Chelsea 2 Manchester City 3

FA Community Shield
Sunday 12 August 2012, 13.30 KO

City: Pantilimon, Savic (Clichy 45), Kolarov, Kompany (c), Zabaleta, Milner, Y Toure, de Jong, Nasri (Silva 76), Tevez (Dzeko 88), Aguero
Unused: Johansen, K Toure, A Johnson, Razak
Goals: Y Toure (52), Tevez (59), Nasri (64)
Booked: Savic, Kompany, Pantilimon

Referee: Kevin Friend
Man of the Match: Yaya Toure

It was a much changed line-up for City to the one that had finished the previous season as title winners, but more because of a change of formation by Roberto Mancini than anything else; his new 3-4-1-2 system being one of the hot topics before kick-off. The other was the news that City had agreed a fee with Everton for Jack Rodwell, who would turn out to be their first signing of the summer.

The game started ferociously. Tevez drew a save from Cech from a free kick, before two Kolarov corners caused problems in the FA Cup winners’ box. Nasri had an effort comfortably saved by Cech and Aguero could have done better as he stretched to flick a Milner cross towards goal. The Champions were on top.

On the half hour, though, Chelsea had their first meaningful attempt on goal. It came through their new recruit Eden Hazard, but it was from a long way out and well held by Pantilimon under pressure. All of the Londoners’ good defending was nearly undone on 37 minutes, though, as Cech mishandled a cross and ended up juggling it to the edge of his box – but he was able to boot it clear.

A poor header from Kompany with five minutes to go until half time, though, gifted the ball back to Chelsea on the edge of City’s box. Zabaleta was too hasty to dive in and Ramires stepped around the Argentine. He poked it past Kompany to Torres, who lifted the ball into the net, despite the challenge from Kolarov.

But, as soon as they were up a goal, Chelsea were down a man. Ivanovic was shown a straight red card for a studs-up challenge on Kolarov as City looked to get back on terms. It was a loose ball and the defender was stretching to reach it, but it was a dangerous tackle. Chelsea, though, felt aggrieved: They felt Savic should have seen a second yellow card for a block on Torres just seconds earlier.

Early in the second half, City were level. Terry’s clearance to the edge of the box was under-hit and it fell kindly for Yaya Toure to take a touch out of his feet. He rounded the crowded box and smashed it back towards the near post, beating Cech and finding the net.

Six minutes later, Tevez got himself on the scoresheet with a beautiful finish. He emerged from the left flank with the ball after some neat one-touch passing from the blues. He carried it along the 18-yard line before bending it into the top corner, leaving Cech a spectator.

Five minutes after the hour, it got even better: Kolarov delivered a thumped cross into the middle and Nasri was in the perfect place to get his toe on the end of it and poke it into the net. City had stepped it up a gear and Chelsea looked like they could be on the end of a rout at Villa Park.

But the added goals didn’t come for City, who appeared to take their foot off the gas. And, soon enough, they were punished for it. Ex-Citizen Daniel Sturridge shot from range towards the corner of Pantilimon’s net. He fumbled it when he should have done much better and Ryan Bertrand got to the rebound first to slot it home. Both he and Pantilimon were then booked following a minor disagreement.

With the game heading for stoppage time, Aguero missed the easiest chance of the game: Yaya Toure produced one of his trademark lung-busting runs to put Milner free in the area. He found Aguero inside the six-yard box and, with the goal at his mercy, his side-footed effort was well wide.

The final action saw Petr Cech join the Chelsea attack for a corner as they went in search of an unlikely equaliser. They didn’t get it and City came away with the ball, but David Silva opted to try and beat Ramires instead of shoot at the open goal and the Chelsea man’s foul allowed his goalkeeper to get back into position.

It was a great City performance and it bodes well for their first season as defending Premier League Champions.

Manchester City 2-3 Manchester United

FA Community Shield
Sunday 7 August 2011, 14.30 KO

City: Hart, Richards, Kompany (c), Lescott, Kolarov (Clichy 74), de Jong, Silva, Y Toure, Milner (A Johnson 67), Balotelli (Barry 59), Dzeko
Unused: Taylor, Savic, Wright-Phillips, Aguero
Goals: Lescott (38), Dzeko (45)
Booked: Dzeko, Y Toure, Kolarov

Referee: Phil Dowd
Man of the Match: Joleon Lescott

It was United that started the game the brighter, with City unable to get their foot on the ball. Kompany gave away a free kick on the left wing, but Young’s delivery could only find the Belgian’s feet and he cleared. Young then blasted a shot at goal after City had given the ball away in midfield, but Kompany blocked it behind. From the corner, United couldn’t force the ball over the line after a spell of pinball. City looked asleep.

