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Inter blanks Man City 3-0 in friendly

Sports Desk |
Update: 2010-07-31 22:42:12

BALTIMORE: Nigerian winger Nsofor Victor Obinna scored one goal and set up another to lead reigning European champion Inter Milan past 10-man Manchester City 3-0 in a football friendly on Saturday.

Obinna opened the scoring in the 38th minute and fired a shot in the 54th minute that deflected off the leg of Manchester City defender Joleon Lescott and into the net, the Englishman helpless to deny the goal.

Cristiano Biraghi finished the scoring in the 74th minute, blasting home a 35-meter shot into the upper left corner of the goal.

"I am really pleased with the performance of the team. They played really well," Inter manager Rafael Benitez said. "Our idea is to improve our fitness and also give time to our young players on the pitch. We got to do both."

Manchester City, which will open the Premiership campaign against Tottenham in two weeks, was without manager Roberto Mancini, who departed Friday because of a family illness and was replaced by assistant Brian Kidd.

The English Premier League side went down a man in the 21st minute when Patrick Vieira, a Senegalese-born Frenchman, was given a red card for a hard foul against Marco Materazzi.

"Pat was going for the ball," Kidd said. "It`s difficult for the referees. It`s split-second. But there was no intent there."

City, playing the final match of a pre-season US tour, used reserve goalkeeper Joe Hart in the first half and starter Shay Given in the second.
"Certainly playing a man down was too hard too overcome," Given said.

Inter forward Mario Balotelli, the 20-year-old striker whom reports have linked to a possible move to City, was not in uniform.

The match attracted 36,569 spectators, the largest crowd of City`s US tour, to the home pitch of American football`s Baltimore Ravens.

BDST: 1955 hrs, August 1, 2010

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