Edin Dzeko scored a double as Manchester City beat Milan 5-3 in a thrilling pre-season friendly on Wednesday.
New signings Jesus Navas, Fernandinho and Stevan Jovetic all featured in new City boss Manuel Pellegrini’s starting XI for the Audi Cup game in Munich, while Stephan El Shaarawy and Kevin-Prince Boateng were included for Milan.
However, Dzeko had the biggest impact on the match as he netted a brace to help City into a five-goal lead inside 35 minutes before Milan hit back to score three times before half-time.
It took City just three minutes to take the lead, David Silva tapping in from close range after Jovetic had guided Navas’ deep right-wing cross into his path.
Pellegrini’s men almost doubled their advantage four minutes later, but Montenegrin international Jovetic could only fire wide of the far post from a tight angle after Milan’s Kevin Constant had needlessly surrendered possession.
Nevertheless, City continued to dictate proceedings and deservedly increased their lead just before the 20-minute mark. Defender Micah Richards prodded home the rebound after his initial shot was well saved by Marco Amelia.
Milan’s defence were finding the Premier League side’s vibrant attack difficult to handle, and just two minutes later they were three goals down. Jovetic again pulled the strings by playing in Aleksandr Kolarov, who powered a left-footed effort into the bottom corner.
And the gap in quality and match-sharpness was again evident as Dzeko bagged his quickfire brace. The 27-year-old first converted a cross from Navas at the back post before then scoring the goal of the game by controlling a chipped pass from captain Yaya Toure before firing home a superb volley.
The Serie A side then rallied to restore some pride, with El Shaarawy twice beating Joe Hart in the space of three minutes before Andrea Petagna delicately steered the ball under the England international goalkeeper to give them hope of an unlikely comeback.
However, the scoring stopped there as both teams made wholesale changes during the second period. New recruit Alvaro Negredo, Samir Nasri and Gareth Barry were among those thrown into the fray for City, while M’Baye Niang and Urby Emanuelson were introduced for Milan.
France international Nasri almost increased City’s lead but could only curl wide of an empty net after an error from substitute Milan goalkeeper Gabriel, while El Shaarawy and Kevin-Prince Boateng both wasted chances to reduce the deficit at the other end.
The two sides then traded chances through Javi Garcia and Andrea Poli, but the game petered out meaning City will face either hosts Bayern Munich or Sao Paulo in the Audi Cup final on Thursday.
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