City end tour in style
- 30 July 2012 17:00
- Posted by David Clayton
City were too hot for Malaysia as goals from Sergio Aguero, Carlos Tevez and Adam Johnson sealed an classy 3-1 win in Kuala Lumpur.
Aguero was quite brilliant at times and scored one stunning goal before laying on two more in a display that suggests he, and the rest of the team, are closing towards peak fitness and form at exactly the right time.
On a summer tour where the football has got better with each game, the Blues will head home having won an army of new fans in this part of the world, playing a brand of football worthy of Premier League champions.
Already down to the bare bones of his tour squad, Roberto Mancini was also without his captain Vincent Kompany for the clash against a Malaysian XI at the Bukit Jalil Stadium in Kuala Lumpur.
The team had already had a taste of the noise and colour that the Malaysian supporters provide, but while the open training session the previous evening had been noisy with just a few thousand in attendance, the deafening din of almost 40,000 that greeted the players as they came out with live long in the memory.
Klaxons, horns, kazoos – you name it – if it made noise it was here and unlike China where a few hundred City fans were comfortably outnumbered by Chinese Arsenal fans, there were City shirts everywhere on this occasion.
The locals, it appear, are not only crazy about the Premier League – they seem to have adopted the Blues as their team of choice. The songs and chants prove these are not just fly-by-night supporters – tonight, Malaysia was blue.
As with most games on City’s summer tour, the weather was hot and sticky and in truth, the pitch was not in the greatest of condition. But then, the Blues rarely had to shift out of first gear against a side who were unfortunate to lose 2-1 to Arsenal less than a week ago.
So with Kompany on his way home, Nir Biton was the only other absentee from the side that started against Arsenal in Beijing – in their places came Denis Suarez and Adam Johnson as Mancini kept faith with the 3-5-2 deployment against the Gunners.
Yaya Toure took the captain’s armband for the first time as the Blues looked to end their Far East trip in style.
Barely three minutes in, however, Costel Pantilimon raced out of his box to collect the ball and was a shade lucky tot to see a card of some colour as he stood a good yard outside his area with still holding the ball!
He saved the resulting free-kick well down to his left and two minutes later, Sergio Aguero’s goal was disallowed for offside. Two minutes later and Aguero’s rocket shot struck the bar after Tevez had rounded the keeper -quite a start!
City continued to knock on the door and on 17 minutes, it finally opened with a quite brilliant goal from Aguero that his father-in-law would be particularly proud of.
Picking the ball up on the edge of the box he danced past four tackles before finishing with a sublime chip over Marlias to spark a mini-Poznan in the stands and give the Blues a richly deserved lead.
City were denied what appeared to be a stonewall penalty on the half-hour when Aleks Kolarov was felled just as he was about to double the advantage – but perhaps the thought of sending a home player off, as he surely would have had to, was too much to stomach for referee Yaacob!
As it was, Malaysia stood firm until three minutes after half-time when a threaded ball from Aguero put in Tevez who held off his marker to hit a low left--foot drive past the keeper. With the proverbial floodgates swung open, Aguero again was the provider just four minutes later with a sumptuous lob finding Johnson who wrong-footed the keeper with smart finish from eight yards - game, set and match.
The hosts sent the sizeable crowd crazy with a late consoltaion from Akil making it 3-1, but this victory was the perfect way to end a successful tour, both on and off the pitch.
Booked: Tevez (City), Robbat (Malaysia)
CITY: Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Savic, K Toure (Boyata 76), Kolarov, Razak (Evans 67), Y Toure (c) (Scapuzzi 58), Suarez, Aguero (Lopes 70), Tevez (F Mancini 76), A Johnson
UNUSED SUBS: Johansen
GOALS: Aguero 17, Tevez 48, Johnson 52 for City; Akil 87 for Malaysia
ATT: 53,000 (TBC)
REF: M Yaacob