Nigeria’s Kelechi Iheanacho continued his impressive pre-season form for Manchester City on Sunday night when he scored his second goal for the Citizens within four days as the English Premier League champions prepare for next season.
The 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup star player was a key player in his team’s humiliation of AC Milan in a 5-1 thrashing which seemingly proves that he deserves a work permit by the British High Commission for his special talent.
An electrifying performance from a second-string Manchester City side stunned AC Milan in the Guiness International Champions Cup clash in Pittsburgh.
The Blues hit Pippo Inzaghi’s Rossoneri with a first-half storm before Mother Nature gave Heinz Field a blast of her own, causing a half hour delay to the start of the second period because of lightning and thunder booming across the sky.
By that time City had the game wrapped up – even an appearance by ex-Blue Mario Balotelli could not save the Serie A strugglers.
Stevan Jovetic, who has been razor sharp so far on the tour, scored two, while Scott Sinclair, Jesus Navas and Kelechi Ihaenacho all found the target in a ruthless performance from the champions.
The result gets City off to a flying start in Pool B of the tournament ahead of clashes with Liverpool and Olympiacos, with the group winner going onto the final in Miami.
City, sporting their new navy blue away strip, started the game brightly in front of 34,347 fans in the stadium with Navas enjoying early possession wide right and Iheanacho sending one shot spinning high and wide after good work from his strike partner Jovetic.
Elsewhere City lined up with Bruno Zuculini and Fernando in central midfield, with Dedryck Boyata and Matija Nastasic at centre half. Gael Clichy was at right back with Aleks Kolarov on the left.
City were soon ahead. Jovetic latched onto a neat through ball from Navas to slot home at Michael Agazzi’s near post after 12 minutes.
City doubled their lead two minutes later and in some style. After Clichy swung a ball in from the right, Sinclair brought it down superbly before swivelling and striking a shot into the top corner.
Many people were mystified when City bought Sinclair for £6m from Swansea two years ago but this was a welcome reminder of the talent he possesses.
City were knocking the ball around with confidence now, with new boys Fernando and Bruno Zuculini enjoying their midfield roles, and soon it was three.
Jovetic was the provider this time, firing a cross to the far post where Navas’ volley deflected in past the helpless Agazzi. To be fair to the diminutive Spaniard, he looked suitably embarrassed, but City and their fans didn’t mind.
The Blues’ goal rush continued via Flying Eagles playmaker, Iheanacho. Finding himself with attention near the edge of the Milan box, the 17-year-old Nigerian managed to fire a toe poke in with hardly any back lift and it flew high into the net.
Muntari pulled a goal back for the Rossoneri just before half time after Bryan Cristante’s corner.
After the weather break the game settled with Milan making a raft of changes, although Balotelli did have one effort chalked off for offside.
The ex-City man, who does have a future at the San Siro according to Milan bosses despite summer speculation linking him with a move back to the Premier League, looked lively during his time on the pitch.
But soon Jovetic had the limelight back. He brilliantly dinked the ball over an onrushing Milan defender with his right foot before finishing with his left to put City well and truly out of sight.
Caballero gave everyone a late reminder of his qualities with a fine one on one save from Mbaye Niang as City gave a raft of substitutes game time. Milan, who lost their first game 3-0 to Olympiacos, continue to struggle.
There was a final twist to the game as Balotelli posed with two fans who invaded the pitch for pictures
For City it’s on to New York and a clash with Liverpool at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday. But for now, City leave Pittsburgh with fond memories of a Heinz Field of dreams.