0-1 (Adriano 43)
- Match reports
- 12 August 2006 00:00
- Posted by Leon Collins
City lost their final pre-season friendly through Adriano's solitary headed goal just before half-time, but against quality European opposition the Blues did pose problems. Georgios Samaras hit the post just after the break, and Bernardo Corradi looked comfortable in his home debut.
Nicky Weaver started in goal, and Richard Dunne's hamstring injury meats that Nedum Onuoha started in central defence with Claudio Reyna taking the captain's armband. Georgios Samaras and Bernardo Corradi played up front alongside Darius Vassell. Ousmane Dabo was another to take his bow in front of the home fans, while Paul Dickov was on the bench.
The visitors made a late change to their published side when Emanuel hobbled off after the warm-up and was replaced by Cech in the starting XI. Adriano had the best chance of the opening few minutes when he rolled a shot from the edge of the area just wide of Weaver’s right post.
Samaras went close after 10 minutes when Assuncao slipped inside his own area,. The ball fell to the Greek striker but from a tight angle he could only fine the side netting.
The return of Paul Dickov was marked when the Scotsman earned an ovation for his warm-up run down the touchline towards the South Stand.
Bernardo Corradi was acquitting himself well as centre-forward, staying on his feet under pressure and forcing Helton to make a save on 31 minutes with a low shot from inside the area.
The visitors took the lead two minutes before half-time, when Adriano rose to a Meireles corner and headed the ball powerfully past Weaver.
The Blues looked livelier after half-time, and were unlucky not to level just three minutes into the second half when Samaras’ shot went across Helton and hit the post. Corradi was just inches away from touching the rebound in.
With just over an hour gone, Joe Hart replaced Nick Weaver, who received a generous round of applause from the fans.
Vassell showed a clean pair of heels on 70 minutes but the defence was able to cover and his shot was deflected wide.
Ben Thatcher underhit a backpass with four minutes left, but with a Porto attacker homing in on the ball Danny Mills saved the day with a sliding interception.
Dickov nearly levelled the scores right on time when Miller’s through ball found the striker free in the area, but his first-time stabbed effort was saved when Helton threw a leg out at the ball.