Balotelli (45), Dzeko (46), Johnson (90)
Inter Milan 0
- Match reports
- 31 July 2011 18:25
- Posted by Tim Oscroft
City’s preparations for the new season continued in fine style when they beat Inter Milan in Dublin on Sunday afternoon.
Goals just either side of half time from Balotelli and Dzeko put City ahead, and Adam Johnson added a third at the death, but David Silva pulled the strings with a superb display. The win also gave City the Dublin Super Cup
Roberto Mancini’s team selection indicated a serious approach to the game, with more than one eye on being in the right place for next week’s Community Shield derby at Wembley. Not surprisingly it was a completely different starting eleven to the one that had walked out to face the Airtricity Irish XI just over 24 hours earlier.
There was a welcome return for Yaya Toure after the worrying ankle injury that had blighted his North American tour, but Gael Clichy missed out because of the after-effects of the blow to the head he took in LA and there was to be no role for Sergio Aguero.
In sharp contrast to Saturday’s lethargic fare, there was a lively start to proceedings when City had the ball in the net within seconds of the start. Silva rolled it past Soares but the lurking presence of Mario Balotelli ruled the ‘goal’ offside.
The enigmatic Italian continued to be in the thick of it in the early stages, going over with a flying header shortly after the offside decision, and then drawing a fine save out of Julio Cesar from point-blank range. Between these chances David Silva showed off his wonderful talent with a run in from the right that briefly threatened to match his superb goal at Bloomfield Road last autumn.
Eighteen minutes in and it was Edin Dzeko’s turn to see a goal chalked off, harshly judged offside when Aleks Kolarov was crossing from the left. The Bosnian striker stung Julio Cesar's palms on the half hour, the chance coming from yet more fine work from Silva.
Inter’s keeper was in action again just before the break, tipping a Balotelli effort over the bar, and getting a playful boot to the backside from his former team mate for his pains.
But it was Mario who had the last laugh seconds later when he put City into a deserved lead, nodding home the corner that Julio Cesar had conceded.
City extended their lead just after the resumption, Edin Dzeko latching onto a sublime pass from Silva and then clinically despatching the ball past the Inter keeper. After a quiet time of it his previous pre-season outings, it was a timely boost for the striker’s confidence.
Joe Hart had a quiet afternoon but was alert enough to pull off a brilliant reaction save when the ball deflected off Chivu at a free kick. He was clawing the air seconds later when Stankovic went just wide with a volley from long range.
There were few alarms at either end after that, with Adam Johnson tapping in a simple third in injury time after fine work from Shaun Wright-Phillips. David Silva was deservedly named man of the match.
Performances in pre-season games can occasionally look disjointed as teams get back to full match fitness and look to sterner tests ahead, but it was not the case at the Aviva Stadium for City. The Blues were confident and comfortable, and they look in great shape ahead of the challenge of United next Sunday.