Match Reports for 2014
Arsenal 3 Manchester City 0
Community Kick Up The Arse
Sunday 10th August
2014 : Stuart Wilson for GYKO at Wembley
After nine years without a trophy
Arsène Wenger now has two in two games as a breezy
performance marked by three excellent goals secured a
Community Shield victory against a weakened Manchester
City. It is the first time Arsenal have won the shield
in a decade and comes three months after their last
official match resulted in victory on the same pitch in
the FA Cup final against Hull City.
Quite what it means remains to be seen. City looked like
a team still in hibernation while Arsenal, as they must
with Champions League qualifiers against Besiktas coming
up, seemed a step more advanced in their preparations.
Indeed, if confirmation were needed that this is little
more than a semi-contest for a semi-trophy that fades
from the memory come the first whistle of the season
proper, then it is worth sparing a thought for last
season’s winners. Twelve months ago victory in the
Community Shield was hailed as the first step in the
David Moyes Revolution at Manchester United (also, as it
turned out, the only step).
This is not to belittle Arsenal’s achievement in beating
the champions convincingly with a fine attacking
performance that provided above all a reminder of the
qualities of Aaron Ramsey, Santi Cazorla and Jack
Wilshere, who looked fit and mobile and passed the ball
well in central midfield.
This was an engaging, agreeably carefree kind of match
from the start on an August afternoon that kicked off
with the sun breaking through after a thunderstorm and
the Wembley turf emitting a kind of luminous green
steam. Wenger’s line up contained all three significant
outfield summer signings – Mathieu Debuchy, Calum
Chambers and Alexis Sánchez – while City included both
Fernando, the £12m summer signing from Porto, and Willy
Caballero in goal.
In the opening minutes Sánchez combined nicely with both
Yaya Sanogo and Ramsey, who showed a willingness to run
in behind Gaël Clichy at right-back as Arsenal set about
trying to make their extra man count in midfield. City
lined up here in the now fashionable 4-4-2, with Edin
Dzeko and Stevan Jovetic playing as a pair of genuine
centre-forwards, albeit without the same tenacious
commitment to tracking back that made the system work
for Atlético Madrid last season.
Most of Arsenal’s early pressure came down the right
side, with Sánchez taking the chance to run at
Aleksandar Kolarov and Debuchy eager in support.
Chambers also looked composed in central defence: one
early challenge on Yaya Touré, easing off the ball a man
who generally yields only to some form of
hydraulic-lifting equipment, will have given him great
For all that, neither team had managed a shot on target
before Arsenal opened the scoring in the 21st minute via
a combination of slick play by Cazorla and some loose
City defending. There seemed no obvious chance of a goal
when Cazorla picked up the ball from Sanogo 30 yards out
but Dedryck Boyata’s mistimed lunge allowed the Spaniard
to roll the challenge and find some space on his left
foot. Clichy could not get there in time and Cazorla
shot low across Caballero and into the far corner.
Cazorla had rescued Arsenal’s Cup final in May and here
he sparkled again, producing a reverse pass inside
Clichy to set Sanogo in on goal. Sadly the finish from
the Frenchman belonged to an entirely separate
footballing universe, another scuff from what seems to
be an inexhaustible reserve of shins, pokes, flails and
Sanogo is hugely willing and will improve, but he is
still learning how to play at this level in a team that
are undeniably short in his position.
Seven minutes before half-time there were huge cheers
around Wembley when the referee Michael Oliver used his
vanishing spray for the first time, producing a neat,
hand-drawn circle – mark of the true artist – around the
ball, only for Touré’s execution to fall some way short
of his art work. And just before the break Arsenal
doubled their lead with a goal of real craft on the
counter-attack. Sánchez carried the ball forward and fed
Sanogo who produced exactly the right pass inside to
Ramsey at exactly the right moment. From there two
expert touches made the goal: a jink inside Matija
Nastasic and a low, hard shot into the corner.
At half-time an occasion that so often feels as though
it never really got going felt as though it was all but
over, with City not so much uninterested as undermanned
and undercooked. Indeed, the champions looked like what
they were: a team with nine first-team players missing
including the captain, main goal scorer and chief
creator in David Silva.
Silva did come on at the start of the second half and
City were briefly energised, Jesús Navas taking a fine
long pass from Touré and crossing deep for Jovetic to
head the ball down. Wojciech Szczesny palmed the
bouncing ball away at his near post. It proved something
of a false dawn as Oliver Giroud made the score 3-0
after 60 minutes. What a goal it was, too. Taking a pass
from Wilshere, the Frenchman, who had looked barely fit
in his previous appearances, carried the ball forward
and hit a dipping shot that deflected over Caballero
from 20 yards.
