Monday, July 29, 2013

'Killer' weather rains on Asia Trophy parade

Paolo Di Canio described the pitch at the Hong Kong Stadium as a "killer" before the final day of the Barclays Asia Tropy - stereotypical Italian hyperbole right?

Wrong. After another session of furious rainfall, Manchester City's 1-0 win over Sunderland resembled a fixture from the 1970s as both sides skidded around a drenched, sandy surface.

It had bigger repurcussions for City as Matija Nastasic was stretchered off with an ankle injury, though Manuel Pellegrini refused to blame the pitch, stressing that it could have happened on any surface.

Andre Villas-Boas was less amused with the ankle problem Jan Vertonghen picked up in Tottenham's 3-1 semi-final loss to Sunderland though, adding: "We've lost one player through injury - and if I can be sincere I would prefer not to go ahead, but that's the reality."

Tottenham did go ahead though and escaped further problems as they trounced South China 6-0 in the game preceding the final.

As frustrating as it was for the managers and players involved, the nostalgic pitch provided plenty of entertainment for the observer.  
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