Date: 27th July 2012 at 2:54pm
Written by:

City and Arsenal served up an open exhibition game in what developed to be torrential rain in China today with City running out winners in front of an uber-excited, shrieking crowd…

This was an excellent work out for Robert Mancini’s tourists who had to deal efficiently, particularly in midfield and defence, with Arsenal’s by now trademark spritely movement lacking ultimate direction when RVP-less that their absent summer signings will hope to address.

Mancio made sure that numerous key senior players benefitted from a thorough work out and declined to make wholesale changes at the break following two fine opening goals from Pablo Zabaleta and Yaya Toure. In fact, the dapper City gaffer only made five substitutions all game. ‘Boyata-Boyata-Boyata!’ for Kompany, Johnson for Yaya Toure, 17 year old Evans for Tevez, Scapuzzi for Razak and 16 year old Lopez for Aguero.

City have started pre-season earlier than some main rivals and many of the senior players look to be in excellent shape following their Innsbruck training camp. Yaya Toure in particular put in some terrifying barnstorming runs.

In the second period City settled for brandy and cigars, staying defensively resolute in the rain and absorbing Arsenal’s increased tempo passing game, waiting for breaks.

There were many good signs for The Blues here. Razak looks strong on the ball, Biton willing, Pantilimon was impressive repeatedly and certainly Tevez, who could have a key role to play in City’s title defence this season, looking in terrific nick.

Starting Teams:

Arsenal: Fabianski, Jenkinson, Bartley, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Diaby, Arteta, Song, Andre Santos, Walcott, Gervinho.

Subs: Szczesny, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Coquelin, Chamakh, Miyaichi, Yennaris, Eastmond, Miquel, Aneke, Eisfeld, Afobe.

Manchester City: Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Kompany, Toure, Savic, Kolarov,
Toure Yaya, Biton, Razak, Tevez, Aguero.

Subs: Holmen Johansen, Adam Johnson, Suarez, Boyata, Scapuzzi, Lopes, Evans.

UPCOMING GAMES:
all times East Manchester

Mon 30 Jul 13h45 Malaysia Select XI, Kuala Lumpur, Friendly (ESPN TV)
Tue 31 Jul 19h45 Oldham Athletic, Boundary Park, Friendly
Sat 04 Aug 20h30 Wolfsburg, Volkswagen Arena, Friendly (ESPN TV)
Sun 05 Aug 19h00 Limerick, Jackman Park, Friendly
Sun 12 Aug 13h30 Chelsea, Villa Park, Community Shield
Sa 18 Aug 15h00 Southampton, The Etihad PL
Sa 25 Aug 15h00 Liverpool, Anfield PL

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FIXTURES:

The draw for the 2012/13 Champions League Group Stage will take place in Monaco on Thursday, 30th August. The opening round of games will kick off in the week commencing Monday, 17th September.