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Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2012

City beats Chelsea to win Community Shield


BIRMINGHAM, England — Manchester City scored three second-half goals to beat 10-man Chelsea 3-2 on Sunday in a bad-tempered Community Shield, the traditional start to the English soccer season.

News photo
Community service: Chelsea's Fernando Torres (left) competes with Manchester City's Gael Clichy during the Community Shield on Sunday. AFP-JIJI

Fernando Torres put Chelsea ahead in the 40th minute, but the game turned after teammate Branislav Ivanovic was sent off just moments later. Three goals in 12 minutes, from Yaya Toure, Carlos Tevez and Samir Nasri, put City firmly in control before Ryan Bertrand scored a late second for Chelsea.

For Premier League-winner City, it was a first success since 1972 in the annual curtain raiser between the English champion and the F.A. Cup holder.

"It was a good performance," City coach Roberto Mancini said, acknowledging the advantage of having an extra man.

"It had an impact on the game. It is impossible to say 'no' because 11 versus 11 is different. But we played better than Chelsea, played better football."

Chelsea coach Roberto Di Matteo had no doubt that the red card issued by referee Kevin Friend was the turning point.

"It changed the game in favor of Manchester City," he said." We competed very well and at that point were in the lead. It was difficult in the second half (with) 10 men."

Ramires created Chelsea's opener with a sharp pass past Eden Hazard to Torres on his right. The Spain striker showed signs last season of starting to find his old form and his contribution on Sunday was clinical, beating goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon with the predatory instinct of old.

Pantilimon had been given a rare start due to Joe Hart's back injury.

Two minutes later, Chelsea's positive start was compromised by Ivanovic being shown a straight red card. Forced to challenge for a stray pass by John Terry, the Serbian slid straight into countryman Aleksandar Kolarov.

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