Manchester City signalled their intent for the new season as they held off 10-man Chelsea to lift the Community Shield at Villa Park.
Three goals in 12 second-half minutes by Yaya Toure, Carlos Tevez and Samir Nasri ensured the Premier League champions came from a goal down to win the season's traditional curtain-raiser in a thrilling game.
Fernando Torres had given Chelsea the lead shortly before half-time only for Roberto Di Matteo's side to lose the initiative when Branislav Ivanovic was sent off for a rash tackle on Aleksandar Kolarov moments later.
City send message to rivals
"This was the day Manchester City sent a message to the rest of the Premier League, a clear signal that the title is very much theirs to give away"
Ryan Bertrand gave Chelsea hope with 10 minutes remaining but City clung on to lift their second trophy of 2012.
This was a rollocking introduction to the next 10 months of drama, disaster, heartache and bluster - a game packed with perspiration and a period of inspiration from City.
The champions were the better throughout, although the dismissal of Ivanovic ultimately shaped the outcome of the game.
For a 10-minute period in the second half, City's attacking play was rapier sharp, their finishing ruthless. Roberto Mancini's men performed with unshakeable belief and eventually found a finishing touch to inflict defeat on a Chelsea team bolstered again by owner Roman Abramovich's millions.
It was not all bad news for Chelsea. Throughout there were signs that Torres was coming to the boil just in time for the new season. Eden Hazard endured an afternoon to forget, tripping over the ball as he attempted a backheel much to the delight of the City fans, but Ramires and Juan Mata provided flair and boundless energy.
Manchester City's long wait
- Manchester City last lifted this trophy (at the time the Charity Shield) in 1972, despite not winning the league or FA Cup the previous season
- League champions Derby County and FA Cup winners Leeds United declined to take part so City, who had finished fourth in the First Division, and Third Division champions Aston Villa, were invited to fulfil the fixture, which City won 1-0
But the force was with City, as Mancini's men demonstrated a growing togetherness and maturity.
The swathes of empty seats in all four stands were a reminder that football is, at least for another 24 hours, very much taking second-billing in the national sporting consciousness to the London Olympics. But there was no questioning the commitment of the players.
From the off the challenges were robust and full-blooded, as if a summer of pent-up frustration had been released in 20 thunderous opening minutes. City settled the quicker, with Mancini's decision to experiment with three at the back giving the champions a measure of control in midfield.
Aguero was a constant danger, his runs as sharp and dangerous as they had been in the dying moments of last season, while Nasri probed menacingly.
City might have taken an early lead with Vincent Kompany, Tevez and Sergio Aguero all going close.
But for all City's dominance, Chelsea stood firm to deliver the ultimate sucker punch with five minutes of the first half remaining.
Ashley Cole's hopeful ball should have been dealt with more decisively, but Ramires picked up the pieces 16 yards from goal, jinked beyond Pablo Zabaleta and rolled a clever pass to his right, where Torres was on hand to apply the kind of calm finish that appeared beyond him for much of last season.
But just as they had established a foothold in the game, Chelsea allowed it to slip away.
"When Chelsea went down to 10 men, the quality Manchester City had on show with Carlos Tevez and Sergio Aguero, and the firepower that came on in David Silva, it was always going to be a long road for Chelsea. With the likes of Aguero, a fit Tevez, Silva and Yaya Toure, City have enough to waltz through the league. The question is can they do the same in Europe?"
As Kolarov broke down the left, Ivanovic moved quickly to his right, launching himself at the City player with studs showing. Referee Kevin Friend immediately produced the red card, sparking fury among the Chelsea staff.
There was no time to pause for breath, however, as City came roaring back. First Yaya Toure beat Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech with a fizzing low shot through a crowded penalty area, before Tevez placed a curling effort into the top corner.
Nasri appeared to kill the game off as he stretched out a boot to poke home Kolarov's pin-point cut-back, but Chelsea kept coming.
Showing the spirit built on last season's Champions League triumph, they battled back. A speculative shot by Daniel Sturridge was inexplicably spilled by City goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon and substitute Bertrand reacted first to prod in the rebound.
Aguero could have put the contest beyond doubt as the match slipped into injury time but on this occasion he could not provide any last-minute drama.
