Saturday, September 23, 2017

Stuttgart 4 Manchester City 2: Cause for concern for Pellegrini

SoccerNews in English Premier League 1 Aug 2015

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Manchester City were punished for a woeful defensive performance as Stuttgart romped to a 4-2 friendly victory on Saturday.

A near full-strength City side conceded all four goals by half-time at the Mercedes Benz Arena, with a back four of captain Vincent Kompany, Bacary Sagna, Eliaquim Mangala and Aleksandar Kolarov ruthlessly exposed time and again.

Kompany and Mangala were too often drawn apart, while Stuttgart also found plenty of joy on the flanks with the City defence all at sea.

Filip Kostic’s well-taken opener put the Bundesliga side on their way and David Didavi doubled the lead for Alexander Zorniger’s men after combining well with Florian Klein.

Two goals in as many minutes from Daniel Ginczek then left the home fans buoyant and the visitors shell-shocked.

Kelechi Iheanacho and Edin Dzeko grabbed late consolations for City – who also lost 4-1 to Real Madrid on their tour of Australia last week – but manager Manuel Pellegrini has plenty of work to do with their Premier League opener against West Brom just nine days away.

Raheem Sterling tested Stuttgart goalkeeper Przemyslaw Tyton early on with a low 20-yard drive, but City were opened up the first time in the 15th minute.

Kostic ran between Sagna and Kompany to meet Ginczek’s flicked header before slotting coolly past Joe Hart.

It was 2-0 just after the half-hour mark. Didavi combined excellently with Klein on the right, the former latching onto the latter’s throughball in the penalty area and finished through the legs of Hart.

Ginczek scored his first in the 36th minute when City were again caught cold at the back, the forward prodding home Martin Harnik’s low cross from the right.

A minute later Ginczek had his second and Stuttgart’s fourth. Kompany completely mistimed an interception and Ginczek found space to calmly take Didavi’s pass and dispatch clinically past Hart.

It was little surprise that Kompany was one of three City players – alongside Samir Nasri and Wilfried Bony – substituted at half-time.

City improved after the break with Sterling curling wide of the far post from the left of the penalty area, while Tyton made a smart stop from Bruno Zuculini’s close-range effort.

The visitors got on the scoresheet in the 84th minute when Iheanacho drilled into an unguarded goal after yton was left stranded from David Silva’s cross, before Dzeko side-footed home Sterling’s cross from the left in the closing stages.

 

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