(Credit: Andy McDonnell)
Manchester City were crowned champions of the inaugural Dublin Super Cup following a very convincing three-nil victory over Inter Milan thanks to goals from Mario Balotelli, Edin Dzeko and Adam Johnson.
City almost made the perfect start when Mario Balotelli appeared to have side footed home David Silva’s measured cross inside the first ninety seconds, however the goal was correctly ruled out for offside.
Balotelli nearly made amends for his error just seconds later as he headed marginally over from a well floated Alexsander Kolarov cross. Inter Milan found themselves really under pressure within the first five minutes from a possessed Man City.
The pressure from City was relentless as they pressed furthermore. As Dejan Stankovic fell to ground, David Silva took the opportunity to weave his way into the box. He then crossed to Toure, who had his effort saved and subsequently spilled by Julio Cesar. The rebound fell to Mario Balotelli who had the easiest of finishes, but Cesar regained his balance to produce a fantastic double save to deny Mancini’s side.
Manchester City were denied a second goal via the same scourge as the first; the offside flag. This time Kolarov picked out Dzeko on the edge of the six yard box. He tapped home, but the referee raised his arm to indicate it had been disallowed for Dzeko’s pre-mature advances.
As Inter gained more possession, they often wasted it, allowing City to make a nuisance of themselves on the counter attack. David Silva produced a fine example of this just past the half hour mark as he ran almost fifty yards before finding Edin Dzeko on the edge of the box. His venomous effort was well tipped over the bar by Julio Cesar.
Inter’s best effort of the half came via the vision of Wesley Sneijder. He ran into space and dragged a ball across the eighteen yard box to pick out his team mate Sulley Muntari, but the ex-Portsmouth midfielder dragged his effort well wide of Joe Hart’s goal.
Into the one additional minute of added time at the end of the first half, Julio Cesar lobbed a poor clearance straight to the feet of Mario Balotelli. His effort was turned over the bar, but from the resulting corner, City would find the breakthrough. Aleksander Kolarov sent a teasing out-swinger toward the head of Balotelli, and the Italian made no mistake in converting his free header.
Forty seconds into the second half, City doubled their lead. Tireless work from David Silva in the centre of the park allowed him to find space in which to turn and produce a sublime pass into the feet of Edin Dzeko. The Bosnian made no mistake in finding the back of the net.
Inter were denied what looked a certain goal after Wesley Sneijder’s free kick deflected towards the City goal. Joe Hart somehow acrobatically tipped the ball over the bar to keep Milan at bay.
An extraordinary effort from Dejan Stankovic nearly caught Hart by surprise. Sneijder’s corner was swung outwards toward the edge of the box where Stankovic caught it perfectly on the volley. The ball whistled just passed Hart’s post and denied Inter a way back into it.
Inter Milan produced yet another chance late on to claw a goal back. This time it was a fantastic cross from McDonald Mariga that found the head of Pazzinni, but the ever reliable Joe Hart was equal to the tame effort.
City saw out the remainder of the game with relative ease, with constant substitutions disturbing the flow of play, however it was a well deserved victory and nobody can deny that City were by far the most deserving of their crown, which was highlighted in the last few seconds as Shaun Wright-Phillips broke into the box and crossed for Adam Johnson to tap home from all of three yards.
Inter Milan: Julio Cesar, Andrea Ranocchia, Ricardo Alvarez (Gianpaolo Pazzinni 64), Cristian Chivu, Luca Caldirola (Felice Natilno 69), Matteo Bianchetti, Wesley Sneijder (Davide Santon 75), Dejan Stankovic (McDonald Mariga 75), Lorenzo Creistig (Sulley Muntari 27), Samuel Eto’o, Goran Pandev (Luc Castaignos 53).
Subs not Used: Luca Castellazzi, Walter Samuel, Davide Fandoni, Paolo Orlandoni.
Manchester City: Joe Hart, Micah Richards, Vincent Kompany, Joleon Lescott, Aleksander Kolarov (Karim Rekik 87), Nigel De Jong, Yaya Toure (Denis Suarez 88), David Silva (Gareth Barry 79), James Milner (Adam Johnson 80), Mario Balotelli (Shaun Wright-Phillips 75), Edin Dzeko.
Subs not Used: Stuart Taylor, Dedryck Boyata, Ryan McGivern, John Guidetti, Joan Roman, Luca Scapuzzi, Abdul Razak.
Referee: Dave McKeon.
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: David Silva.
Andrew joined Extratime for the 2010 season and covers all the on-goings down in Limerick. Having first experienced the League of Ireland in 2002, Andrew became hooked, even at such an early age. He is currently studying English and New Media at the University of Limerick. You can contact him via Twitter @Cunneen92.
Former UCD defender Mick Leahy became Stuart Taylor’s second new arrival for the 2014 season today, and he spoke exclusively ...... Read more
Limerick FC have announced the signing of 24-year old defender Mick Leahy from UCD for the 2014 season.... Read more
Rory Gaffney’s strike just inside the half hour mark sunk a resilient Shelbourne side at Thomond Park on Wednesday evening.... Read more
A single Robbie Williams header just ten minutes from time earned Limerick their third win on the trot as they ...... Read more
As the Women's National League is about to kick back into full swing, preparations are being finalised ahead of the ...... Read more