Barry 2mins, Nasri 26mins & 73mins, Milner 55mins, Dzeko 85mins
Ramires 46mins & 69mins, Mata 81mins
- Match reports
- 26 May 2013 01:21
- Posted by @markbooth_mcfc
How to top the seven-goal thriller of St Louis? Turn it up to eight.
Two games, two cities, 87,725 fans and 15 goals.
The numbers suggest those opting to look in on this post-season tour made sound investments as City clinched a first ever win in the Big Apple.
Meeting for the second time in three days, the Premier League's second and third placed teams served up another match which was less slow burning art-house cinema than a popcorn-friendly summer box office smash.
Two spectacular goals from Samir Nasri and strikes from James Milner, Edin Dzeko and Gareth Barry were answered by a Ramires brace and a Juan Mata special in this latest US blockbuster forged in Manchester and London.
Since jetting back into New York from Missouri straight after Thursday’s game, City’s players have been out engaging with the local community again, putting on some surprise soccer schools for delighted local children across the five boroughs.
Of course City announced a historic partnership with the Yankees on Tuesday to form the 20th MLS expansion team New York City FC, so it was perhaps apt that the Blues should sign off for summer by stepping out onto the hallowed turf of Yankee Stadium for their final engagement.
That meant there was to be an all-Belgian centre-back partnership of Boyata and Vincent Kompany and an all-Argentine front pairing of Carlos Tevez and Sergio Aguero, the latter of which was celebrating a one-year contract extension announced earlier in the day.
Because of that incredible 4-3 comeback win in Missouri on Thursday, football enthusiasts on the other side of the Atlantic had been given an accurate crash course in the Manchester City high wire act and would have been hoping for another freewheeling 90 minutes.
They would not be disappointed.
In Thursday’s match, City came out swinging with only a notch on the scoresheet missing from a perfect first-half performance but this time the Blues wasted no time in finding the clinical edge, racing into the lead with two minutes on the clock through Barry.
Aguero capitalised on an uncharacteristically wayward pass from Oscar and fired for goal, forcing Hilario to spill into the path of a grateful Barry to gleefully tap home.
Chelsea thought they’d equalised nine minutes later when Ba beat the offside trap to latch onto a long ball from David Luiz but unbeknown to the Senegalese striker and most of the crowd inside Yankee Stadium, his shot was the wrong side of the post.
If that was a moment of comic farce, the sublime was to follow and it was the team in sky blue that provided it after 25 minutes.
David Silva dropped a shoulder and slipped one of his calling card through balls in behind the Chelsea defence to Nasri who chipped delightfully over the onrushing Hilario to double City’s advantage.
Moments later Joe Hart was required on three separate occasions in quick succession to repel Chelsea advances, most notably to beat away a stinging drive from Luiz which maintained the Blues’ two-goal advantage.
Despite the “friendly” billing, Aguero and Luiz resumed their Wembley warfare from the FA Cup semi-final, scrapping for every ball with typical Latin American 'pasión', leading to a heated exchange of words between the pair as the sides left the pitch for half-time.
This time it was Chelsea with the mountain to climb in the second half and the expected flurry of substitutions reflected the Londoners’ desire to get back into the game with youngsters making way for the older heads among their ranks.
City brought Richard Wright on for Hart at the break but unfortunately the understudies’ first act was to pick the ball out of the net after Luiz’s incisive long ball found substitute Ramires who classily rounded the keeper before slotting home.
Wright was joined in appearing after the break by Abdul Razak, Dzeko, Maicon, Jack Rodwell, Joleon Lescott, as well as the tireless Milner who restored City’s two-goal lead on 55 minutes with a clinical volley across Petr Cech after good work in the build-up from Rodwell and Dzeko.
Milner could have doubled his tally a few minutes later when he stung Cech’s fingertips with a drive but it was Ramires who found the game’s fifth goal and his second, when he turned home from a Torres cross with 20 to go.
The goalscoring wasn’t finished there though and the goal of the game was still to come courtesy of Nasri, who topped off a special individual performance with a quite incredible solo goal which included a flip-flap, a rapid exchange of passes and an impetuous dink over Cech.
Mata then clipped a wonderful free-kick in off the underside of the crossbar to make it 4-3 before Dzeko thumped in the final goal of the night from 20 yards to leave Stateside City fans wondering if they could face Chelsea in the US every week.
Perhaps defensive connoisseurs won’t look back fondly on these 180 minutes of football but the rest of us can reflect on two games of first-class entertainment on the world's finest stage.
Thank you New York City, it’s been a blast and we will be back – of that you can be sure…