MANCHESTER City caretaker boss Brian Kidd lauded his side as they announced themselves to the American market by coming from three goals down to beat Chelsea 4-3 in a friendly in St Louis.
City fell behind to Demba Ba, Cesar Azpilicueta and Oscar goals despite dominating the first half but Javi Garcia began the fightback, Edin Dzeko struck twice and Micah Richards grabbed a late winner.
Kidd, in charge following Roberto Mancini’s dismissal earlier this month, said: “I thought we were unlucky to go in 2-0 down but the players were tremendous.
“They have had a tough couple of weeks after losing the manager and the FA Cup final.
“It has been a draining, emotional couple of weeks.
“They have done great work in New York with the appearances and events for the club, they have done great work.
“We only had one training session, so that might be the secret. You can’t say enough about them.”
The match at Busch Stadium, home of the baseball’s St Louis Cardinals, was a 48,263 sell-out although, with the majority supporting Chelsea, there was perhaps an indication of how much work City still have to do in the country.
Kidd, who had stints playing in Atlanta and Fort Lauderdale towards the end of his career, said: “I played in the NASL (North American Soccer League) and if you see games like that it does give soccer a great name. They love high-scoring games, everything is based on that in America.
“To have a game like that, right at the death, it is the excitement they crave.”
Chelsea teenager Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who impressed in midfield, enjoyed the experience despite the result.
The 17-year-old told Chelsea TV: “I’m proud of my performance.
“You’ve got to enjoy these occasions as a young player and I did. It’s amazing playing in front of 40-odd thousand.”
With another match scheduled at Yankee Stadium in New York on Saturday, he added: “I’m buzzing for that. Hopefully I’ll play again.”