City’s first spell of pressure let Kolarov smash a cross into the box, but Smalling cleared, before Dzeko won a corner from Ferdinand. United broke away, but some good defending from Lescott robbed the ball from Rooney. Dzeko then tried a low cross, but it was blocked.

United then wasted a good opportunity to break as Nani’s disguised pass deceived his team mates, before Balotelli and Vidic squared up to one another after a tough challenge. A quick break from City then won a corner, but it came to nothing. Kompany was then in the right place to block a low cross, before Carrick chipped the ball into the box to nobody, wasting some good United possession.

The ball then broke to Nani on the edge of the box with a chance to shoot, but Lescott just got there first, before Richards was lucky to stay on the pitch with a challenge on Young on the left corner of the box. Rooney took the resulting free kick, but it curled comfortably over Hart’s crossbar. United then had some pressure from a couple of corners, but both were cleared by the City defence.

Yaya Toure then broke into the United half and played it inside for Silva. He, in turn, found Milner sprinting into the box, and the midfielder’s shot deflected behind off Ferdinand, but it was missed by the officials and a goal kick was given. City could have taken the lead with a header from Silva, as Kolarov whipped the ball into the box, but the ball hit Ferdinand and went behind.

A Nani free kick then deflected off the wall and almost caught Hart out, but it spun wide of the post and, from the resulting corner, Nani skied an effort closer to the corner flag than the goal. City were still struggling to get into the game.

Despite that, though, City took the lead. Milner won a foul off Evra and Silva curled the resulting free kick into the box. Lescott met it before any of the United defence and he nodded it past the goalkeeper and into the net, largely against the run of play. Evra was then lucky to escape further punishment when he floored Dzeko, and Silva then hit the wall from the second free kick in as many minutes.

And, just before the break, it got better for City. As the board went up showing added time, Dzeko picked the ball up from Silva in the middle of the United half. He turned, took a touch and fired a stunning effort past the goalkeeper into the net from 25 yards out. It was a stunning strike and De Gea could do nothing.

United tried to hit back immediately after the break, but Smalling’s touch was too heavy and he wasted a good opportunity to cross, before Young and Rooney couldn’t work a shooting chance on the edge of the box.

Cleverly then chipped the ball into the box for Wellbeck, but his header was well wide of the goal despite being unchallenged. And then United did get a goal back. Smalling lost Dzeko in the box and he latched onto a Young free kick from deep to lift the ball past Hart.

Evans then gave the ball away in the United half and presented Dzeko with an opportunity to run at the reds’ defence. He opted this time to square to Silva, but his pass was cut out and United could regroup. Milner then gave away a free kick on the edge of the City box, but Young smashed the ball into the wall. He picked up the rebound, but he volleyed it well over the bar.

Nani then levelled the count with a stunning goal. United moved the ball well around the edge of the box and Nani was left to break unchallenged into the six yard box. Hart came out and he flicked it over the City keeper, to equalise with under an hour played.

United could have taken the lead shortly after, as a corner fell to Rooney at the back post. His curling effort, though, was deflected over the bar. From that second corner, Rooney had the chance to volley, again unmarked at the back, but he sliced it wide.

City then had the chance to get the ball into the United box, but Richards’s low cross was blocked to De Gea, before Lescott put in a brilliant challenge to deny Rooney a shot on goal. A low cross through the City box was then missed by everybody, before Kolarov was able to clear and United piled on the pressure. Rooney then hit the wall with another free kick.

Adam Johnson then had a crack at goal from the edge of the box and it looked like it might flash in at the near post until De Gea got across to parry it away. It was an isolated attack from City, who had struggled to keep possession in the opposition half all game. United then had a low cross cleared, before Cleverly shot over from the edge of the box.

Barry then tried to force the ball across goal after some neat work from Silva and Toure got the Spaniard wide on the left. He found Barry, but his cross was headed out, before his second attempt was cleared to de Jong. He found Toure on the edge of the box, but the Ivorian’s effort was well over the bar.

With a minute of the game to play, the ball fell to Adam Johnson on the edge of the box after Richards had won the header. He looked for Dzeko in the box, but the Bosnian’s shot was weak and straight at De Gea. United tried to break the Smalling and Nani, but Lescott was able to block the shot and Cleverly skied the rebound.

Dzeko had the chance to win the game with a free header in the United box, but it was flicked weakly at goal. United cleared the ball and a breakdown of communication between Kompany and Clichy left the Belgian too much work to do against Nani and he broke clear into the City half. He rounded Joe Hart and won the game.