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18 July 2014
• Tynecastle Stadium, Edinburgh
Referee: S. McLean
• Attendance: 12188
O. Sow 56'
S. Sinclair 25'
A. Kolarov 80'
Thank you for joining me tonight. I hope you have enjoyed the action. Farewell until next time.
The referee was very eager to end proceedings as he blew his whistle with 89 minutes and 54 seconds played, but a City win had not looked under any threat since they retook the lead in the 80th minute. Hearts gave their fans some things to get excited about and they did produced some good football at times, but City's superiority eventually shone through and goals from Sinclair and Kolarov gave them a deserved 2-1 win, as they prepare to head out for their tour of the United States.
Jovetic goes for goal again, this time after moving in from the left, but his low curling shot goes just wide of the far post.
Good try by Jovetic as the former Fiorentina holds off a defender and then tries his luck from distance, forcing Hamilton to palm the shot away to his right.
With City generally dictating play, this match is unsurprisingly petering out at the moment. Hearts are desperately trying to cause their opponents problems off the ball, but at the moment their efforts are futile.
Caballero almost gets himself into a spot of bother as he races out to meet a long pass from Hearts. He just about beats Paterson to the ball, but he nearly gives it straight to one of the forward's team-mates. However, Caballero stretches and pokes the ball away.
Hearts will really have to puch forward now if they are to get anything from this. The match will likely play into City's hands at the moment, though, as they have looked dangerous on the counter.
Penalty Goal Aleksandar Kolarov
GOAL!!! Kolarov steps up and coolly slots the penalty into the bottom-right corner, almost hitting the post and giving the goalkeeper little chance.
PENALTY TO CITY! Brilliant counterattack by the visitors as Clichy combined with Jovetic down the right and the forward eventually crossed low into the area. Guidetti inadvertently flicked the ball on with a header and Huws latched on to it, getting fouled in the process.
Hearts are pushing for a goal here as they attack down the right. The initial pass misses its target, but Paterson races on to the loose ball in the area and forces a corner out of City.
Despite that wasted free-kick, Jovetic is looking lively and he has produced some eye-catching flicks since he came on at half-time. This time he cuts across the area, pokes a pass towards the area D, before looking for the return pass. He doesn't receive the ball back immediately, but when he eventually does, the Montenegrin backheels a pass to Guidetti, who fires just wide.
Jovetic tries his luck from the free-kick, but he smashes his effort straight into the wall. That's a bit of a waste, particularly considering how close to goal it was.
Guidetti is forced to deal with two defenders as he attempts to bring down a long ball from the back, which is bouncing very high. In the end, though, he is fouled by Danny Wilson about 25 yards from the Hearts goal.
There is another City change. Bossaerts, who only came on at half-time, is replaced by Gael Clichy. The young Belgian does not appear to be carrying an injury, so that is surprising.
After a brief pause in play as Paterson and Caballero received some minor medical attention, we are back underway.
The attack is still alive for Hearts. They work the ball out to the right wing this time and a low cross is fired into the area by King, who searches for Paterson. The forward slides in an attempt to meet the cross, but Caballero, who is caught by Paterson, collects.
BIG BLOCK FROM BOYATA! Bossaerts is nudged off the ball near his corner flag and Hearts work the ball into the area for Keatings. The forward skips past one tackle and then shoots, but Boyata gets in the way.
Since the equaliser, neither side has looked particularly threatening in attack. City have controlled possession, as you'd expect, but they've not done much with it, while Hearts' best bet of getting a second at the moment is definitely on the counter-attack.
Clever one-touch football from City as Huws comes in from the left and works his way towards a central position. He plays the ball into Jovetic, who plays a one-two with Guidetti and then searches for a pass down the right for Bossaerts, but the ball is cut out.
With Nasri off, City will be hoping that Jovetic can be the creative spark in attack. On this occasion he is forced out to the left flank and after holding off his, he picks out a good pass into the centre for Fernando. The former Porto man tries his luck from distance, but his effort is blazed well over.
