Manchester City 0 Porto 1
Sat 12th August - Malc at the COMSTAD for Get Your Kits Out

A goal from Adriano two minutes before half-time gave Porto victory at the City of Manchester Stadium.

Midfielder Raul Meireles' corner was headed home by the Brazilian striker - not to be confused with his namesake at Inter Milan - just before the break.

Adriano had a good chance early on but he rolled his shot from the edge of the penalty area just wide of Nicky Weaver's right-hand post.

City forward Georgios Samaras went close in the 10th minute when Paulo Assuncao slipped inside his own area but the Greek fired into the side-netting.

Bernardo Corradi then forced goalkeeper Helton to save his low shot in the 31st minute.

Stuart Pearce's side were unlucky not to equalise three minutes into the second half when Samaras' shot went across Helton and hit the post and Corradi was just inches away from touching in the rebound.

Get Your Kits Out Verdict : A pretty poor game as we have come to expect in City's pre-season friendlies. City's ability to pass and find space is again sadly lacking this season and much improvement is required if we are going to compete at the level required in the Premier League. No Dunne, Hamann. Sinclair, Jordan, Cole, Sun or the transferred James but enough out there on the Park to mount a serious challenge. Samaras and Barton were perhaps the best two players on view but too many of City's were either unable or unwilling to add the necessary input to match the neat but unspectacular Portuguese.

Let's hope that the team were saving themselves from further injury problems before the trip to Stamford bridge next weekend......    watch this space                pictures courtesy of my Grandson Dan Hart


City: Weaver (Hart 62), Richards, Thatcher, Dabo, Onuoha (D.Mills 61), Distin, Reyna (Dickov 70) (c), Barton, Vassell (Miller 72), Corradi, Samaras

subs: Jordan, Sinclair

FC Porto: Helton, Pepe, Cech, Ibson (Ricardo Costa, 80), Quaresma (Vieirinha 70), Anderson (Jorginho 74), Tarik (Alan 61), Bosingwa, Raul Meireles, Paulo Assuncao, Adriano (Lisandro 55)

subs: Paulo Ribeiro (GK), Bruno Alves, Ezequias, Diogo Valente

Goals: 0-1 (Adriano 43)



FC Porto:

Referee: Andre Marriner            Attendance 20,375


Manchester City 3 Kashima Antlers 4
06/08/2006 By Michael Church, PA Sport, Shanghai

Injury-hit Manchester City struggled against a lively Kashima Antlers in Shanghai today, losing 4-3 to the former Japanese champions in their second and final game of the Shanghai International tournament.

City scored through Antoine Sibierski, Georgios Samaras and Joey Barton but never led as Antlers capitalised on the Premier League side's defensive frailties.

Manager Stuart Pearce had been concerned with a number of injuries within his squad before the game but Sylvain Distin and Micah Richards were both deemed fit enough to start.

New signing Dietmar Hamann, however, failed to shake off a foot injury picked up in Friday's 1-0 win over Shanghai Shenhua while neither Richard Dunne nor Sun Jihai were available due to minor injuries. Ben Thatcher was suspended after being sent off in the previous game and, as a result, Pearce named himself on the bench.

The Eastlands side could have done with a dash of Pearce's trademark tenacity in the opening quarter of the game with the Premier League side often second-best as Kashima's pace and movement caused problems.

It took just 11 minutes for Antlers to take the lead when the City defence failed to clear Takuya Nozawa's corner before Daisuke Iwamasa struck from a tight angle after Danny Mills failed to clear.

Mills was again caught out five minutes later when Masaki Fukai stepped inside from the left wing before firing off a shot that Joe Hart blocked.

City finally woke up in the 24th minute when Claudio Reyna caught the Kashima defence cold with a quickly-taken free-kick that released Paul Dickov, but the Scot failed to capitalise as goalkeeper Hitoshi Sogahata blocked the shot with his feet.

Six minutes later, however, City were level when Sibierski powered his header beyond the right hand of Sogahata after Trevor Sinclair's inch-perfect cross from the left.

Sinclair almost put City in front less than 60 seconds later when he slid in to meet Samaras' cross only for the ball to fly wide of the target.

But with six minutes left in the half Antlers took the lead again as City once again failed to clear their lines. A curling shot from Yuzo Tashiro from the edge of the area was parried by Hart and Motoyama was first to react, side-footing the ball home from close range.