- 01 Cech
- 02 Ivanovic Dismissed
- 03 Cole Booked
- 04 Luiz
- 26 Terry
- 07 Ramires Booked
- 08 Lampard Booked
- 12 Mikel Booked
- 17 Hazard (Bertrand - 71' Booked )
- 09 Torres
- 10 Mata (Sturridge - 74' )
- 22 Turnbull
- 24 Cahill
- 34 Bertrand
- 05 Essien
- 16 Meireles
- 23 Sturridge
- 40 Piazon
- 30 Pantilimon Booked
- 04 Kompany Booked
- 05 Zabaleta
- 13 Kolarov
- 15 Savic Booked (Clichy - 46' )
- 07 Milner
- 08 Nasri (Silva - 76' )
- 34 De Jong
- 42 Y Toure
- 16 Aguero
- 32 Tevez (Dzeko - 88' )
- 63 Johansen
- 22 Clichy
- 28 K Toure
- 11 Johnson
- 21 Silva
- 62 Razak
- 10 Dzeko
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The final whistle goes and the game is over.90:00 +2:34
James Milner decides to take the corner short.90:00 +1:43
Ramires challenges David Silva unfairly and gives away a free kick. Gnegneri Toure Yaya takes the free kick.90:00 +1:11
Corner taken left-footed by Ryan Bertrand from the left by-line, save by Costel Pantilimon.89:33
Centre by James Milner, Close range shot by Sergio Aguero goes wide of the left-hand upright.88:37
The ball is swung over by James Milner, David Silva takes a shot. Petr Cech makes a comfortable save.87:45 Substitution
Substitution Carlos Tevez leaves the field to be replaced by Edin Dzeko.86:02
Frank Lampard fouled by Carlos Tevez, the ref awards a free kick. Petr Cech restarts play with the free kick.84:25
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Carlos Tevez by Mikel. David Silva takes the direct free kick.83:41
Unfair challenge on Mikel by Sergio Aguero results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Ramires.82:37
Outswinging corner taken by Frank Lampard from the right by-line, Gael Clichy makes a clearance.81:30
Unfair challenge on Carlos Tevez by David Luiz results in a free kick. Carlos Tevez restarts play with the free kick.80:11
Free kick awarded for a foul by Ramires on Aleksandar Kolarov. Gael Clichy takes the direct free kick.79:53 Booking
Booking Costel Pantilimon shown a yellow card.79:45 Booking
Booking Ryan Bertrand is cautioned.79:06
Assist by Daniel Sturridge.79:06 Goal scored
Goal! - Ryan Bertrand - Chelsea 2 - 3 Man City A goal is scored by Ryan Bertrand from inside the six-yard box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Chelsea 2-3 Man City.78:48
Shot by Daniel Sturridge. Brilliant save by Costel Pantilimon.77:49
Vincent Kompany takes a shot from 12 yards. Blocked by John Terry.77:12
Unfair challenge on James Milner by Frank Lampard results in a free kick. Free kick taken by James Milner.
Substitution David Silva joins the action as a substitute, replacing Samir Nasri.73:45 Substitution
Substitution Daniel Sturridge replaces Juan Mata.70:13 Substitution
Substitution Eden Hazard goes off and Ryan Bertrand comes on.66:39
Samir Nasri has an effort at goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the left-hand upright.65:30
Outswinging corner taken right-footed by James Milner, Ramires makes a clearance.64:33
Assist on the goal came from Aleksandar Kolarov.64:33 Goal scored
Goal! - Samir Nasri - Chelsea 1 - 3 Man City Samir Nasri grabs a goal from close in to the top right corner of the goal. Chelsea 1-3 Man City.64:30
The ball is sent over by Aleksandar Kolarov,63:17
Shot from 20 yards by Ramires. Comfortable save by Costel Pantilimon.61:48
Free kick taken by Gnegneri Toure Yaya.61:48 Booking
Booking Ashley Cole is cautioned.61:37
Ashley Cole gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Carlos Tevez.61:12
Pablo Zabaleta challenges Eden Hazard unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Ashley Cole.59:50
Inswinging corner taken by Aleksandar Kolarov from the right by-line, Petr Cech makes a save.58:13
The assist for the goal came from Samir Nasri.58:13 Goal scored
Goal! - Carlos Tevez - Chelsea 1 - 2 Man City Goal scored by Carlos Tevez from just outside the penalty box to the top right corner of the goal. Chelsea 1-2 Man City.57:00
Fernando Torres fouled by Sergio Aguero, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Mikel.54:38
James Milner gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Ashley Cole. Free kick taken by Frank Lampard.52:25
James Milner provided the assist for the goal.52:25 Goal scored
Goal! - Gnegneri Toure Yaya - Chelsea 1 - 1 Man City Gnegneri Toure Yaya fires in a goal from the edge of the penalty box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Chelsea 1-1 Man City.51:38
Gael Clichy challenges Juan Mata unfairly and gives away a free kick. David Luiz takes the free kick.49:32
Frank Lampard gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on James Milner. Aleksandar Kolarov restarts play with the free kick.48:06
Ramires restarts play with the free kick.48:06 Booking
Booking Vincent Kompany is shown a yellow card.47:55
Free kick awarded for a foul by Vincent Kompany on Fernando Torres.47:06
Frank Lampard has an effort at goal from outside the box missing to the wide left of the goal.46:32
Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Juan Mata from the right by-line, clearance made by Gael Clichy.45:40
Effort on goal by Aleksandar Kolarov from 35+ yards.45:01
The second half begins.45:01 Substitution
Substitution Gael Clichy comes on in place of Stefan Savic.45:00 +3:08 Half time
Half Time The first half comes to an end.45:00 +1:20
Inswinging corner taken by James Milner, Unfair challenge on Petr Cech by Carlos Tevez results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Petr Cech.45:00 +0:42
Stefan Savic takes the free kick.45:00 +0:42 Booking
Booking Frank Lampard is given a yellow card.45:00 +0:35
James Milner fouled by Frank Lampard, the ref awards a free kick.43:30 Booking
Booking Mikel is given a yellow card.41:44
James Milner shoots direct from the free kick, Petr Cech makes a comfortable save.41:44 Dismissal
Dismissal Branislav Ivanovic is shown a red card.41:23
Branislav Ivanovic concedes a free kick for a foul on Aleksandar Kolarov.40:51
Unfair challenge on Stefan Savic by Fernando Torres results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Nigel De Jong.39:23
Ramires provided the assist for the goal.39:23 Goal scored
Goal! - Fernando Torres - Chelsea 1 - 0 Man City Fernando Torres gets on the score sheet with a goal from inside the penalty area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Chelsea 1-0 Man City.34:23
Effort from outside the area by Ashley Cole goes wide right of the goal.31:24
Direct free kick taken by Gnegneri Toure Yaya.31:24 Booking
Booking Booking for Ramires for unsporting behaviour.31:09
Ramires concedes a free kick for a foul on Samir Nasri.30:46
Inswinging corner taken by Juan Mata from the right by-line played to the near post, Aleksandar Kolarov makes a clearance.30:00
James Milner concedes a free kick for a foul on Frank Lampard. Direct free kick taken by Mikel.29:43
Carlos Tevez takes a shot. Blocked by David Luiz.28:35
Eden Hazard takes a shot from 25 yards. Costel Pantilimon makes a save.27:30
Mikel produces a right-footed shot from long range that goes harmlessly over the bar.27:09
Juan Mata decides to take the corner short.26:42
Free kick awarded for a foul by Sergio Aguero on David Luiz. David Luiz restarts play with the free kick.26:08
The ball is delivered by James Milner.24:36
Shot by Frank Lampard. Save made by Costel Pantilimon.23:38
Headed effort from deep inside the area by Sergio Aguero misses to the left of the goal.21:57
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on James Milner by Fernando Torres. Gnegneri Toure Yaya takes the direct free kick.18:30
Corner taken by James Milner from the left by-line played to the near post, save by Petr Cech.16:33
Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Aleksandar Kolarov, save by Petr Cech.15:42
Corner taken by Samir Nasri from the left by-line played to the near post, clearance made by Ashley Cole.15:28
Samir Nasri has an effort at goal. Petr Cech makes a fantastic save.11:25
Fernando Torres fouled by Gnegneri Toure Yaya, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick crossed left-footed by Juan Mata from right wing.10:51 Booking
Booking Stefan Savic is shown a yellow card.7:37
Corner taken left-footed by Aleksandar Kolarov from the right by-line, clearance by Frank Lampard.7:02
Corner taken right-footed by Samir Nasri from the left by-line, clearance by Branislav Ivanovic.5:50
David Luiz challenges Sergio Aguero unfairly and gives away a free kick. Gnegneri Toure Yaya takes the direct free kick.4:44
Free kick awarded for a foul by Nigel De Jong on Frank Lampard. Direct free kick taken by Mikel.4:07
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Ramires by Aleksandar Kolarov. Frank Lampard takes the direct free kick.2:08
David Luiz challenges Sergio Aguero unfairly and gives away a free kick. Carlos Tevez produces a strike on goal direct from the free kick, Petr Cech makes a save.0:41
Mikel fouled by Samir Nasri, the ref awards a free kick. Mikel restarts play with the free kick.0:00
The referee gets the game started.
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