US Tour: Blues win on penalties
- Thu 29 Jul 2010, 3:06AM
- Posted by Chris Bailey in the Georgia Dome
Yaya Toure made a hugely impressive and winning debut for the Blues in Atlanta.
The Ivory Coast international, signed from Barcelona in the summer, moved the ball accurately and elegantly with both feet as City dominated the first half against Club America.
Toure who started alongside his brother Kolo was taken off at half-time – along with six other starters – leaving Blues fans greedy for a longer glimpse of his skills in Baltimore on Saturday night.
The Blues led at half time thanks to an Emmanuel Adebayor penalty after Adam Johnson was felled but the Mexican side took advantage of all the changes two minutes into the second half through Enrique Esqueda. The game went to penalties and City won 4-1 with Shay Given saving twice..
In addition to Yaya, boss Roberto Mancini gave first outings of the summer to England World Cup players Shaun Wright-Phillips and Gareth Barry.
City settled, though perhaps that isn’t the correct word, for a 4-1-2-2-1 formation that switched at various times into a 4-3-3, 3-5-2 and a 4-5-1. There was certainly fluidity about the shape even if some of the combatants are still a week or so away from full fitness.
Club America, one of the top sides in Mexico, had in their ranks a man Kevin Keegan paid nearly £4million for in 2002 but whom never featured in the City first team namely Matias Vuoso.
It was though the younger Toure who made the most impressive start to the match spreading passes with guile and vision and generally dominating the central midfield.
There was plenty of width, too, in the Blues attacking play with Micah Richards and Wayne Bridge quick to make space for Adam Johnson and Shaun Wright-Phillips and both looking confident enough on the ball themselves.
Despite a welter of possession it was Club who went closest to scoring in the opening half hour when Daniel Montenegro’s drive from 25-yards skidded against the post with Joe Hart a grateful spectator.
City though continued to move the ball with grace and purpose and took the lead nine minutes from the break when referee Mark Geiger adjudged that Adam Johnson’s mazy run had been ended illegally by Aquivaldo Mosquera.
In the absence of Carlos Tevez, it was Adebayor who stepped up to take responsibility for the spot kick and converted with aplomb.
Mancini rang the changes at half time with only Boyata, Bridge, Richards and Adebayor remaining on the pitch. It took Club just two minutes to level the scores when Esqueda slipped past Joleon Lescott and beat the advancing Shay Given.
Montenegro then repeated his trick of the first half and hit the post from long distance before Vladimir Weiss’s low effort spun out of the hands of Guillermo Ochoa who atoned for his mistake by making a brave follow up block from Jo.
City thought they had won it in the 88th minute but Adebayor hit the underside of the bar with a volley and then Jo had an air shot after good work from Cunningham leaving the result to be decided on penalties.
CITY (4-1-2-2-1): Hart (Given 46); Richards (Cunningham 81), Toure Kolo (Lescott 46), Boyata, Bridge; Kompany (Zabaleta 46); Toure Yaya (Ireland 46), Barry (Vieira 46); Wright-Phillips (Weiss 46), A. Johnson (Jo 46); Adebayor.
CLUB AMERICA: Ochoa, Mosquera, Rojas, Valenzuela, Martinez, Montenegro, Sanchez, Pardo, Layun, Beausejour, Vuoso.
Goals: City – Adebayor (36mins Pen), Club – Esqueda (47mins). Booked: City – Richards (56mins). Attendance 33,721