For all the mildness of the occasion Arsenal will take
great heart from victory here, not least from the
performances of Ramsey and Cazorla and a hugely
promising debut from Chambers, who looked a genuine
presence at this level.
Far sterner tests await, though, than this weakened
City, who had 58% possession and more shots on goal
overall but still looked like a team simply stretching
Arsenal: Szczesny, Debuchy,
Chambers, Koscielny (Monreal 46), Gibbs, Arteta, Ramsey
(Campbell 86), Wilshere (Flamini 68), Cazorla 7 (Rosicky
70, 6); Sanchez 6.5 (Oxlade-Chamberlain 46, 6.5); Sanogo
6.5 (Giroud 46, 7)
Goals: Cazorla 21, Ramsey 42, Giroud 60
Man City: Caballero, Clichy, Boyata, Nastasic,
Kolarov (Richards 76) Navas 5 (Sinclair), Toure
(Milner 60), Fernando, Nasri (Silva 46), Dzeko (Zuculini
Subs not used: Hart, Rekik.
Referee: Michael Oliver (Northumberland)
Manchester City 2 Olympiakos 2
August 2014 : Our US correspondent for
GYKO at the TCF Bank Stadium
Manchester City are out of the
International Champions Cup following their second
penalty shootout defeat in four days on their tour of
Olympiakos fought back to draw 2-2 in Minneapolis and
then won the resulting shootout 5-4 as goalkeeper
Roberto Jimenez Gago saved two penalties.
Following a similar defeat by Liverpool at Yankee
Stadium, City head home.
After the match, City confirmed they had signed Frank
Lampard, 36, on loan from New York City until January.
Striker Stevan Jovetic opened the scoring against
Olympiakos after 35 minutes and, after Dimitrios
Diamantakos equalised, Aleksandar Kolarov put the
English champions 2-1 up from the penalty spot.
But 21-year-old striker Diamantakos's second goal of the
game levelled the scores on 66 minutes and the Greeks
held on for the draw.
City had to win to have any hope of reaching the final
on 4 August but paid the price for penalty misses by
James Milner, Scott Sinclair and Micah Richards.
Manchester City: Hart, Clichy (Richards 46),
Kolarov, Boyata, Rekik, Fernando (Garcia 46), Yaya Toure
(Zuculini 46), Navas (Silva 46), Nasri (Guidetti 46),
Dzeko (Milner 46), Jovetic (Sinclair 75)
Unused subs: Caballero, Rodwell, Wright, Huws, Leigh,
Denayer, Iheanacho, Lawlor Bookings:
Olympiakos: Gago, Siovas, Manolas, Masuaku,
Elabdellaoui, Kasami, Maniatis, Dominguez, Samaris,
Att : 30,000
Liverpool 2 Manchester City 2 (Liverpool win 3-1 on
pens) Over And Out
July 30th 2014 : Our US correspondent for GYKO at the
Liverpool beat Premier League rivals
Manchester City in a pre-season friendly at Yankee
Stadium, coming from behind twice to draw 2-2 in normal
time before winning a penalty shoot-out 3-1.
Stevan Jovetic bagged a brace for defending champions
Manchester City but Jordan Henderson and Raheem Sterling
replied for Liverpool, who finished second last season.
Simon Mignolet then pulled off a pair of saves in the
shoot-out to give the Reds victory in front of a crowd
The win put Liverpool on top of Group B in the
International Champions Cup and they move on to play AC
Milan on Saturday with the Final against
Manchester United to follow.
The Yankee Stadium spectators were served up an
entertaining encounter between the top two teams in
England last season and City new boy Willy Caballero
produced a great save in the first half to keep out a
close-range Rickie Lambert header.
At the other end, Brad Jones saved a low Jesus Navas
effort and Edin Dzeko had a goal ruled out for offside.
Manchester City took the lead in the 53rd minute when
the lively Navas made progress down the right and sent
over a low cross which Jovetic converted at the near
post, after Steven Gerrard was unable to clear.
But Liverpool responded just six minutes later,
Henderson conjuring up a delightful curling finish after
the ball ran loose when Sterling tried to find Daniel
Jovetic (67) quickly restored City’s lead, poking the
ball past Mignoelet after a deflected shot fell
perfectly for him.
New Sky Bingo customers get £20 free
However, Liverpool pressed strongly in the closing
stages and, with just five minutes left to play, Lucas
cleverly set up Sterling with a cushioned pass and the
England man’s excellent finish set up spot-kicks.
City were far from clinical with their penalties,
Aleksandar Kolarov punting their first over the bar,
although he was reprieved when Sturridge did likewise.
But Mignolet then saved well from Yaya Toure and Navas,
while Emre Can and Henderson converted.
