Manchester City is off to a great start on their US summer tour, as they partnered with the New York Yankees to form Major League Soccer’s 20th expansion club earlier this week before rallying to beat Chelsea on Thursday night. In one of the most exciting friendly matches you will ever see, Man City fell behind 3-0 early and stormed back in the second half to beat Chelsea 4-3 in the final minutes.
A sold out crowd at Busch Stadium, the home of the World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals, came to watch the “battle of the Blues” in the first stop on the US Tour, and they surely got their money’s worth in the action-packed match.
Chelsea jumped out to an early lead in the 15th minute off a brilliant header by Demba Ba before Cesar Azpilicueta added to the lead with a penalty just before the half.
City defender Karim Rekik was beat by Chelsea’s Juan Mata as he entered the box, which led to a bad tackle and the penalty kick. Chelsea’s early lead would grow to three in the second half as Oscar scored in the 52nd minute.
Man City took over from there and a quick goal by Javi Garcia in the 62nd minute sparked the late rally for the Citizens. Edin Dzeko followed with two quick goals to even the score at three with just under five minutes left to play.
City continued to keep the pressure on Chelsea as the match moved into stoppage time, and Micah Richards sealed the win as he beat young goalkeeper Jamal Blackman.
Blackman was subbed into the match midway through the second half for Petr Cech with a 3-0 lead, but the 19-year-old was buried by the Citizens’ attack as he gave up the goal to Javi Garcia on the first shot he faced.
He settled down after the quick goal, but City’s persistent pressure continued to make a difference and they finally capitalized after missing multiple scoring chances in the first half.
The two-game U.S. Tour between City and Chelsea will now move to New York City for a match at Yankee Stadium on Saturday. Chelsea hasn’t figured out Man City this season as they failed to beat the club in four matches before losing the friendly on Thursday.
Here’s the video highlights of Man City’s comeback win at Busch Stadium:
[Image via John Urquhart]