Gomis, who has put in a good shift in the midfield, sees his day come to an end as he is replaced by Scott Robinson for the final 30 minutes.
What a brilliant response from Hearts. City had started the second half fairly well and looked set to continue their monopolisation of possession, but they have fought back and are on level terms again.
Assist Dale Carrick
GOAL!!!! Hearts draw level! Lovely move from the hosts as they catch their opponents on the counter-attack. Fernando missed a tackled in the middle and Carrick burst away. The winger played a clever pass between the centre-backs, who were very high up the pitch indeed, and Sow fired past Caballero in emphatic fashion.
Risky play by Caballero. The Argentine goalkeeper took his time on the ball and allowed Paterson to close him down. The forward managed to charged down the keeper's clearance, but unfortunately for him the ball went straight out of play.
City already look a lot more fluid in this second half than they did in the first. Their movement in the middle now that Garcia and Zuculini have left the pitch looks much better.
Meanwhile, Jovetic wins his side a free-kick in a central position about 30 yards from goal. Kolarov steps up and unsurprisingly belts it towards goal, but his effort sails just over.
City made a total of 10 (yes, ten) changes at the break, with the only player to stay on being Sinclair. Cabellero, Kolarov, Huws, Jovetic, Guidetti, Fernando, Boyata, Denayer, Rodwell and Bossaerts all coming on.
City almost create a great opening with just over a minute gone! Huws, one of several half-time changes, did excellently down the left, Guidetti accidentally flicked his cross on and then the ball landed at Sinclair's feet. His effort was blocked, however, as McHattie covered to great effect.
Jesús Navas González
We are back underway for the second half at Tynecastle. Can Hearts fight their way back into this?
The referee blows his whistle to bring the first half to an end, with City leading 1-0 thanks to Sinclair's finish to cap off a well-worked move. Hearts have shown some glimpses of their ability and they did look dangerous early on, but their biggest threat -- Nicholson -- was forced off with an injury and City have generally dominated possession ever since.
45' + 1'
Bad news for City. Negredo was hobbled off and he headed straight down the tunnel as he appears to have picked up an injury.
After a bit of a wait, King delivers the free-kick from the left flank, but he can't even get the ball beyond the wall. What a waste.
And now Walker is left in a heap on the group. The Hearts man and Zuculini were both chasing the same ball and Walker won the race, before being bundled over.
Although this is only a pre-season friendly, there are certainly some fierce tackles flying in, particularly from City players. Garcia was spoken to a few minutes ago and he is guilty of going in hard once again.
An opening seemed to be emerging once again for City as they produced some incisive one-touch passing towards the right, but Navas plays Nasri into a central area and the Frenchman is crowded out.
Encouraging move by City. Navas picks up the ball in a more central position on this occasion and slips a good pass in towards the area for Richards. The full-back gets to the ball, but ultimately knocks it out of play.
Unsurprisingly, however, the corner comes to nothing as the delivery is smashed to the back of the box and City win a free-kick.
Good work down the left by Hearts. Walker is played in behind Richards and manages to win a corner following a physical tussle by the flag.
Hearts do not appear to have awoken again since the goal. City have been allowed to keep possession very easily, with little countering them.
Despite taking the lead, City don't really look as though they have left third gear yet. They look relaxed and untroubled, while Hearts appear to be struggling a little in the middle.
Hearts had done so well with Negredo and Sinclair until the goal, but they sat off the Spaniard way too much and were ultimately punished.
Goal Scott Sinclair
GOAL!!! City take the lead at Tynecastle! Navas squared across the edge of the area to Negredo and, after being given so much space by the Hearts defence, the Spain forward is able to slip a brilliant pass between a couple of defenders for Sinclair, who made no mistake from close range.
Gomis has impressed in the middle so far for Hearts. This time he steals the ball from the snoozing Garcia, holds him off and then bursts towards the middle of the City half. The move sees them end up back in their own side of the pitch, but they kept the ball well.
