Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: City draw record crowd for Milan rout
- 28 July 2014 07:47
- Posted by @markbooth_mcfc
Another day, another city and another sublime exhibition of attacking football … City are thrilling their way across the United States.
Manuel Pellegrini’s men followed up their 4-1 friendly win over Kansas City in the Midwest with a devastating 5-1 triumph over Milan in Pittsburgh last night… and a record crowd was present to witness it.
Despite the thunder and lightning which delayed the second half restart, City v Milan drew 10,000 more supporters than any other game of football in the city, ever – that’s according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
“On the heels of a World Cup that produced the most-watched soccer game in American history -- with 26 million viewers tuning in to watch Germany beat Argentina, 1-0, in the final -- the Pittsburgh sports faithful Sunday kept the newfound excitement for the sport going,” Alex Nieves wrote.
“A crowd of 34,347 watched Manchester City take on AC Milan at Heinz Field, part of the second annual International Champions Cup, a tournament that brings top European clubs to compete in the United States."
“The attendance marked the highest number of spectators to watch a soccer match in Pittsburgh's history.
“The previous time the city hosted a competition between top-tier international clubs was a July 29, 2004 match between Chelsea and AS Roma. That match drew 25,000 fans.
"’I know soccer is getting bigger within the U.S., so we're glad to be part of this,’" Gael Clichy said. "’As everyone knows, we have a new team in New York now that is getting ready for next year and we can see the way that people can be passionate about soccer.’”
Although Stevan Jovetic turned in another excellent performance and 17-year old Kelechi Iheanacho caught the eye with another neatly-taken goal, as ever, ex-City striker Mario Balotelli provided the moment the match will probably be remembered for.
Late in the game, when two Milan fans invaded the field to get a “selfie” with him, the Italian, as is his wont, duly obliged – as reported in USA Today.
“Two pitch invaders rushed the field to take a selfie with AC Milan’s Mario Balotelli during a preseason friendly against Manchester City at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh,” Micah Peters reports.
“The gesture received brought on the biggest cheer of the day for the Italian side as they endured a 5-1 hiding from Super Mario’s former team.
“This is another in an onslaught of selfies Balotelli has taken since joining Instagram, including his controversial pose with a shotgun and the unforgettable video of him reading Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s biography and dancing to Biggie while doing housework.
“We can only hope that these priceless moments keep coming.”
Quite – speaking of priceless moments, check out Chappy’s exclusive interview with Super Mario here.
Disclaimer: MCFC do not, in any way, shape or form, condone invading the pitch - whether for selfie, or no selfie...
Finally, Pellegrini has ended any speculation surrounding Jovetic’s future at the club by hinting that the Montenegrin is ready to lead the line for City.
The 24-year old had been linked with Inter but his manager told assembled journalists that Stevan can put his injury troubles behind him to play a big role in 2014/15.
“Well Stevan had a lot of bad luck last year," Pellegrini said.
"He had a lot of injuries during the whole year so it is very difficult for a player to have an important performance when he cannot play three games in a row.
"In this year he started the pre-season the same how he finished last year playing well.
"I think now he works hard and continues every day, he will demonstrate why he is here at Manchester City because I think he is very good player."