Aguero scores in World Cup final rematch
- 03 September 2014 21:55
- Posted by @markbooth_mcfc
There is no possible consolation for a team which has lost a World Cup final.
However, City’s Argentine trio did manage to take the smallest measure of revenge on Germany in their World Cup final rematch at the ESPIRE Arena in Dusseldorf, beating the world champions 4-2.
Sergio Aguero opened the scoring with an instinctive finish after 20 minutes, before Pablo Zabaleta had a hand in the second which was brilliantly finished off by Eric Lamela on the volley five minutes before the break.
Three goals in five minutes gave the second half a thrilling start.
Swansea defender Hernandez made it 3-0 with a header, before Zabaleta teed up Di Maria to make it 4-0 two minutes later.
Andre Schurrle reduced the deficit two minutes later and Mario Gotze grabbed the game’s final goal with a deflected volley midway through the second period.
The only blemish on the night from a City perspective was the sight of Zabaleta walking gingerly from the field on 67 minutes after a robust, late challenge from Lukas Podolski.
The right-back did manage to play on for five minutes after the incident, so Manuel Pellegrini will be hoping the change was a precautionary one, with a match against Podolski’s Arsenal just ten days away.
Demichelis played all 90 minutes of the match, while Aguero was taken off after 82 minutes.
Aguero, Martin Demichelis and Zabaleta all took some part on that fateful night at the Maracana 50 nights previously and all three started this exhibition match after their accomplished starts to the 2014/15 season.
Elsewhere in the Albicelste XI, new boss Gerardo Martino was without skipper Lionel Messi, so played Angel di Maria off Aguero – a decidedly Mancunian strike force these days.
Kun wore the iconic Argentina no.10 shirt in his great friend’s absence.
It was a slightly unfamiliar-looking Germany side after the international retirements of World Cup winners Phillip Lahm, Miroslav Klose and Per Mertsesacker but there was still plenty of stardust sprinkled throughout the home XI.
Starters Marcos Reus, Mario Gomez, Andre Schurrle, Toni Kroos and Manuel Neuer are hardly newcomers to the international scene.
Demichelis was booked on 16 minutes for a late tackle on Reus and Sergio Romero was called into action by Gomez shortly before but, aside from that, it was a relatively quiet opening 20 minutes.
That was until Aguero reacted first to a wicked outside-of-the-foot cross by Di Maria, ghosting away from his marker to meet it with a sidefoot past Neuer.
It was classic Kun, showcasing his slipperiness in the penalty box and his cool one-touch finishing to turn in a cross which was fizzed into him at hip height.
Aguero had two further chances to double his and Argentina’s tally but Neuer beat away his first effort at the near post, before Kun just missed the far corner with a cut across the face of goal which sent the Germany keeper scrambling.
Zabaleta too was showing just why he’s now considered one of the world’s best in his position, making it a trying first-half for the entire German left side with his well-timed challenges and his lung-busting coverage of the flank.
The City full-back also played an instrumental role in the creation of the second goal which came five minutes before the half-time break.
Pablo’s measured ball down the right wing found Di Maria in behind the German backline and the Manchester United man picked out Spurs winger Lamela, who produced a stunning, cushioned volley into the top corner.
Fernandez’s header at the back post from from a free-kick cross straight after the restart ended the match as a contest, before Zabaleta assisted Di Maria with yet another perfectly-executed pass down the right two minutes later, giving the winger a clear run on goal.
Zabaleta was withdrawn as a precautionary measure after Podolski’s challenge on him with 20 minutes to go.
Soon after, Mario Gotze brought Germany back to within two goals of the visitors with a deflected effort but they couldn’t eat further into Argentina’s lead.
Meanwhile at Wembley, Joe Hart started England’s first friendly after their disappointing group stage exit in Brazil and he had to be at his very best to ensure Norway left Wembley empty handed.
Twice in the early stages of the second half, Hart made vital saves from Josh King to preserve his clean sheet, helping Roy Hodgson’s side to a 1-0 win.
England enjoyed a dominant start to the game, peppering the Norwegian goal with a succession of efforts but it wasn’t until after the break that the deadlock looked like being broken.
Blackburn striker King first worked Hart with a header that looked in until Joe flung himself to his left and pawed it away and then the City keeper showcased his excellent reading of the game to race out and block at the Norway no.7’s feet.
The Three Lions got out of jail courtesy of a Wayne Rooney penalty after 67 minutes, awarded for a foul on Raheem Sterling by former City EDS winger Omar Elabdellaoui.
James Milner was introduced from the bench immediately after the goal, giving him just over 20 minutes to catch Hodgson’s eye ahead of the first Euro 2016 qualifier against Switzerland on Monday night.
There was time left for a proud moment for Hart as he pulled on the captain’s armband for the final six minutes as England's no.1 closed out a clean sheet on his 44th international appearance, giving his nation a win in their opening game of 2014/15.
Vincent Kompany’s Belgium have a friendly against Australia to look forward to on Thursday. We’ll also have news on Eliaquim Mangala and Bacary Sagna’s France as they take on David Silva’s Spain in Paris, as well an update on Edin Dzeko’s Bosnia-Herzegovina versus Liechtenstein right here.