Match report: Manchester City beat Sunderland in Asia Cup final

Manchester City 1 Sunderland 0

Edin Dzeko was Manchester City's hero once more as Manuel Pellegrini's men overcame Sunderland to lift the Barclays Asia Trophy.

Just as he had done in the semi-final triumph over South China, Dzeko scored the only goal to give the Blues a deserved victory.

It was not quite a trouble-free victory for City as key defender Matija Nastastic was stretchered off in the second half, but they were the better side and only two goal-line clearances from Craig Gardner kept the score down.

It has been a productive few days for Dzeko. Expected to be on his way out of the Etihad Stadium this summer, the Bosnian remains and until reinforcements are brought in to compensate for the departure of Carlos Tevez and, last season, Mario Balotelli, so he is destined to remain.

Tonight the former Wolfsburg man struck early.

Yaya Toure created the opportunity with a flick-on intended for Pablo Zabaleta. Wes Brown got there first, but the former Manchester United man could only turn the ball into the path of Dzeko, who duly rammed home a brilliant half-volley which flew in off a post.

Alvaro Negredo should have made it two after being played in by David Silva but the Spaniard blasted disappointingly over.

Negredo did no better when he was picked out by Dzeko later on, this time ballooning the ball over from a central position.

City keeper Costel Pantilimon did not have much to do and even when Emanuele Giaccherini had a chance, his shot went straight at the Romanian.

Sunderland had a lucky escape just before the break when Gardner headed Silva's free-kick against his own post, then clattered into the upright himself as the Black Cats scrambled clear.

With heavy rain falling on an already saturated surface, an area of approximately 50 yards either side of the halfway line resembled a bog.

Dzeko was certainly looking suspiciously at it when he skied a penalty high over the bar midway through the second half.

On this occasion, though, the surface did not seem to be any more responsible than Dzeko's poor finishing.

City suffered a blow 17 minutes from the end when Nastastic was stretchered off following an innocuous-looking incident involving Giaccherini.

Following his earlier heroics, Gardner went one better after Samir Nasri had presented Jesus Navas with a shooting chance, sliding back to make a brilliant goal-line clearance.

Pantimilon's save from Sebastian Larsson's free-kick ensured there was no late reprieve for Sunderland.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Proust as Captain Laure Berthaud in 'Spiral'
tvReview: Gritty, engaging and well-acted - it’s a wonder France’s biggest TV export isn’t broadcast on a more mainstream channel
Arts and Entertainment
music
Arts and Entertainment
Laura Carmichael in still from Madam Bovary trailer
film
News
i100
Sport
Serena Williams holds the Australian Open title
sportAustralia Open 2015 final report
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing