Manchester City`s pre-season finished on a high note after Gareth Barry`s first goal for City and Craig Bellamy’s second-half strike secured victory over Celtic. Former blue Chris Killen got on the score sheet for the Bhoys.
Mark Hughes was pleased with City’s efforts, stating: ‘It was a good work-out, but we’re at a stage where we are a bit fed up of friendlies and want to get the real stuff started. In fairness, today was a good exercise because they were good opposition, and there was a great atmosphere today.
‘There are always things in friendlies that will look a bit false, and you need to get the competitive juices flowing to see what you want to see.’
Worryingly, Toure lasted a mere 18 minutes before being replaced by Ben-Haim.
After the game the City boss reassured fans, commenting: ‘He had treatment on a rash at the top of his hip this week and felt quite comfortable, which was why I picked him.
‘But after about 10 minutes, he said it was bothering him, so we took him off straightaway.
‘I don’t anticipate it will be too much of a problem and he should be okay for next week.’
The biggest moment of the game was the appearance of Carlos Tevez who came on for goal scorer Craig Bellamy. City fans gave Carlos a huge ‘welcome to Manchester’ as he stepped out onto the hallowed turf to a huge cheer.
Hughes stated: ‘I knew I could only play Carlos for about 25 minutes at most today.’
‘I wanted to see him on the pitch with Robi and Ade, but you can’t play everybody. Craig came off at that point as well, but it illustrates the point that we’ve got great options and great variation in the type of players that we have in the forward areas.
With City’s first game of the season fast approaching, Hughes looked ahead to the clash with his former club Blackburn.
‘I’ve got a good idea of what I’m looking to do next week, but I have to factor in the internationals this week. We’re hoping that everyone comes back fit and well , but it’s not the ideal preparation. Any Premier League manager will tell you that not having the squad together for a full week is not great.’
Full-time: Manchester City 2 Celtic 1
Goals: Barry 16′ Bellamy 51′ (Manchester City) Killen 23′ (Celtic)
Manchester City: Given, Zabaleta, Dunne (c), Toure (Ben-Haim 18), Bridge, De Jong (Adebayor 46), Barry, Ireland, Wright-Phillips (Weiss 72), Robinho (Petrov 72), Bellamy (Tevez 65).
Celtic: Zaluska, Naylor, Caddis (Hinkel 68), O’Dea, McCourt, Donati, Flood, Crosas (McGeady 68), Killen (McDonald 60), Mizuno (Fortuna 60), Samaras.
Referee: M Atkinson
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