Posted by Steve Murphy Labels: Carlos Tevez, Celtic, Craig Bellamy, friendly, Gareth Barry, Killen, Video
A much improved Manchester City performance from the strongest team fielded so far since the new summer signings. Shaun-Wright Phillips returned to the team and Zabletta replaced Richards in the right back position. Nedum Onuoha was missing from the squad due to a slight thigh strain that is expected to clear up in the next few days. Toure started the game, however he was substituted with an injury after 15 minutes – Mark Hughes has stated that there is no lasting damage and Toure should be fit for the start of the season.
"Kolo's OK, he had a little tightness in his hip flexor this week, we did some work on it and he thought he was OK to start. After about 15 minutes he felt , so as a precaution we took him off. He'll meet up with his international squad, but hopefully they will think it’s a risk to play him in a friendly."
Zabletta’s cross on 14 minutes set up Gareth Barry to slide home from close range. Several minutes later former City palyer Samaras set up another former blue Chris Killen who slotted home past Given to equalize for Celtic.
After the break Adebayor was introduced to the field in replace of De Jong. Five minutes into the half and Wayne Bridge won the ball just outside of the penalty area and cut inside before sending a long range precision pass to Bellamy who controlled superbly before firing an accurate shot into the Celtic net. With the scores level Killen almost set up Samaras but the striker failed to make contact with the ball.
Carlos Tevez was introduced for Bellamy after 66 minutes to rapturous applause. City’s attacking players all linking well in the game bodes well for the forth coming season. Gareth Barry was named man of the match after another industrious performance and could well be City’s signing of the summer.
Hughes was pleased to give Carlos Tevez some match practise with his new team mates. The substitution of Bellamy highlighted the attacking options Hughes now commands, and will keep people guessing who will start the game against Blackburn next week. Hughes said after the game: "I knew I could only play Carlos for about 25 minutes at most today, and 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.
"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."
Goals From The Game
Manchester City 2
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). Unused subs: Taylor, Richards, Garrido, Etuhu, Vidal, McGivern.
Celtic: Zaluska, Naylor (Fox 77), Caddis (Hinkel 68), O'Dea, McCourt, Donati, Flood (McGinn 76), Crosas (McGeady 68), Killen (McDonald 60), Mizuno (Fortuna 60), Samaras (Conroy 76). Unused subs: Brouc, N'Guemo, Ferry.