Summer tour: LA Galaxy v City match report
- Sun 24 Jul 2011, 11:15PM
- Posted by David Clayton in Los Angeles
Joe Hart was the hero of a penalty shoot out as City beat LA Galaxy 7-6 on penalties at the Home Depot Center following a 1-1 draw in normal time.
Mario Balotelli had given the Blues teh lead in the 19th minute - from the penalty spot - but Mike Magee's second half leveller ensured the game went to spot-kicks to decide the outcome.
James Milner dispatched City's first penalty followed by Vladimir Weiss' neatly taken effort. Denis Suarez's first touch in a City shirt resulted in a goal after Galaxy missed their third kick and Kolarov made no mistake with the fourth penalty before Guidetti missed the chance to seal the game
Joe Hart saved the first sudden death effort and then Joleon Lescott missed his with the crowd lapping it up.Nigel de Jong kept the Blues in the hunt at 5-5 and Shaun Wright-Phillips also made no mistake before Hart saved another and then tucked home the winner.
With the Home Depot not far short of capacity and City wearing the new 2011/12 sky blue home kit for the first time, the scene was set for an entertaining afternoon in the hot Californian sunshine.
Roberto Mancini began with arguably his strongest starting line-up for the final match of the North American tour.
...Galaxy v City
With games to come against the League of Ireland XI, Inter Milan and the Community Shield clash with Manchester United, time is running out on the Blues’ pre-season, though there is bound to be openings for other squad members who have impressed on this tour.
City began by playing intricate passing moves that twice opened up the Galaxy defence, first for Edin Dzeko and then for David Silva who saw his low drive go inches past the post.
David Beckham, who was given a hostile reception by the thousands of City fans in the near-capacity crowd, was conspicuous by his absence in the opening proceedings, but the game exploded into life after 18 minutes when the Blues were awarded a penalty.
Micah Richards burst into the box and was felled by Gregg Berhalter and Balotelli calmly dispatched his first goal of the tour with a coolly taken spot-kick, fuelling some good natured banter between the two sets of fans.
Ten minutes later Silva out Balotelli clean through for what seemed like a certain second but the Italian attempted an outrageous flick and back-heel that went wide and earned a furious reaction from not only his team-mates, but his manager who substituted him for Milner two minutes later.
Mario, it seems, will need to learn what is deemed acceptable and what is not quickly if he is to hold down a permanent place in Mancini’s starting eleven. More’s the pity as he was having a fine game, too.
The miss was compounded further when Magee pulled the hosts level with a stunning 20-yard shot that gave Joe Hart no chance on 53 minutes and it could have been even worse had Hart not made two stunning saves in quick succession shortly after as Galaxy - vastly improved without the subbed Beckham - turned up the heat.
But the Blues gradually resumed control and John Guidetti wasted a glorious chance in the final minute, blasing over from two yards before Hart's shoot-out heroics.
City: Hart, Richards, Clichy (Kolarov 46), Lescott, Kompany (Savic 61), De Jong, Barry (Weiss 77), A Johnson (Guidetti 82), Silva (Wright-Phillips 46), Balotelli (Milner 31), Dzeko (Suarez 88)