Ten minutes after the restart City's struggles continued when Antlers hit on the break after Reyna gave the ball away cheaply and Nozawa fed Masaki Chugo, who set up substitute Marinaldo to score with ease.

There was more bad news for City just a minute later when Reyna was felled by a strong challenge from Kashima's Brazilian midfielder Fernando and the American midfielder, who picked up an injury to his right ankle, was eventually replaced by Barton.

City reduced the gap in the 59th minute when Samaras' shot from the edge of the area was miss-read by Sogahata on the bumpy Hongkou Stadium pitch and the Japanese goalkeeper allowed the ball to roll past him in embarrassing fashion.

However, at the other end Hart was to fall victim to the conditions five minutes later as Kashima restored their two-goal cushion when the City keeper flapped at Nozawa's low shot along the ground.

The second-half scoring continued in the 68th minute when Barton struck with a fine effort from the edge of the area to reduce the deficit to a solitary goal but, try as they might, City were unable to pull level.


City: Hart, Richards, Jordan, Distin, D.Mills, Sinclair (Miller 85), Sibierski, Reyna (Barton 61), Dabo (Corradi 82), Dickov (Vassell 70), Samaras.

Unused subs: Weaver, Pearce.

Goals: 0-1 Iwamasa 10, 1-1 Sibierski 30, 1-2 Masashi 39, 1-3 Marinaldo 61, 2-3 Samaras 64, 2-4 Pashiro 68, 3-4 Barton 72

Shanghai Shenhua 0 Manchester City 1
04/08/2006 By Michael Church, PA Sport, Shanghai

A well-taken goal by Georgios Samaras in the 35th minute gave Manchester City a 1-0 win over Chinese Super League side Shanghai Shenhua, but the victory was marred by Ben Thatcher's sending-off 13 minutes from the end of a lacklustre second-half performance.

Samaras capitalised on approach play of the highest quality from new Italian signing Bernardo Corradi, whose strength and vision set up the Greece international to open the scoring.

But a poor display in the second half, which saw Shanghai dominate and Thatcher sent off, will have done little to please manager Stuart Pearce with the clock ticking down to the start of the new Barclays Premiership season.

One highlight for the Eastlands club was the first-half performance of Corradi, who led the line for a City side lacking the defensive strength Pearce had hoped would be available in the build-up to the game.

David James - a reported transfer target for Portsmouth - was left out in favour of Nicky Weaver while defensive duo Sylvain Distin and Micah Richards were both ruled out with minor injuries.

As a result, City started with a central defensive pairing of Richard Dunne and Steve Jordan while Thatcher slotted in at left-back.

Pearce had more joy in midfield as Joey Barton and Dietmar Hamann linked up and Corradi was joined up front by Darius Vassell.

But on a bumpy pitch that had more in common with a potato patch than a playing surface, City started the game in disjointed fashion and the first opportunity of the game fell to Shenhua.

With barely four minutes on the clock, Shanghai's Honduran international striker Luis Ramirez was upended by Jordan 20 yards from goal but captain Xiao Zhanbo put his free-kick into City's defensive wall.

Four minutes later Corradi almost claimed his first goal for his new club when Trevor Sinclair sent in an inviting cross from the right only for the Italian to glance his effort wide of Zhao Yajun's goal.

Corradi had more success in the 21st minute when once again Sinclair found space down the right channel to send in his cross. The ball was met by the former Valencia striker, but this time his header was clawed away for a corner by Zhao.

Despite looking the most likely City player to score, it was Corradi who provided the spark through which the Premier League side took the lead 10 minutes from half-time.

After holding the ball up on the corner of the penalty area, Corradi turned before playing an exquisite ball across the face of goal, where Samaras emerged to score from the tightest of angles.

Having struggled for large portions of the first half, Shanghai looked the more composed of the two teams in the second period, with former German international Carsten Jancker causing problems to the City defence with his physical approach.

The replacement, too, of Samaras with Ishmael Miller on the left side appeared to upset City's rhythm and, as a result, left-back Thatcher looked increasingly exposed.

It was from the Shanghai right that the danger came through winger Sun Ji and, 16 minutes after the restart, Dunne was called upon to deny Ramirez after Sun's cross had found the Honduran in a promising position.

Three minutes later it was Jordan who was called on to take evasive action as Sun again caused problems with his crossing.