City finally found the net when youngster Kelechi
Iheanacho stepped up but Lucas then sent Joe Hart the
wrong way to win it for Liverpool.
Manchester City: Caballero (Hart 46), Clichy
(Richards 70), Kolarov, Boyata, Nastasic, Fernando,
Navas, Zuculini, Milner (Iheanacho 46), Jovetic (Yaya
Toure 70), Dzeko (Sinclair 46)
Liverpool: Jones (Mignolet 90), Kelly (Robinson
46), Enrique (Johnson 46), Coates, K Toure, Gerrard
(Lucas 76), Coutinho, Sturridge (Sahko 76), Henderson,
Allen (Can 65), Lambert (Sterling 46)
Referee: S Petrescu
AC Milan 1
Manchester City 5
Report and pics posting Mon 4th Aug
Sunday 27th July
2014 : Our US correspondent for
GYKO at Heinz Field Pittsburgh
Manchester City claimed an impressive
5-1 victory over AC Milan in a weather-hit friendly at
the Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.
Stevan Jovetic handed the Premier League champions the
minutes with a low shot that creeped in at the near post
and three minutes later Gael Clichy picked out Scott
Sinclair in the box and he slotted home the second from
The goalfest was not over yet and midway through the
first half Jesus Navas' acrobatic effort from just
outside the box took a huge deflection and left
goalkeeper Michael Agazzi with no chance.
Rampant City added a fourth after 27 minutes as Nigerian
striker Kelechi Iheanacho, who has been training with
the club for the past few weeks, picked the ball up on
the edge of the box and turned 180 degrees before firing
Sulley Muntari pulled one back for Milan just before the
break as he tapped in with a close-range finish at the
home of NFL side the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Following a delay due to lightening and heavy rain,
former City striker Mario Balotelli took to the field
for the second half and had a goal ruled out for offside
before Jovetic netted his second to make it 5-1.
City 1 Manchester City XI
Spank the Yanks
23 July 2014: Our US correspondent
for GYKO at Sporting Park, Kansas, USA
Pellegrini's attacking football seduced
on yet another stage on Thursday morning
as Manchester City kicked off their
pre-season tour of the US with a 4-1 win
over Sporting Kansas City.
Ex-Manchester United defender Mikaël
Silvestre may have angled a round of
embittered remarks at City's 'neglect'
of their youth prospects, but the
Frenchman was made to eat his words as
Iheanacho, 17 and Zuculini, 21 starred
in a relentless display.
And it was Zuculini who fired the blues
into a three-minute lead, directing a
ferocious volley into the bottom
left-hand corner. The Argentine's
transfer to the Premier League champions
is still to be ratified by the Premier
League, but paperwork is expected to be
completed this week.
The hosts responded well and despite
being mid-season in the MLS, they began
to trouble the inexperience of
Pellegrini's side with their energy
going forward. On the 30-minute mark, a
looping ball into the box was controlled
and slotted home by CJ Sapong to give
the MLS champions a deserved equaliser.
Dedyrck Boyata and Karim Rekik had
endeavoured to employ the offside trap,
but the American striker was left
But the Premier League champions began
to settle into their shape with Fernando
guarding the back four and Zuculini
marauding forward in Yaya Touré-like
style. The blues are expected to employ
a 4-2-3-1 formation next term with
Fernando and Fernandinho providing a
rigid base on which Touré can
demonstrate his predatory instincts in
attack, but Zuculini's impressive
display suggests Manuel Pellegrini has
even more talent to choose from in
With just two minutes left to play in
the first half, City were awarded a free
kick on the edge of Sporting KC's
eighteen-yard box. Jesús Navas whipped
in an enchanting ball that Dedryck
Boyata nodded in to restore the
The searing Missouri sun began to
restrict the fluidity of play after the
break and Scott Sinclair's mazy run into
the penalty area was ended illegally by
a lazy tackle from Michael Kafari.
Aleksandar Kolarov stepped up to slot
home the penalty, and with twenty
minutes left to play, the blues looked
And the result was glazed by composed
finish from man-of-the-match Kelechi
Iheanacho who met Jesús Navas's cross to
claim City a fourth.
Manchester City play AC Milan in the
Guinness International Champions Cup on
Sunday 27th July.
