Malaysia 1 Manchester City 3: Aguero stars as Mancini's men sign off Asian tour in style
16:16 GMT, 30 July 2012
Manchester City’s mini-tour of Asia – two countries to be precise – ended with a thoroughly predictable and efficient victory over Malaysia.
In the sweltering heat and humidity of Kuala Lumpur’s National Stadium, City scored midway through the first half thanks to Sergio Aguero and added two more goals in quick succession in the second half courtesy of Carlos Tevez and Adam Johnson.
With the heat such a factor and the pitch here so poor that parts of it had to be relaid in the hours before kick-off, City manager Roberto Mancini will have been relieved to get through the 90 minutes without suffering more injuries to that sustained by captain Vincent Kompany in last Friday’s win over Arsenal in China.
Unstoppable: Sergio Aguero was in fine form for Manchester City against Malaysia
How Manchester City lined up (3-4-1-2)
(Johansen 75mins); Savic, K Toure (Boyata 76mins), Zabaleta; A Johnson,
Razak, Suarez (Evans 64mins) , Kolarov; Y Toure (Scapuzzi 58mins); Tevez
(Mancini 76mins), Aguero (Lopes 70mins)
That his team would win was never in doubt. This was less of the Malaysian national team and more of a Malaysian representative XI.
Nevertheless, Mancini will have no complaints about the way his players performed.
Aguero was undoubtedly the star of the show. The man who scored the goal that won City their first Barclays Premier League trophy back in May, the Argentinean has looked fresh on this trip after a summer of rest and the way he burst past three Malaysian players to chip the ball over goalkeeper Mohd Farizal Marlias in the 18th minute was exemplary.
Prior to that, City had struck the bar through Johnson while young midfielder Denis Suarez had screwed a good chance across goal and wide with his right foot.
Cool finish: Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez was on target against the Malaysians
Sadly for Johnson, his night included a rollicking from Mancini midway through the half. Playing in the unfamiliar position of right wing-back, Johnson was – as is often the case – unable to please his coach who emerged from the dugout to give him a verbal going-over shortly after Aguero’s goal.
Away from the field there was also some drama unfolding. In one stand here, a supporter who had turned up in a red Manchester United shirt was jostled and heckled by others in City sky blue. At half-time, he seemed relaxed enough to do some TV interviews.
Elsewhere in the stadium, banners carrying United crests and – in one case – the words ‘Manchester Is Red’ were taken down by stewards, not – it should be noted – at the request of City.
The rivalry between the two clubs from England’ s new home of football has started to travel, it seems.
City slickers: Tevez (right) and Aguero celebrate as Alexander Kolarov joins the party
Back on the pitch, Malaysia were rarely able to trouble City and the Premier League champions effectively put the game to bed early in the second half.
Tevez – booked after a running verbal battle with the referee earlier on – finished adroitly in the 48th minute after a super pass from Aguero set him clear.
Given that these players could well start the season as City’s attacking duo, Mancini will be pleased to see them working well and looking fit.
Nice touch: Aguero looked good on the ball during Manchester City's final match on their Asian tour
Certainly Tevez already looks in better shape than he did when lugging a golf bag round Lytham and St Anne’s a week or so ago.
Four minutes later Aguero was the instigator again as a lovely lofted pass found Johnson in the penalty area and the young winger was able to bring the ball down and score on the turn. Take that, coach.
As City changed six players in the final half an hour, their fluency decreased. The heat also began to take its toll and Malaysia broke with three minutes remaining to score, Aazamuddin Mohd Akil leaving Pablo Zabaleta foundering to drive a right-foot shot low across substitute goalkeeper Eirik Johansen.
Giving chase: Manchester City defender Pablo Zabaleta tries to keep up with Mohd Safee Mohd Sali
That will certainly have niggled Mancini. These things do.
On the whole, though, he will not be disappointed with the outcome. It never does to embarrass your hosts if you intend to be invited back.
City will be back in Manchester by Tuesday morning to join the European Championship players such as Joe Hart, David Silva and Mario Balotelli who began training on Monday.
As a coach who wished to keep this trip as short as possible, Mancini will be glad to be home.
The Community Shield against Chelsea looms in less than a fortnight. City will seek to recruit one or two new faces by then.
Is that a wig Fans show their colours at the friendly between Manchester City and Malaysia