Posted by Steve Murphy Labels: David Weir, friendly, Glasgow Rangers, Kenny Miller, Martin Petrov, Nacho Novo, Robinho, Stephen Ireland, Video
City started the game by dominating the possession – an attribute that has started to build up over the past couple of games. The domination was largely due to Ireland and Barry in the centre of midfield. City had some chances within the first 20 minutes with Ireland coming close from a Barry corner, Robhino and Adebayor both restricted to long range efforts.
Rangers went ahead after 20 minutes however, after a mistake by Toure, Nacho Novo took his opportunity to hit past former Celtic man Given. Several minutes later Robhino and Adebayor linked up to set up Stephen Ireland whose superb precise shot sailed past Alexander into the corner of the net.
Craig Bellamy received a hostile reception from the crowd in the second half as both sides made a number of substitutions. Martin Petrov opened the scoring after a Robinho pass, moments later Rangers equalised through Kenny Miller who excellently chipped on coming Given.
More subs saw the game lose its competitive edge. In the final moments Rangers won a corner and David Weir showed excellent technique to hammer the ball into the roof of the City net to give the Rangers fans a 3-2 win.
As with the Barnsley match there were encouraging signs for City. Instead of looking at the over all result the game must be broken down – there were too many substitutions and too many players that will be lucky to be on the bench at the start of the season. If you are going to blood a youngster – you might as well do it in a high profile friendly. Etuhu showed good skill on the right and could be a good proposition for the future, but he is not top 6 material.
Weiss again did well but it is obvious he needs more development to stop him running into dead ends or trying to take on one too many. However Weiss should feature for City during this premiership campaign to hold the torch for an academy that has clearly not been forgotten about.
Hughes also got the chance to see how certain players play with each other. An interesting combo was Robinho and Petrov in the same side, both combining to make the goal after half time. The problem of player pairing as ever, is in the defence. However they need time to gel. Richards still looks out of sorts, his fitness levels do not appear to be what they were two seasons ago. Zabletta – played out of position again would be a more professional option. Bridge with the added protection of Barry this year could answer his critics.
Dunne has to find his confidence, which is difficult to do with some City fans writing him off completely already. We need to get behind our captain because it does not look like we will be replacing him this summer after failing to land John Terry. Once Kompany returns to fitness we could see a pairing of Toure and Kompany at the back if Dunne does not find a run of form.
Glasgow Rangers 3 (Novo, Miller, Weir)
Manchester City 2 (Ireland, Petrov)
Team Line Ups:
Rangers: Alexander, Weir, Papac, Naismith (Velicka, 72), Bougherra, Mendes (Fleck, 72), McCulloch (Niguez 83), Whittaker, Davis, Miller (Boyd 56), Novo (Lafferty 56). Unused subs: McGregor, Beasley.
Manchester City: Given, Richards, Toure, Dunne, Bridge, De Jong (Zabaleta 46), Barry (Petrov 46), Ireland (Ben Haim, 66), Etuhu, Robinho (Weiss, 80), Adebayor (Bellamy, 72). Unused subs: Taylor, McGivern, Clayton, Vidal.