City continued to struggle as Jancker caused more and more problems but the former Bayern Munich and Udinese man was to end the evening frustrated after seeing Jordan hook his leg around the German's hulking frame to clear in the 73rd minute.

Sinclair came close to doubling City's lead against the run of play when he broke through the middle, only for his shot to clip the outside of Zhao's post with the goalkeeper beaten.

Thatcher then received his marching orders after an altercation with Sun, referee Wang Xueqing showing the-left back his second yellow card of the game following the confrontation between the two in front of the Shenhua dugout.

And Jancker proved it was not to be his night nine minutes from time when he was unable to steer Sun's pass into the empty goal with Weaver stranded.

Teams : City: Weaver, D Mills, Dunne (c), Jordan, Thatcher, Sinclair, Barton, Hamann (Reyna), Vassell (Dickov), Samaras, Corradi

subs: James, Hart, Sibierski, Miller

Goals: 0-1 (Samaras 35)

Bookings: City: Barton, Thatcher (two yellows, sent off after 78)

Shanghai: Du Wei

Bradford 0 Manchester City 1
29th July 2006

Manchester City midfielder Claudio Reyna scored the only goal of the game in his first pre-season friendly to hand Stuart Pearce's side a narrow victory at Valley Parade.
Pearce fielded a strong side featuring summer signings Dietmar Hamann and Bernado Corradi - making his debut - with Paul Dickov coming from the bench at half-time.

Reyna, who recently announced his retirement from international football after the USA's disappointment at the World Cup, scored the only goal after seven minutes.

Winger Trevor Sinclair picked out the former USA captain on the edge of the six-yard box and the midfielder calmly placed the ball home.

Young City goalkeeper Joe Hart produced some fine saves in the first half as Bradford pressed forward while at the other end, former Lazio striker Corradi also impressed.

Dickov came on for the Italian after the break and nearly added to City's lead, but could not connect enough as he tried to latch onto a loose ball from close range.

Substitute Stephen Ireland had a chance on the half-volley which went wide before Joey Barton and Georgios Samaras were introduced, the Greek striker heading a good chance straight at a defender when he should have scored.


Bradford: Ricketts, Edghill, Parker, Schumacher, Wetherall, Bower, Johnson (Colbeck 74), Bridge-Wilkinson, Graham (Symes 81), Windass (Brown 81), Rogers (Penford 61)

subs: Howarth, Swift, Smith, McGuire, Ainge

City: Hart (Schmeichel h-t), Richards (D.Mills 76), Thatcher (Jordan 80), Distin, Dunne, Reyna (Ireland h-t), Sinclair (Samaras 72), Hamann (Laird 76), Corradi (Dickov h-t), Dabo (Barton 69), Sibierski (Miller 66)

subs: all used

Goal: Reyna 7

Referee: A Taylor                   Attendance: 3,172             



Port Vale 0 Manchester City 3
July 26th 2006

Joey Barton netted a first-half hat-trick to celebrate his new Manchester City contract in the best way possible.

Jeered by his own fans only six months ago after slapping in a deadline-day transfer request, Barton has
Picture now committed his future to the Eastlands outfit for another four years.

And, if any there are any Blues supporters still sceptical about the former England Under-21 international's commitment, they would surely have been won over by his one-man show against Port Vale.

Barton took just eight minutes to get on the scoresheet, tapping home from close range after Georgios Samaras had provided the knockdown.

There was more than an element of controversy about City's second as Paul Dickov took a quick free-kick inside the Vale box after keeper Mark Goodlad had handled George Abbey's back pass.

With the home defence caught totally unawares, Barton had the simplest of tasks to stroke home Dickov's square pass.

And, within nine minutes, the Huyton-born midfielder had struck again, stabbing a shot past Goodlad from 10 yards after Samaras and Dickov had unsettled the Vale defence.

Barton's goalscoring feats, allied to a generally composed performance which saw City dominate the midfield exchanges, suggest the 23-year-old is finally ready to step away from the controversies which have dogged his career and make a major impact on the Barclays Premiership this term.

With champions Chelsea lined up as their opening weekend opponents on August 20, Stuart Pearce's men clearly need to hit the ground running.

The City boss will have been pleased with the improvement showed by his side on earlier efforts during their pre-season campaign.

Aside from Barton, Samaras and Trevor Sinclair were also prominent figures in attack, while Micah Richards, who like Barton signed a new four-year contract yesterday, also impressed in central defence.

