of our girls you would end up with a Scottie Road Kiss.
great win for us,well out played chelsea who should of gone down to nine men
bad LOSERS . team looks good for new season and not at full strengh yet.