Man City back in the groove as Aguero ruins Sarri’s Chelsea bow

Manchester City’s Argentinian striker Sergio Aguero put two goals past his compatriot Willy Caballero, to give City a 2-0 victory over Chelsea, in the Community Shield. (AFP)
Updated 05 August 2018

Man City back in the groove as Aguero ruins Sarri’s Chelsea bow

  • Blues boss Sarri, hired to replace sacked Antonio Conte, endures miserable debut in prestigious friendly
  • City are favorites to defend the title and are among the top Champions League contenders

LONDON: Sergio Aguero spoiled Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri’s first taste of English football as the Argentine’s double gave Manchester City a stylish 2-0 victory in the Community Shield on Sunday.
Blues boss Sarri, hired to replace the sacked Antonio Conte last month, endured a miserable debut in the prestigious friendly at Wembley as lacklustre Chelsea were swept aside by Premier League champions City.
Picking up where they left off in their record-breaking campaign last term, Pep Guardiola’s team took an early lead through Aguero, who rewarded City’s dominance with a second goal after the break.
The last side to win the Community Shield and then go on to clinch the Premier League title were Manchester United in 2010-11.
On this evidence, City could follow in their arch rivals’ footsteps at the end of the season.
“It’s not easy to play after such a short time. It’s complicated for all of them but they are so competitive. My hat’s off to them,” Guardiola said of his team’s quick recovery after the World Cup.
“We couldn’t press enough because the players were absolutely exhausted. But in general we made a good performance. I didn’t expect that level of performance.”
While the Community Shield serves as the curtain raiser to the new season, City and FA Cup holders Chelsea have very different ambitions for the Premier League campaign, which kicks off on Friday.
City are favorites to defend the title and among the top Champions League contenders after becoming the first English top-flight team to secure 100 points last season.
In contrast, Chelsea are starting from scratch after chain-smoking former banker Sarri was hired from Napoli as an antidote to his antagonistic predecessor Conte.
But healing the wounds of Conte’s fractious two-year reign won’t be easy for Sarri, as this spluttering performance underlined.
Sarri and Guardiola are close friends and dined together on the eve of the Community Shield, yet this first experience of Chelsea’s reduced status left a nasty taste for the Italian.
“Today we were not in control of the match. We have a long way to go. We have to work. It’s not easy,” Sarri said.
Consigning Conte’s favored 3-4-2-1 formation to the bin, Sarri sent Chelsea out in a 4-3-3 system that malfunctioned from start to finish.
Sarri has brought Italy midfielder Jorginho with him from Napoli to serve as the pivot for his manager’s attacking gameplan.
But Jorginho made an underwhelming start, repeatedly giving the ball away in dangerous areas.
Phil Foden drove at the heart of the Chelsea defense to set up City’s 13th-minute opener with little resistance from Jorginho or anyone else.
Foden’s incisive run ended with a simple pass to the unmarked Aguero, who applied the finishing touch with a fine low strike from the edge of the area.
It was Aguero’s 200th City goal — making the Argentina striker the first player to reach that milestone for the Eastlands outfit.
Foden’s contribution was the highlight of an assured display from the 18-year-old midfielder that belied his tender age and showed why he is hailed by City staff as the ‘Stockport Iniesta’.
In the absence of Eden Hazard, still resting after the World Cup, Chelsea unveiled a precocious talent on their own in Callum Hudson-Odoi.
The 17-year-old winger gave a glimpse of his blistering pace and nimble footwork when he cut in from the left flank to bring City goalkeeper Claudio Bravo into action with a stinging drive.
Hudson-Odoi was a rare bright spot for Chelsea, with subdued Spain striker Alvaro Morata offering little evidence he can make amends for last season’s flop.
Inspired by Aguero, City could have won by five but they settled for one more in the 58th minute.
Aguero made a clever run to meet Bernardo Silva’s pass with a clinical finish that flashed past Willy Caballero as the champions showed Sarri the size of the task ahead of him.
 


Tokyo 2020 organizers estimate Games postponement cost $1.9bn

Updated 29 November 2020

Tokyo 2020 organizers estimate Games postponement cost $1.9bn

  • The International Olympic Committee and the Japanese government were forced to put off the Games for a year in March
  • The organizing committee will decide on a breakdown of the burden of the delay in December

TOKYO: This year’s postponement of the Tokyo Olympics because of the novel coronavirus cost about 200 billion yen ($1.9 billion) orgainsers have estimated, the Yomiuri newspaper reported on Sunday, citing people involved with the event.
The International Olympic Committee and the Japanese government were forced to put off the Games for a year in March as the coronavirus spread rapidly around the world.
The Games cost 1.35 trillion yen ($13 billion) before the postponement, the newspaper reported.
A spokesman for the organizers was not immediately available for comment.
The organizing committee will decide on a breakdown of the burden of the delay in December, after discussions between the committee, the Tokyo metropolitan government and the central government, the newspaper said.
The postponement costs include payment to staff as well as the introduction of new systems for refunding tickets but do not include measures against the spread of the coronavirus, the newspaper said.
The organizers had originally estimated that the delay would cost nearly 300 billion yen but they were able to reduce that figure by simplifying some events, the report said.