US Tour: Blues end tour on low
- 01 August 2010 03:03
- Posted by Chris Bailey in Baltimore
City were undone by a poor refereeing decision against Inter Milan last night – fact!
For the second summer in succession the Blues had the chance to down the reigning European champions but saw hope disappear over the horizon with the first half dismissal of Patrick Vieira.
The Frenchman was red carded for an alleged elbow on Marco Materazzi in the 21st minute and Inter went on to win 3-0.
It was a result hardly designed to cheer absent boss Roberto Mancini who is currently in Italy tending to his sick father but the numerical imbalance certainly skewed the balance of the game.
Much of the build up to the contest surrounded the rumoured transfer of Mario Balotelli from Milan to Manchester but as it happened the 20-year-old wasn’t even on the bench...there were plenty present willing to read much into that situation.
Even so Inter carried plenty of threat with Victor Obinna going close in the 7th minute with a header that came from a set piece move straight off Rafa Benitez’ flipchart.
Earlier Adebayor twice had shots blocked in what was an entertaining opening to the contest that soon turned into a bad-tempered affair.
Within five first half minutes Vincent Kompany and Goran Pandev clashed and were booked and then Vieira was sent off after catching former teammate Materazzi as they jumped for a high ball. It was a decision that was booed by the crowd when replayed on the giant screens.
Inter took control and the eventually the lead in the 39th minute when Esteban Cambiasso fed Obinna whose shot from wide on the left found the net via substitute Micah Richards.
Cambiasso was in excellent form, King Rat amongst the midfield ratters, though his task was made easier by the nonsensical dismissal of Vieira which saw the Blues push Zabaleta into midfield and play on with a lone striker.
It was, sadly, one-way traffic with City’s sole attacker Adebayor so bottled up that he would have needed a corkscrew to extricate himself.
The newly laid pitch wasn’t overly conducive to passing football. As Eric Morecambe was prone to saying ‘you could see the join’ and the unevenness of the surface proved frustrating in the pursuit of an unlikely comeback.
All hope on that front was extinguished in the 54th minute when Inter scored a second when Obinna’s cross was deflected into his own net by the unwitting Joleon Lescott.
And the impressive Italians added some gloss in the 74th minute through a wonderful long range strike from Cristiano Biraghi.
CITY: Hart (Given 46mins), Zabaleta, Kompany (Ireland 79), Toure Kolo (Boyata 63) , Bridge (Cunningham 46); Vieira, Toure Yaya (Lescott 46), Barry (Wright-Phillips 55); Johnson, Jo (Richards 29mins), Adebayor.
INTER: Castellazzi, Zanetti, Cordoba, Materazzi, Chivu, Mariga, Cambiasso, Obi, Coutinho, Pandev, Obinna.
GOALS: Inter – Obinna (39mins) Lescott (og, 54mins); BOOKINGS: City - Kompany (19mins) Zabaleta (61mins), Inter – Pandev (19mins), Chivu (31). SENT OFF: City – Vieira (24mins). REFEREE: Baldomero Toedo (Mexico). ATTENDANCE: 36,569.