Manchester City’s record signing, Raheem Sterling scored within three minutes of his debut, as his team were twice pegged back by brilliant AS Roma goals, only for the Premier League club to win it on penalties courtesy of Joe Hart’s heroics.
The A?49 million man, showed a glimpse of what the future hold for Manchester City, scoring in the third minute of his debut. Miralem Pjanic pulled one back for the Giallorossi with a 30-yard pile-driver. However, City youngster Kelehi Ihenacho again put his team in front, capitalizing on an Ashley Cole error, before Adam Ljajic scored a beautiful free-kick for Roma, to keep the score level after 90 minutes. Joe Hart saved the crucial Seydou Keita penalty to win it for The Citizens.
Sterling’s first goal, Pjanic’s stunner, Cole’s terrible mistake and Ljajic’s free-kick
Raheem Sterling had an interesting debut for his new team, after his month’s long transfer saga. The winger fell in the first minute of the match, as he tried to control the ball and tripped. Two minutes later he scored the opening goal, neatly latching on to Ihenacho’s through ball as he raced through on goal, and calmly slotted home past a helpless De Sanctis. Earlier, Sterling had his name hilariously misprinted on the team-sheet as “Stirling.”
Five minutes later, Miralem Pjanic equalized with an absolute belter, as his venomous shot from 30-yard’s out flew into the top corner beating goal-keeper Willy Cabellero at his near post. The Etihad outfit had a couple of chances in the first half, but were saved by Di Sanctis.
However, his heroics were undone by Ashley Cole, who chipped a ball back to the goal-keeper, which fell short and youngster Iheanacho latched on to it, before calmly slotting it home. Roma started pressing for the equalizer, but couldn’t find it till the 87th minute, when 23-year-old attacking midfielder, Adem Ljajic curled a beautiful free-kick from 20 yards out, above the wall and past Joe Hart.
The iconic MCG stadium was only roughly half filled out of a total capacity of 100,000, with many fans probably likely to turn up for City’s clash against Real Madrid on Friday.
The game then went on to penalties, where Manchester City finally nicked it 5-4, after a decisive save by Joe Hart from Seydou Keita.
Here are the highlight’s of the game: