EDIN DZEKO’S sweetly-struck goal has given Manchester City a 1-0 half-time lead against Sunderland in the final of the Barclays Asia Trophy, here in Hong Kong.
Paolo Di Canio named an unchanged side from the one which beat Spurs 3-1 in the semi-final, with new boys Vito Mannone, Cabral, Jozy Altidore and Emanuele Giaccherini again all included in the starting line-up.
New Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini made five changes from the semi-final, with Costel Pantilimon, Javi Garcia, David Silva, Matija Nastasic and summer signing Alvaro Negredo all included.
Sunderland began positively - Wes Brown glancing on Seb Larsson’s inswinging free-kick in the fifth minute with a header that was well wide of the far post.
But with their first forray into Sunderland’s territory, City broke the deadlock in the ninth minute through Edin Dzeko’s sweetly-struck half-volley from the edge of the area.
Wes Brown’s clearing header only went as far as Dzeko, loitering in the D, and the ball sat up perfectly for the Bosnian, who wrapped his left-footed around it and powered it inside the near post.
Negredo should have doubled the advantage in the 12th minute when Negredo beat the offside trap, but as he bore down on Vito Mannone’s goal, he skied a left-footed shot over the bar.
Dzeko had another sight of goal on the half-hour mark when he met James Milner’s right-wing centre with a first-time right-footed shot from 16 yards that was straight at Mannone.
City stopper Costel Pantilimon was forced into a save six minutes before the interval when Altidore pulled the ball back to Giaccherini on the edge of the area.
Giaccherini tried to place a right-footed shot into the far corner, but it was at a comfortable height for Pantilimon who plucked it out of the air.
The woodwork denied City a second on the stroke of half-time, as David Silva’s free-kick from the right was headed towards his own goal by Craig Gardner, only for it to come back off the far post.
HALF-TIME Manchester City 1 Sunderland 0
MANCHESTER CITY: Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Kompany, Nastasic, Clichy, Milner, Garcia, Toure, Silva, Dzeko, Negredo. Subs not used: Wright, Lescott, Nasri, Kolarov, Navas, Rodwell, Barry, Fernandinho, Boyata.
SUNDERLAND: Mannone, Gardner, Brown, O’Shea, Colback, Johnson, Larsson, Cabral, Giaccherini, Sessegnon, Altidore. Subs not used: Pickford, Westwood, Wickham, Vaughan, Mandron, Moberg Karlsson, Ba, McClean, Cuellar, Roberge.