Manchester City beat 10-man Chelsea 3-2 in today’s Community Shield, the curtain-raiser to English soccer’s Premier League season.
Chelsea led league champion City at halftime on a goal from Fernando Torres but had defender Branislav Ivanovic red-carded before the interval. Yaya Toure, Carlos Tevez and Samir Nasri then scored for City, with Ryan Bertrand getting Chelsea’s second goal at Villa Park in Birmingham.
“It was a great day for the club again,” City captain Vincent Kompany told the British Broadcasting Corp. “It doesn’t matter what the trophy is, we’ll celebrate it.”
The Community Shield is contested by the winners of the previous season’s Premier League and the F.A. Cup and raises money for charities and community groups. City claimed a first league title in 44 years, while Chelsea secured the F.A. Cup for a fourth time in six seasons.
City striker Tevez had his team’s first effort on target after three minutes, curling a free kick around the wall and forcing Petr Cech into a save.
Cech was forced into another stop when a corner from Aleksandar Kolarov could have dipped below the crossbar as City provided most of the attacking threat in the early stages.
Chelsea, giving a debut to Belgium international Eden Hazard, began to settle and took the lead five minutes before halftime when Torres slipped the ball past the advancing Costel Pantilimon.
Ivanovic was dismissed two minutes later when he slid into Kolarov, catching the fullback on his shin.
City took eight minutes of the second half to tie the match, Toure firing a shot through a crowd of players and past Cech.
Tevez fired into the top corner of the net from the edge of the area six minutes later, and Nasri stabbed in from a Kolarov cross on 65 minutes.
Substitute Bertrand reacted quickest when Pantilimon spilled a shot from Daniel Sturridge to score for Chelsea with 10 minutes remaining.
Both teams continued to push forward, with City spurning two late chances as the game headed into injury time. First, David Silva was unable to get a strong enough connection on a shot, before Sergio Aguero put an effort wide from close range.
Wembley Stadium, the usual venue for the Community Shield, staged the Olympic final yesterday, when Mexico beat Brazil 2-1.
City opens the defense of its league title at home to newly promoted Southampton on Aug. 19, with Chelsea at Wigan on the same day.
“It will be a tough league this season because you could see the quality that Chelsea have,” Kompany said. “It doesn’t matter if we are favorites, if we can improve on last season I’ll be very happy.”
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