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US Tour: Winning start for City

Timbers game

Timbers game

Manchester City kicked off their pre-season schedule with a comfortable 3-0 win over the Portland Timbers on Saturday night in Oregon.

Roberto Mancini shuffled his pack so that plenty of the squad saw action after a week’s training at Nike’s HQ on the other side of Portland. Joe Hart started a game for City for the first time in over a year just 48 hours after arriving, lining up behind a young defensive unit at the University of Oregon’s Merlo Field. He showed that he had shaken off any jet-lag with a fine save low to his left early on to deny Gaudet.

Craig Bellamy looked lively and rattled the crossbar halfway through the first period after cutting across from the right flank. Two goals in the space of a minute just before the break gave the first-half side a reward that their efforts deserved. Firstly, Stephen Ireland touched in a Johnson cross , this being swiftly followed by Adebayor nodding in a cross from the England winger despite a half-save from Cronin.

Only Greg Cunningham stayed on after the break as Roberto Mancini rang the changes.  Jeremy Helan’s burst down the left on the hour could have reaped rewards, but Jo skied his shot from just a few yards out. However the Brazilian made amends on 68 minutes when he rattled in a shot to extend the lead

Academy graduate John Guidetti also acquitted himself well until being withdrawn as a precaution after taking a knock in a hefty challenge. This allowed Alex Tchuimeni-Nimely to get a chance to impress in very different surroundings to his Premier League debut in the torrential rain at Turf Moor last April. Wayne Bridge replaced Greg Cunningham in a second half played in much cooler conditions after the burning sun had dropped down to the horizon

The Timbers played their part, urged on by a crowd of just over five thousand that contained a healthy smattering of City fans, and Joey the chainsaw-wielding mascot! DeMartin had a chance when he pushed a shot wide with eight minutes left, and Stuart Taylor made a good save from off the floor to prevent Keita from scoring seconds later.

All in all a good night’s work for City with sterner tests to follow, starting in New York and a date with Sporting Lisbon on Friday.

Team: Hart, Trippier, Boyata, Mee, Cunningham, Ireland, Zabaleta, A Johnson, Vieira, Bellamy, Adebayor.

Second half - Taylor, Richards, Kompany, Lescott, Cunningham (Bridge), Tutte, Kay (Onuoha), Ibrahim, Helan, Guidetti (Tchuimeni-Nimely), Jo

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