English Premier League champions Manchester City cruised to a 5-1 triumph over Italy’s AC Milan on Sunday in a weather-hit friendly at Heinz Field, home of the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers.
Manuel Pellegrini’s men stormed into an early 2-0 lead thanks to strikes from Stevan Jovetic in the 11th minute and Scott Sinclair in the 14th, the two making the most of a Milan defense that struggled with Manchester City’s pace down the right flank.
City continued to dominate and added a third when Jesus Navas’ acrobatic effort from outside the penalty area was deflected past helpless Milan goalkeeper Michael Agazzi in the 23rd minute.
City added a fourth after 26 minutes when Nigerian teenager Kelechi Iheanacho, who has been training with the club for several weeks, picked the ball up on the edge of the area, turned and slotted home.
Sulley Muntari pulled one back for Milan shortly before halftime, making it 4-1 going into the break which was extended as fans were cleared from the stands because of a heavy thunderstorm that brought lightning and a tornado warning.
The sides eventually emerged for the second half and the English outfit picked up where they had left off — Montenegro international Jovetic making it 5-1 in the 58th minute.
Former City striker Mario Balotelli, who sat out Milan’s 3-0 loss to Olympiakos in Toronto on Thursday last week, came on for the second half and had a goal ruled out for offside.
The match was part of the International Champions Cup, a collection of pre-season matches featuring eight European clubs all preparing for the start of their domestic campaigns.
At Soldier Field in Chicago, home of the NFL’s Bears, England international Raheem Sterling scored the only goal in Liverpool’s 1-0 victory over Olympiakos of Greece.
The winger struck after just five minutes, seizing upon a deflected strike by Daniel Sturridge.
Olympiakos came close to equalizing, but Gevorg Ghazaryan was denied by the crossbar early in the second half.
A crowd of 36,170 turned out for the contest, in which Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers selected a starting side that included proven players such as Steven Gerrard, Sterling and Sturridge, and also handed a maiden appearance for the club to recent recruit Lazar Markovic.
The result gave Liverpool a winning start to their International Champions Cup campaign, after they had fallen 1-0 to AS Roma last week in a friendly in Boston to start their North American tour.
Spanish champions Atletico Madrid were also in the US on Sunday for some pre-season action, taking a 4-3 win on penalties after playing to a 0-0 draw against Major League Soccer’s San Jose Earthquakes in San Francisco.
The match was notable as the last sports event scheduled at Candlestick Park, the stadium that was the home of baseball’s San Francisco Giants from 1960 until 2000 and has been the home of the NFL’s 49ers since 1971.
The 49ers are moving to their new Levi’s Stadium in nearby Santa Clara next season.
‘GREAT EVENING‘: In the women’s singles in Rome, Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova advanced, while Rafael Nadal swept into the quarters in the men’s singles Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Friday had to dig deep to advance to the semi-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. The top seeds, who did not drop a game in their opening match on the clay courts at the Foro Italico, battled to a 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 victory over sixth seeds Veronika Kudermetova and Katerina Siniakova in 1 hour, 39 minutes. The reigning Wimbledon champions saved nine of 11 break points and converted three of eight, winning 56 percent of points on their second serve and sending down two aces
’SO CONSISTENT’: The victory gave the world No. 1 and world No. 2 a 21-1 win-loss record and their fourth title of the season after successes in Brisbane, Dubai and Doha Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Sunday cruised to their fourth women’s doubles title of the season at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome in their first tournament back since the suspension of the WTA Tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The top seeds took just 63 minutes to complete a comprehensive 6-2, 6-2 victory over unseeded German-Romanian duo Anna-Lena Friedsam and Raluca Olaru at the Foro Italico. It was the Taiwanese-Czech pairing’s first outing since they won the Qatar Open in February. “After five months, you don’t know what to expect,” Strycova told the WTA Web site.
‘FUN TIME’: Denver’s Nikola Jokic said that his team would not accept that anyone else is better than them and the opposition need to play much better than they do Just about everyone had LA versus LA written in for the NBA’s Western Conference finals, but the resilient Denver Nuggets have crashed the party. Behind Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic, the Nuggets advanced to the conference finals for the first time since 2009 to face LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers. Game 1 is scheduled to be played tomorrow. This was no ordinary road. The Nuggets fell behind 3-1 in their first-round series against the Utah Jazz before bouncing back with three straight victories. Then they went down 3-1 to the Los Angeles Clippers in the second round before winning in Game 7
‘GREAT COMPETITOR’: Former French Open champion Garbine Muguruza was tested by American teenager Coco Gauff, before the Spaniard advanced in three sets Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Thursday cruised into the quarter-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia by handing their Japanese opponents a rare “double bagel,” a feat matched by US Open losing finalist Victoria Azarenka in the women’s singles. Top seeds Hsieh and Strycova took just 49 minutes to see off the challenge of Japanese duo Nao Hibino and Makoto Ninomiya 6-0, 6-0 on the clay courts at the Foro Italico in Rome. The Taiwanese-Czech duo saved both break points they faced and converted six of 14, winning 62 percent of their first