We were live at Villa Park for the Community Shield clash between Premier League champions Manchester City and FA Cup winners Chelsea.
Another season of domestic football in the highest echelons of the English game is upon us.
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Manchester City 3-2 Chelsea
13.21 – Here we go again! Villa Park is playing host to today’s encounter following the Olympics Gold Medal match at Wembley Stadium yesterday. It will be interesting to see if Manchester City can get off to a rip-roaring start to the season, as they did last year.
City lost this fixture, 3-2, to Manchester United last season before going on an impressive run in the league that would eventually pay rich dividends in gaining the Premier League crown.
13.22 – Here are the teams:
CHELSEA: Cech; Ivanovic, Luiz, Terry, Cole; Mikel, Lampard; Ramires, Mata, Hazard; Torres.
MAN CITY: Pantilimon; Zabaleta, Kompany, Savic, Kolarov; De Jong, Y Toure; Milner, Aguero, Nasri; Tevez.
13.25 – If today’s match is anything like last season’s curtain-raiser then we are in for a treat.
YouTube credit: fatv
13.31 – Joe Hart misses out through injury so Costel Pantilimon takes over in goal for City. Mario Balotelli is in Villa Park but as a spectator. Roberto Mancini has been speaking to ITV about the purchase of Jack Rodwell from Everton. He said:
We consider Jack Rodwell to be a good, young player. He will be an important midfielder for the England national team and for us. We need to put into the team someone who wants to win, is good tactically and is a good player for the future.
13.32 – We are off!
13.39 – Fernando Torres is the man in possession of the main striker’s role at Chelsea and he will be looking to get off to a flyer and prove he is the lethal finisher of old. He loses out in a tussle with Yaya Toure and City get a free after David Luiz takes down Sergio Aguero.
Carlos Tevez curls a decent free kick towards Petr Cech’s right but the Czech international palms it away.
13.44 – Tevez runs afoul of John Terry but there is no free given. Stefan Savic earns his first yellow card of the season after welcoming Eden Hazard to England with a clattering tackle from behind.
13.50 – Aguero inadvertently puts Nasri through on goal but there is no commitment to his poked effort and Cech blocks it for a corner. The French midfielder then fails to beat the Chelsea defender at the near post with his tame corner. City press and get another, which is taken by Koralov. Much more whip and pace but Cech claws it clear.
13.53 – Kompany beats John Terry to another City corner but Cech does well to get well behind the headed effort.
BOTCHED BACK-HEEL ALERT! Eden Hazard fresh airs a back-heel attempt and ends up on the turf, much to the amusement of the City fans at Villa Park.
13.56 – Great cross whipped in from James Milner on the right wing but Aguero can’t get enough purchase on his header, which skims well wide.
13.58 – First shot on goal from Chelsea but Lampard can’t get a clean connection, hitting his shot into the ground on the charge, Pantilimon takes it at chest height.
14.02 – Much better from Eden Hazard as he lets fly with an effort from 25 yards out. Pantilimon gets down quickly to snaffle it up.
14.04 – Ramires gets a yellow card after lopping the ankles of a charging Nasri.
Here is that Hazard attempt at a back-heel:
YouTube credit: WhySoSeriousX92
14.10 – John Obi Mikel caught in possession and David Luiz is forced to hack a through-ball clear as Aguero puts him under pressure. City having the better of the game with 37 minutes gone.
14.12 – GOAL! Fernando Torres.
14.16 – The ball is slid across the City box by Ramires and Torres keeps his composure to poke it past Pantilimon with the outside of his boot.
RED CARD! Ivanovic is given a straight red for a lunging tackle on Kolarov. He won the ball with one leg but planted his studs on Kolarov’s shin with the other. No arguments, from me at least, about that one. Milner fires his free to the left but it is an easy save for Cech.
It is all happening here!
14.18 – Here is the Chelsea opener. Well taken effort from Torres.
YouTube credit: James2011Livo
14.20 – Lampard goes in the book for a foul on Milner. Referee Kevin Friend has set the cautionary standards and must stay consistent now. What did you all make of that red card decision?
14.26 – So, Chelsea lead against the run of play but the red card for Ivanovic will make it a dicey second-half. They have backs-to-the-wall experience from last season and will be confident of shutting down the City attack after the break. JT will be rallying the troops in the Blues’ dressing room right now.
Here is that Ivanovic tackle:
YouTube credit: goal omcm
14.38 – As Rory McIlroy leads by two shots at the PGA Championship, we get back underway at the Community Shield.
14.41 – Torres’ blood is up as he shuns a pass to Ashley Cole and goes it alone. Touching the ball past Kompany and sprinting into the box. Kolarov comes sliding in to avert the danger and give Chelsea a corner.
Kompany then impedes Torres deliberately to earn himself a yellow card. The Spaniard has discovered the form that made Chelsea shell out £50m for him almost two years ago.
Fernando Torres makes it 1-0. (John Walton/EMPICS Sport)
14.47 – GOAL! James Milner tries to whip in a cross but it is deflected. It drops to John Terry but his attempt at a sliding clearance is weak and falls to Yaya Toure. His first touch takes him wider than he would have liked but he slams a superb, low drive past Cech.
14.49 – Ashley Cole does well to nip in ahead of Carlos Tevez, who was poised to connect with a dangerous cross.
14.51 – GOAL! Tevez scores a stunner.
14.54 – Tevez takes possession of the ball on the lefthand side of the Chelsea box and dashes across its perimeter, leaving David Luiz in his wakes, before unleashing a drive that curls into the top corner. Petr Cech did not even move. Tevez unveils a ‘Fuerte Apache’ (Fort Apache) t-shirt under his jersey as he runs off in celebration.
14.57 – GOAL! Kolarov cuts the ball back at the byline and Nasri ghosts in to volley it home. 3-1 to City now.
15.01 – Here is that Toure equaliser.
YouTube credit: SoccerTVProd
Chelsea look out of ideas but di Matteo refusing to use his bench.
15.04 – Eden Hazard’s official Chelsea debut is over as he is replaced by Ryan Bertrand.
15.06 – Another stunning goal, this time courtesy of Carlos Tevez, for your viewing pleasure:
YouTube credit: 10KingHighlights
15.09 – Juan Mata is off too and Daniel Sturridge, a former City employee, is on the pitch. Cech does well to slide and cut out a dangerous cross into the box. It is looking like more silverware for Roberto Mancini’s men.
Nasri is replaced by David Silva.
15.13 – GOAL! Not over just yet as Costel Pantilimon drops a clanger and spills a Sturridge shot. Ryan Bertrand nips in to slam the ball home. Bertrand and Pantilimon are both booked for some push and shove over the ball.
15.19 – Five minutes to go and Tevez relieves some pressure by earning a free-kick high up the park. City are passing it about now in the hope of closing out the contest and wearing out 10-man Chelsea.
15.24 – Aguero misses a sitter after Yaya Toure, then James Milner made David Luiz look ordinary. Milner cut it back for an unmarked Aguero but the Argentine’s side-foot went a couple of feet wide.
Edin Dzeko just did his best Tony Cascarino against Croatia (away) as he botched a one-on-one chance by doddering over the ball.
15.26 – Into injury time and City passing the ball around comfortably.
15.29 – Game over and more silverware to City as they win 3-2. Yaya Toure got the official man-of-the-match award.
We will bring you the post-match reaction in a separate piece. Olympics, PGA and All-Ireland action still on the radar today.