Manchester City kicked off their second game in Australia, this time the opposition was sister club Melbourne City FC. As with the game against Adelaide a couple of days ago, Manager Manuel Pellegrini went for a mixture of experience and youth, with new boy, Raheem Sterling, watching from the sidelines. Caballero, Maffeo, Kompany (C), Humphreys, Clichy, Fernando, Toure, Barker, Navas, Nasri, Garcia would make up the starting eleven.
As with the previous game Manchester City started in control, spraying the ball across the pitch with relative ease, but just missing that final ball. With a quarter of an hour gone a free kick from Yaya Toure rattled the Melbourne crossbar to represent the first real chance.
Minutes later a driving run into the area from the Ivorian resulted in a shot just wide from Barker as City started to find space. In defense there were two nervous moments of concern for City, the first coming from a loose cross field pass from Vincent Kompany, which was almost picked off. The second came after keeper Caballero tried to quickly release the ball only to drill it into the back of a teammate. The deflection was eventually cleared, but I don't think Joe Hart would have felt in danger of losing his starting place.
Toure was involved in most good things for City going forward. A volley from the left hand side of the area was destined for the corner of the net before a Melbourne defender put out a leg. Moments later he released Nasri who failed to get the final shot on target.
Melbourne would soon get to have their own golden opportunity with a chance that started in their half and a nutmeg on Toure. The final ball found Mauk with an open net but the teenager scuffed his shot up and over the bar when it seemed easier to score.
Half time arrived with the score goal less and plenty for both Managers to ponder.
Second half we just saw one City substitution as James Horsfield came on for Maffeo, which started off somewhat subdued. Barker had City's first real chance, fifteen minutes in, with a similar effort to the goal he scored against Adelaide. Moments later Navas hit the side netting after good control in the area.
Fernando and Garcia came off just after the hour mark with Zuculini and Pozo replacing them in what would be a constant feature of the second half. City had all the pressure but again it was Melbourne with a golden opportunity for Harry Novillo who got the better of Horsfield before lifting the ball over Caballero, who had gone to ground. The final shot drifted just wide in what was his last contribution of the game before being substituted.
Fifteen minutes left and Nasri had another great opportunity but over complicated the situation after good footwork from Barker. Again, it was Barkers last involvement in the game as he came off to replaced by Enes Unal.
To be fair though, with the amount of substitutions, the game was now disjointed and become walking pace. A good shot from the edge of the area from Nasri forced a save from the keeper before, minutes later, giving the keeper had no chance as he volleyed City into the lead and made amends for the sitter he messed up earlier.
Shortly after the goal Nasri and Toure came off for Fofana and Evans to see off the game, job done.
Final score City 1, Melbourne 0 and next up is Roma on Tuesday. What shirt will Dzeko be wearing for that one?