The curtain was raised on the 2012/13 season and it’s Manchester City who will be happiest with their opening aria. How much can be gauged from any Community Shield is debatable but the productiveness of their 3-5-2 formation will offer serious encouragement for the new champions while Chelsea face a week of fine-tuning ahead of next weekend’s opener with Wigan.

Manchester City

Costel Pantilimon – 5/10

Didn’t have a lot to do besides pick the ball out of the net twice, the second due to a spill that allowed Chelsea back into the game. Understandably considering his understudy role he didn’t look the most commanding of figures.

Pablo Zabaleta – 7/10

Was shifted around in a half-time reshuffle but wherever the Argentinean plays he always offers City total commitment. Put his head and body on the line to make the new-look back-three work and did so successfully.

Vincent Kompany 9/10

Another near faultless outing from the champion’s stylish colossus who makes the difficult appear effortlessly simple and does so in a cool manner that transmits calm throughout the team when under pressure.

Stefan Savic – 4/10

Out-paced and out-manoeuvred it seems the summer has not eradicated his failings. Unquestionably City’s weak line and was duly targeted in the opening 45 until he was hooked by Mancini in favour of Clichy. Booked for a late challenge early on.

Aleksander Kolorov – 7/10

The new system suits the Serb’s marauding and he bossed the left flank throughout playing a prominent role in City’s third with a great assist.

James Milner – 8/10

Tirelessly patrolled the right and is custom built for City’s new system. Only marked down due to the quality of Cole (if the game was still ongoing they’d still be scrapping and harrying for everything such is their endless energy and tenacity) and the poor deliveries on the occasions space was found.

Samir Nasri – 7-10

One of Nasri’s better games which is an encouraging continuation of his fine form at the end of last term. Revelled in the freedom afforded him though settled into linking rather than jinking.

Nigel De Jong – 8/10

Had the measure of Hazard all afternoon whilst additionally anchoring the City midfield with his customary all-action fare. So tackling has gone out of the game? No-one has told De Jong nor indeed the officials who appreciate the well timed slides for what they are – clean and non-nonsense.

Yaya Toure – 9/10

Guided his goal home superbly but that simply capped a majestic display where he reduced his London counterparts to huffing and puffing pygmies. Balanced out his holding responsibility with a series of astute forward runs and was always available for the easy ball.

Sergio Aguero – 7/10

An energetic display that threatened often but without the fireworks he is capable of. Clearly relishes playing alongside his compatriot Tevez and they’re fast forming a duo that could fire City to a second title but the concern is what he sacrifices to make it work.

Carlos Tevez – 8/10

Fitter, leaner and back to his hungry Fuerte Apache best. Tevez was a constant thorn in the Chelsea’s back line and runs into unconventional areas for a striker that disrupts set team shapes. Regularly pulled Terry out of his comfort zone and his dervish display was rewarded with an arrowed cracker that put City ahead.


Petr Cech – 6/10

Blameless for any of the goals but caused a few heart flutters amongst the Chelsea faithful with some ring-rusty handling. His shakiness was hardly helped by having Luiz in front of him but thankfully he’s one of the best gloved sweepers around and on three occasions coolly mopped up when the Brazilian went AWOL.

Branislav Ivanovic – 5/10

Was it or wasn’t it? The Russian’s challenge was certainly more slide than lunge and in other circumstances could be given the benefit of the doubt. However, with both legs in unison, his left boot condemned him as it connected to Kolorov over the ball making any lack of intent redundant.

Until then was coping well despite City being in early decadency.

Ashley Cole – 7/10

His bitty duel with his international colleague Milner was one of the highlights of the day and Cole was arguably edging it with some tremendous blocks until the game turned City’s way. Then, with a man disadvantage the England left-back regularly found himself over-run and his frustrations got the better of him.

John Terry – 6/10

Received dog’s abuse from the opposition end which often spurs the Chelsea skipper to puff out his chest and put in a Henry V performance but not today. Possibly still affected by his recent court case or perhaps not quite fit and firing in battle-mode. Mostly though it was due to having to deal with a scavenging Tevez all afternoon. Whatever the reason Terry struggled to impose his usual authority.

David Luiz – 4/10

A surprising inclusion considering Cahill’s superb showings at the tail end of last season the Brazilian regressed into old habits. Admittedly there was no erratic walkabouts (the ten men forbid that) but still his positioning was all over the place and often it was so avoidable, remedied with a simple step or two across the line to compensate for Terry being pulled out wide.

Ramires – 8/10

Sadly his rampaging was limited to the occasional well-timed venture forward following Ivanovic’s dismissal but there was no questioning the player’s commitment and work-rate that was second to none. Dropped deeper into an auxiliary right-back role but still prized open the opportunity that led to Chelsea’s second goal.

Mikel John Obi -5/10

A poor showing from a player who was in desperate need of a big game. This was Mikel’s chance to put down a marker to Di Matteo but the Nigerian dallied in possession and became increasingly anonymous as the game progressed. Surely now his days at the Bridge are numbered?

Frank Lampard – 8/10

Off the pace and largely ineffective so why the high marking? Well, Ramires aside, Lampard was the only player who rolled up his sleeves with their numbers deficit and put in a grafting shift popping up here, there and everywhere.

Eden Hazard – 6/10

Looked fluid and a danger with the ball at his feet but struggled to impose himself in the frantic periods only the English game can muster. There is no doubting Hazard will be a huge player for the blues once he adjusts and this so-so performance can be judged merely as a rehearsal for things to come.

Fernando Torres 7/10

Showed glimpses of the Torres of old particularly with his well taken clip and the directness of his running. Resorted to drifting into wide areas when he got little change from Kompany and co and the impact of Sturridge’s cameo perhaps puts the Spaniard’s effectively into perspective. But overall can be pleased with a decent run-out ahead of a make-or-break season.

Juan Mata – 6/10

Linked well at times and found intelligent spaces but this was largely an impotent display by Mata to the extent where it was a surprise that he was hauled off so late.