Dzeko inspires stunning Manchester City comeback
London: Manchester City came from three goals down to record a remarkable 4-3 win over Chelsea in St Louis, Missouri.
Rafa Benitez`s men got off to the perfect start in the pre-season friendly when Demba Ba headed home from close range early on. Goals either side of half-time from Cesar Azpilicueta and Oscar had given the Blues what looked like an unassailable lead.
But Brian Kidd somehow inspired his side to scratch out the three-goal deficit and shock the Busch Stadium by snatching a late winner. Javi Garcia started the comeback, before Edin Dzeko levelled the score with two strikes allowing Micah Richards to win the game in added time.
Benitez handed Andreas Christensen and Ruben Loftus-Cheek their first team debuts for the Blues while Kidd offered up the same honour to Albert Rusnak.
Manchester City made a quick start out of the blocks but it was Ba who opened the scoring by turning in Juan Mata`s accurate cross. The Senegalese lost his marked and managed to sneak ahead of Joe Hart to head in from close range.
That was followed by a succession of chances for City, but it was Chelsea who struck again. Juan Mata was clumsily brought down in the box by Karim Rekik, allowing Azpilicueta to clinically dispatch the resulting penalty and double the Blues lead.
It soon got even better for Chelsea as Oscar rounded Joe Hart and remained composed to find a finish from a tight angle early in the second half. A Manchester City comeback at this point, despite their general dominance, looked highly unlikely.
That was until Dzeko entered the fray. The Bosnian was cheered on by a large contingent of his compatriots in the Busch Stadium and he was instantly involved in the corner which eventually lead to Garcia pulling one back.
Minutes later the former Wolfsburg man, linked with a move to Napoli, raced up the field from a Chelsea corner to meet a James Milner pass and calmy slot past substitute goalkeeper Jamal Blackman to cut the deficit to one.
Blackman then made a succession of impressive stops. Most noticably from Milner and Dzeko again before he was finally beaten again with five minutes remaining.
Carlos Tevez persistently plugged away throughout the match and earned some reward by claiming a fine assists for Dzeko`s equaliser. The Bosnian had the ball put on a plate for him to bring the scores level.
City had all the momentum and through Richards they found a dramatic late winner to cap off a remarkable match.
Nasri`s short pass across the face of goal was met by defender who had stayed forward from a corner.
On the balance of play Manchester City were the better side, but Chelsea will rue the fact that they lead a three-goal lead slip through their fingers with such ease.