Understandably, given at one stage they made five substitutions at the same time during the second period, City were unable to maintain their momentum for the entire 90 minutes.

However, they still had enough in reserve to keep Vale at bay.


Port Vale: Goodlad, McGregor, Talbot (C.Smith 84), Walker, Walsh (Abbey 24), Whitaker, Harsley, Birchall (Lowndes 79) , J.Smith (Hulbert 46), Sodje, Constantine (Husbands 79).

subs: Anyon, Cardle, Briscoe.

City: Weaver (Hart 46), D.Mills, Thatcher (Williamson 70), Richards (Jordan 46), Dunne (Logan 70), Sinclair (Flood 70), Miller (Laird 70), Barton (Ireland 46), Dabo (Johnson 70), Dickov (Etuhu 70), Samaras (Sturridge 56).

subs: all used

Goals: 0-1 (Barton 8), 0-2 (Barton 31), 0-3 (Barton 40)    Attendance: 3,769

Rochdale 2 Manchester City 3
July 22nd 2006

Dietmar Hamann and Joey Barton were handed starting roles by Stuart Pearce as Manchester City came from 2-0 down to beat Rochdale at Spotland.

City were 2-0 down within 12 minutes and laboured up front without success despite pairing Georgios Samaras with Antoine Sibierski.

Rickie Lambert fired Rochdale in front four minutes in and Gary Brown doubled the advantage after 12 minutes.

City pulled one back two minutes before the break when Samaras added to his two goals against Wrexham in midweek.

Hamann and Stephen Ireland teamed up to good effect to set up the Greece international, who curled the ball around the goalkeeper and low into the corner.

And the Barclays Premiership side stepped it up after the break, turning the game around with two penalties.

First Barton equalised on the hour mark with a well-taken kick after Lee Croft had been felled inside the penalty area.

And with his first touch after coming from the bench Ishmael Miller earned a penalty when he was brought down inside the box four minutes later.

Paul Dickov, also on as a substitute, converted the spot-kick to hand the visitors the victory.


Rochdale: Gilks, Ramsden, Jackson (Boardman 6), Cooksey, Doolan, Stanton (Thompson 29), Christie (Moyo-Modise 76), Rundle (Coleman 68), Brown, Lambert (Dagnall 57), Goodall (Edje 46)

subs: Warburton

City: Weaver (Schmeichel 46), Jordan (Logan 77), Richards (Flood 77), Distin (D'Laryea 69), M.Mills (D.Mills 46), Croft (Sturridge 77), Barton (Williamson 77), Ireland (Johnson 73), Hamann (Laird 65), Sibierski (Dickov 63), Samaras (Miller 63)

subs: Etuhu.

Goals: 1-0 Lambert 4, 2-0 Brown 12, 2-1 Samaras 43, 2-2 Barton (pen) 60, 2-3 Dickov (pen) 64   Attendance: 5,963

Wrexham 3 Manchester City 3
July 19th 2006

Dietmar Hamann and Paul Dickov enjoyed 45 minutes' action as Manchester City were held to a draw at Wrexham.

Ishmael Miller had given City an early lead only for Chris Llewellyn to equalise with a stylish volley before the break.

Stuart Pearce rang the changes at half-time with only goalkeeper Joe Hart reappearing for the second half.

Summer recruits Hamann and Dickov were joined by striker Georgios Samaras who had an immediate impact.

The Greek striker restored the Blues' lead only for Matty Done to peg them back again.

Samaras scored his second of the night to put the Premiership visitors ahead for a third time but captain Sylvain Distin's own goal after 82 minutes ensured the game finished level.


Wrexham: Ingham (Michael Jones h-t), Valentine, Pejic (Evans h-t), Lawrence, D Williams, Sturrock, Llewellyn (Done h-t), M Williams, Johnson, Roberts

Subs: Wilson, Crowell, Michael Jones, Spender, Mackin, Williams, Reed

City: Hart, Flood (D Mills), Thatcher (Jordan), Dabo (Hamann), Dunne (Distin), M Mills (Richards), Sinclair (Croft), Barton (Laird), Miller (Ireland), Sibierski (Samaras), Vassell (Dickov)

Subs: Schmeichel, Logan

Goals: 0-1 (Miller 6), 1-1 (Llewellyn 35), 1-2 (Samaras 52), 2-2 (Done 59), 2-3 (Samaras 65), 3-3 (Distin o.g. 82)                        
Attendance: 3,588