A touch for Negredo! Sinclair runs down the left and then comes inside, moving on to his favoured right foot. The former Chelsea man passes to Negredo's feet, who attempts to play a first-time pass through the defence, but it is easily cut out.
Negredo has been utterly anonymous so far. Admittedly the service to him has been lacking, but Hearts have done a good job on him so far.
Once again, however, the set-piece comes to nothing and City break. Navas gets the ball in his own half and then charges down the left, outpacing a couple of opponents, but when trying to cut on to his right foot on the edge of the Hearts box, he is dispossessed.
King is involved almost immediately as he latches on to a loose ball after a shot was blocked and he shoots from at least 25 yards, but Boyata deflects it behind.
Unfortunately for Hearts, they have been forced into an early change. Nicholson, who has been lively, appears to have picked up a groin injury and he is replaced by King.
Hearts are unable to punish Navas & Co., however. Nicholson fires the free-kick into the box, but City clear fairly easily and none of the Scottish side's subsequently area-bound deliveries cause any problems.
Hearts now have a free-kick of their own. Navas tracked back to help Richards deal with two men, but the Spain international ultimately sent his man tumbling to the ground.
Well, that was disappointing. The free-kick is whipped in from the left by Nasri, but the ball flies all the way through to Alexander, who collects without any problem.
Free-kick to City on the left wing as Sinclair cleverly jinks inside and on to his right foot, but he is tripped by Nicholson in the process. This is a decent position for a delivery.
Risky football from Hearts as they produce some leisurely one-touch passing in their own penalty area, but they do well to keep the ball under control and eventually clear their lines.
We have just been treated to one of the worst shots anyone anywhere is ever likely to see. Walker did well to move into space towards the left flank and, after escaping a City defender, he unleashed a shot from 30 yards and it sailed out for a throw-in on the right win.
The visitors explode into life for the first time. Jesus Navas beats a defender to the ball on the right, allowing him to poke the ball past his man and race on to the end of it. The former Sevilla star takes his time to pick out the pass and finds Nasri on the edge of the box, but Alexander is equal to the tame effort. Good move, though.
City are still on the back foot here. Hearts are keeping the ball well and looking straight to the right flank every time. They clearly feel that's a weak area.
Encouraging start from the hosts. Nicholson is already causing trouble down the right flank as he steals possession from Sinclair and then attacks the penalty area, but Wright plucks his harmless cross out of the air.
A list of City substitutes has finally been released and here they are: Caballero, Kolarov, Boyata, Huws, Fernando, Denayer, Guidetti, Rodwell, Bossaerts, Jovetic.
Off we go! City start the action at Tynecastle.
The teams are now out on the pitch as we await kick-off.
While this is only a friendly, Pellegrini will undoubtedly be looking for a reaction following the defeat to Dundee and today's opponents are once again Scottish. The Premier League trophy has joined them on their venture north to Edinburgh and they will be keen to show why they were the deserved winners of England's top flight before heading off for their tour of the United States at the weekend.
City of course regained their Premier League crown at the end of last season, as Manuel Pellegrini made a telling impression upon the team and English football in just in first campaign in charge. Nevertheless, Pellegrini's men got their pre-season preparations off to an underwhelming start on Sunday as they lost 2-0 at Dundee, with a large number of first-team stars in action.
Information regarding City's substitutes today has not yet been released, but you shall be informed as soon as the names drop.
Manchester City starting XI: Wright, Richards, Leigh, Nastasic, Rekik, Garcia, Zuculini, Sinclair, Nasri, Navas, Negredo
Hearts subs: McKay, Hamilton, McGhee, Robinson, King, D.Smith, Keatings, Holt, Oliver.
Hearts team: Alexander; Paterson, McHattie, Wilson, Ozturk, Gomis, Walker, Buaben, Sow, Carrick, Nicholson.
CONFIRMED TEAM NEWS:
Hello and welcome to the LIVE text commentary of the pre-season clash between Hearts and Premier League champions Manchester City. Tynecastle in Edinburgh is the setting for today's game as we enter the final 30 minutes before kick-off.
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