Sporting Kansas City:
Gruenebaum (Kempin 46),
Juliao (Peterson 46), Collin
(Palmer-Brown 46), Besler (Ellis 46),
Sinovic (Munoz 46 ), Olum (Claros 46),
Lopez (Medranda 46), Feilhaber (Kafari
46, Steuble 75), Sapong (Zizzo 46),
Dwyer (Bieler 46), Saad (Dovale 46)
Caballero, Richards (Clichy 46), Boyata,
Rekik (Nastasic 75), Kolarov; Navas,
Fernando (Garcia 65), Zuculini (Huws
75), Sinclair (Leigh 89), Iheanacho (Denayer
92+), Jovetic (Guidetti 65)
Unused subs: Wright, Lawlor,
Midlothian 1 Manchester City XI 2
Friday 18th July 2014 : Alex
Bremner for GYKO at Easter Road
Just as it looked like Alvaro
Negredo's luck was turning, disaster struck. 'The Beast'
brilliantly created Scott Sinclair's opener against
Hearts but minutes later he was leaving the field with a
looked as if things were to get worse for City when
Osman Sow equalised in the second half for the recently
relegated Edinburgh side - before Aleksandar Kolarov's
penalty 10 minutes from time gave the Blues their first
win of their Scottish pre season tour.
made a blistering start to his City career last season
before fading away at the end of the campaign - and
while fans will have been delighted to see him play a
brilliant eye-of-the-needle assist for Sinclair to
score, his early exit could be a worry with less than a
month until the start of the season.
Pellegrini played different teams in each half as the
Premier League champions looked to build up their
fitness ahead of a tough defence of their title.
signings Fernando and Willy Caballero both made their
second appearances of the summer as half time
substitutes on a night when City's stars who did not
travel to the World Cup enjoyed a run out.
engineered the first real opening after 19 minutes when
Jamie Walker threaded a pass through to Dale Carrick in
the box but the striker's left-footed strike from a
tight angle was repelled by goalkeeper Richard Wright.
City were not so forgiving in the final third and
Pellegrini's side went ahead after 25 minutes. Negredo
found Sinclair in the box and the midfielder kept his
calm amid shouts for offside to cooly roll the ball pass
Alexander from close range.
form: Scott Sinclair had earlier given City the lead
after a brilliant through ball from Negredo. With
the exception of the goal scorer, City named a
completely different line-up after the break.
levelled after 56 minutes when Sow raced on to Carrick's
pass before calmly lifting the ball past Willy
awarded a penalty with ten minutes left when Callum
Paterson brought down Emyr Huws after taking a bad first
touch. Kolarov - roundly booed after criticising
Paterson for a challenge on keeper Caballero - silenced
the home crowd with a clinical low finish.
Alexander (Hamilton 70), Paterson,
McHattie, Wilson (McGhee 75), Ozturk
(McKay 70), Gomis (Oliver 75), Walker
(Holt 56), Bauben (Robinson 59), Sow (D
Smith 56), Carrick (Keatings 56),
Nicholson (King 16)
(first-half): Wright, Richards,
Leigh, Nastasic, Rekik, Garcia,
Zuculini, Sinclair, Nasri, Navas,
Bossaerts (Clichy 72), Kolarov, Denayer,
Boyata, Rodwell, Fernando, Sinclair,
Huws, Jovetic, Guidetti
Dundee 2 Manchester
City XI 0
No Cake Walk
Sunday 13th July 2014 : Alex
Bremner for GYKO at Dens Park
Pellegrini named new signing Willy Caballero in goal in
the friendly clash against the Scottish Premiership
side, while new midfield signing Fernando started, but
City were already two down before Pellegrini made nine
changes at half-time.
The home side took the lead when Gary Harkins was
awarded a spot-kick after he was brought down in the
penalty box by Dedryck Boyata. The 29-year-old
midfielder, who returned to Dundee for the third time
this summer, saw his penalty saved by new Argentinian
stopper Caballero before hitting home the rebound after
Stevan Jovetic came close to bagging an equaliser for
City shortly afterwards as he hit the side netting and
just over 10 minutes later Dundee doubled their lead as
one of three trialists for the home side, Luka Tankulic,
sent the ball home via a hefty deflection from the
Only Callabero and Wales midfielder Emyr Huws remained
on the pitch for City after the break as Pellegrini made
wholesale changes, but - apart from a half-chance from
Alvaro Negredo and a Samir Nasri effort - the Premier
League big guns struggled to create any real chances.
Dundee FC: Adam, Irvine (McGinn 46), McPake (Bendictus
59), Konrad (Wighton 80), Dyer (Kerr 80), Cadogan (Boyle
59), McBride (Riley 59), Thomson (Davidson 46),
McAlister (Roberts 46), Harkins (Stewart 59) Tankulic
City 1st half: Caballero, Bossaerts, Kolarov, Denayer,
Boyata, Navas, Fernando, Rodwell, Huws, Jovetic,
Guidetti City 2nd half: Caballero, Richards, Leigh,
Rekik, Nastasic, Zuculini, Garcia, Nasri, Negredo, Huws,
Unused subs: Lawlor
Referee: Bobby Madden