Olympic spirit in short supply during Community Shield but champions Manchester City return in style against Chelsea


Villa Park

Five goals, one red card and eight bookings yesterday in a match that is supposed to be a friendly: English football might remain immune to the Olympic spirit but it is hard to deny that it is rattling good entertainment.

The Community Shield at Villa Park drew a crowd of 36,394 that fell 7,000 short of a full house, reflecting the tie's status this time as a sideshow to the country's great sporting event rather than the appetiser for the main feast. The Football Association chairman, David Bernstein, might have called for the country's footballers to take their lead from Team GB; it was not immediately obvious the warning had been heeded by players or fans.

The rain fell; John Terry was abused over his recent court case by the Manchester City support; players surrounded the referee Kevin Friend to berate him for his decisions; a fan dressed as Zippy from Rainbow was ejected by police; the rain continued to fall and Terry was abused some more.

English football is not about to change its ways just because the country has hosted a successful Olympics, but no one could complain about the competitiveness. The game caught alight before half-time when Fernando Torres scored for Chelsea and Branislav Ivanovic was sent off. As for the behaviour? It looked indistinguishable from that of last season.

After half-time, it was all City, led by the magnificent Yaya Touré, who scored the equaliser and was the game's stand-out player. After him Carlos Tevez, looking slim and sharp, went past David Luiz and Terry to score a brilliant second before Samir Nasri poked in Aleksandar Kolarov's cross for the third.

City almost let Chelsea back in with 10 minutes left when goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon dropped the ball at substitute Ryan Bertrand's feet and he scored. Otherwise, Chelsea's poor pre-season form continued.

It will be a while until Chelsea see the best of Eden Hazard, played out on the left behind Torres, whose performance was most notable for a back-heel that went awry and caused him to fall on his face. Ivanovic was deservedly sent off for his lunge at Kolarov and will miss the first three games of the season.

Frank Lampard and Ramires, both booked, were fortunate not to pick up second yellow cards and Chelsea became increasingly stretched in the second half. These are early days yet for Roberto Di Matteo, but it was a chastening reminder of just good the champions are when they find their rhythm.

The Chelsea manager said that City were "absolutely" the team to beat. "They're the champions. We have to catch up 25 points from last season. They are the favourites, no doubt about it, and United will be chasing City as well. They've kept the squad together. I'm not sure if they'll make more signings, but they're a strong team."

City had made their first signing just hours before kick-off and Roberto Mancini said afterwards that Jack Rodwell, a £15m signing from Everton, had completed a medical at the club yesterday afternoon. It is an interesting signing, and not quite the big-name striker that Mancini would have had in mind, but it does represent another investment in young English talent.

The City manager described Rodwell as "a good player for our future" and hinted strongly that he would not be an immediate part of his first-team plans. "It's the first time he was [sic] in a club that plays to win [trophies], and it will be different for him, but I'm sure that in a couple of years he will be a top, strong midfielder." Everton fans might bridle at the first point.

Mancini was also less keen to reignite Friday's feud with the club's "sporting director" Brian Marwood, although the manager will meet chairman Khaldoon al-Mubarak, who is in town this week.

"I always speak with Khaldoon. I did a press conference on Friday and you asked me about the market. I don't know anything about the market, so I said, 'Speak with Brian Marwood'. Then it was chaos in the newspapers. Any manager would be unhappy when, one week before the start of the season, we haven't bought any players. But I hope we are working and, this week, we can do something about this."

There was no Joe Hart in the City team; he was out with a back strain, which also means that he will miss the England friendly with Italy on Wednesday, leaving Roy Hodgson with just the uncapped John Ruddy and Jack Butland to choose from. City were also without Mario Balotelli who was suffering from conjunctivitis.

Daniel Sturridge, a substitute, looks like he too will have to pull out of the England squad with injury. He was one of two Olympians on show yesterday. English football, however, exists in its own world.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson stars in Hercules
filmReview: The Rock is a muscular Davy Crockett in this preposterous film, says Geoffrey Macnab
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmA cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Louis van Gaal watches over Nani
Arts and Entertainment
Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Lavinia, William Houston as Titus Andronicus and Dyfan Dwyfor as Lucius
theatreThe Shakespeare play that proved too much for more than 100 people
exclusivePunk icon Viv Albertine on Sid Vicious, complacent white men, and why free love led to rape
New Real Madrid signing James Rodríguez with club president Florentino Perez
transfersColombian World Cup star completes £63m move to Spain
Arts and Entertainment
Stir crazy: Noel Fielding in 'Luxury Comedy 2: Tales from Painted Hawaii'
comedyAs ‘Luxury Comedy’ returns, Noel Fielding on why mainstream success scares him and what the future holds for 'The Boosh'
Life and Style
Flow chart: Karl Landsteiner discovered blood types in 1900, yet scientists have still not come up with an explanation for their existence
lifeAll of us have one. Yet even now, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Arts and Entertainment
'Weird Al' Yankovic, or Alfred Matthew, at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival Screening of
musicHis latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do our experts think he’s missed out?
Hotel Tour d’Auvergne in Paris launches pay-what-you-want
travelIt seems fraught with financial risk, but the policy has its benefits
Arts and Entertainment
booksThe best children's books for this summer
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Day In a Page

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn