Vieira Sees Red As Inter Crush City
Manchester City's pre-season campaign suffered a major set-back after they were thrashed by a largely second-string Inter team in Rafael Benitez's opening game.
City started on the front foot and their superior match time appeared evident. Tempers flared early on between the two sides, providing the large crowd with far more than just a lack-lustre testimonal.
Unfortunately, City's early momentum was quashed after the harsh sending off of Patrick Vieira, a rediculous decision by the referee who effectively ended the game before it had even reached the 25 minute mark.
The former Inter man jumped for the ball, catching fellow veteran Marco Materazzi with a trailing arm. Vieira only had eyes for the ball, but it was an early bath for the Frenchman and an uphill struggle for the Citizens from there on in.
Inter made full use of their numerical advantage and it was no suprise that they opened the scoring in the 39th minute.
Victor Obinna cut in from the left, sending a shot straight through Micah Richards' legs, past Joe Hart, and in at the far post to give Benitez's side a half-time lead.
Half-Time: Internazionale 1-0 Manchester City
In the second-half, City were left chasing shadows for the most part, Inter dominating both possession and chances.
The inevitable came early on, as the European Champions doubled their lead in the 54th minute.
Obinna's shot deflected off of Joleon Lescott and past the hapless Given, who had replaced Hart at the interval. Lescott has now been culpable for two goals in as many games.
Inter continued to dominate, but a resolute City side stood firm. Adebayor had little to feed off now that the Blues were on the back-foot, while Barry had slotted into left-midfield, providing little threat down the wing.
Inter introduced the likes of Samuel Eto'o and Stankovic, yet they failed to cause any further damage.
It took a wonder-strike in the 74th minute for the Italian side to wrap up the game, young substitute Cristiano Biraghi rifling the ball into the top corner from 30-yards.
Full-Time: Internazionale 3-0 Manchester City
Goals: Obinna 39' Lescott og 54', Biraghi 74' (Internazionale)
Team: Hart (Given 46), Zabaleta, Kompany (Ireland 79), Toure Kolo (Boyata 63) , Bridge (Cunningham 46); Vieira, Toure Yaya (Lescott 46), Barry (Wright-Phillips 55); A Johnson, Jo (Richards 29), Adebayor.