Manchester City Beats AS Roma On Penalties

Posted on by Sreya

Manchester City defeated AS Roma on penalties (4-5) in the second match of the Australian edition of the 2015 International Champions Cup, after the score was tied at 2-2 after ninety minutes. The match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, attended by over 40,000 fans was a part of the preseason tour of both sides and saw the debut of Manchester City’s newest acquisition Raheem Sterling.

Raheem Sterling’s first touch in his new club wasn’t appealing, as the 20-year-old tripped on the ball, amidst jeers from the spectators. Soon after, the Englishman showed why Manchester City chose to splurge on him. Sterling latched onto a through ball from City’s Nigerian teenage midfielder Kelechi Iheanacho and slotted past Roma’s goalkeeper to give City the lead in the 3rd minute.

Miralem Pjanic equalized for Roma just five minutes later, with a stunning strike from 25 metres. Manchester City were immediately on the counter-offensive with David Silva drawing a save from Morgan de Sanctis, the Roma goalkeeper. Manchester City continued to threaten with their host of attacking-minded players being channelled through David Silva’s creativity.

Raheem Sterling was extremely unlucky not to have created more, as a strong call for a penalty was denied by Australian referee Jarred Gillet, after Alessandro Florenzi had brought down the former Liverpool player. At the mark of half time, both clubs made a host of changes with Manchester City replacing everyone except for Vincent Kompany and Kelechi Iheanacho.

Iheanacho, one of the famed products of the Manchester City youth setup, had an excellent game, demonstrating his composure on the ball, creating City’s first and scoring the second, six minutes after restart of play, having latched on to a misplaced backpass from Ashley Cole. Roma equalized three minutes from full time when forward Adem Llajic curled in a free-kick, after he was brought down just outside the Manchester City penalty area.

The match went to penalties and Joe Hart proved to be the shootout hero, once again defining his importance to this Manchester City squad. Roma scored the first four spot kicks through Radja Nainggolan, Adem Llajic, Mattia Destro and Iago Falque but Seydou Doumbia missed the final one. Aleksander Kolarov missed his penalty for Manchester City, but Yaya Toure, Jesus Navas, Rony Lopes and Joe Hart scored theirs. In the sudden death scenario, Seydou Keita of Roma fluffed his spot kick, but James Horsfield scored the winner for Manchester City.

It was a relatively comfortable first test of the pre-season for Manchester City, but now they will face Real Madrid on 24th July, 2015.

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