Manchester City got their hands on their first piece of silverware of the campaign as they came from behind to beat 10-man Chelsea in the Community Shield at Villa Park.
Fernando Torres opened the scoring for Chelsea before Branislav Ivanovic saw red for a rash tackle on Aleksandar Kolarov on the stroke of half time.
After the interval City hit back with three goals in 12 minutes. Yaya Toure struck an equaliser before Carlos Tevez and Samir Nasri both found the net to give City some breathing space.
Ryan Bertrand pulled one back for Chelsea following a Costel Pantilimon mistake, but Mancini’s men held on to lift their second trophy of 2012.
The Sky Blues adopted a rare 3-4-1-2 formation with James Milner and Aleksandar Kolarov playing as wing backs, attacking at every given chance. And it was the 2011/12 league winners who started the brightest with Vincent Kompany, Sergio Agüero and Carlos Tevez all going close.
Many have dubbed the Community Shield as a mere preseason friendly, but these two teams thought otherwise with full blooded challenges from the off, leaving Chelsea new boy Eden Hazard startled. The pace and intensity looked to surprise the Belgium wonder kid as he slowly felt his way into the game.
Despite City dominating the early stages it was Chelsea who took the lead five minute before the interval. Ramires coasted past Zabaleta and found Torres unmarked in the box to slot home past the advancing Pantilimon.
But it did not take long for celebrations to turn into anger. Literally seconds later Branislav Ivanovic lunged in two footed on Alexander Kolarov resulting in the Chelsea defender heading down the tunnel for an early bath.
With Mancini’s half time team talk ringing in the City player’s ears they immediately hit back. Yaya Toure equalised with a powerful low shot beating Petr Cech through a crowd of players before Carlos Tevez put City ahead with a well struck finish which nestled in the top corner.
And then things went from bad to worse for Chelsea as Nasri looked to have put the game to rest getting on the end of Kolarov’s cut-back, but characteristically Chelsea did not give up and when Pantilimon spilled Daniel Sturridge’s speculative effort, youngster Bertrand was on hand to tap in the rebound giving Chelsea a glimmer of hope.
But it was not to be as City held on to lift the Community Shield. And if this game was anything to go by then the forthcoming Premier League season looks set to be a cracker.
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TORRES OPENS THE SCORING
IVANOVIC’S TACKLE ON KOLAROV
IVANOVIC SENT OFF
YAYA TOURE SCORES
BERTRAND’S CONSOLATION GOAL