City down ten-man Chelsea
English football opened the new season as Manchester City came from behind to beat ten-man Chelsea 3-2 at Villa Park in the FA Community Shield.
But it was the succession of niggly tackles, eight yellow cards and a straight red for Branislav Ivanovic that left the biggest impression as Chelsea lost out, despite Fernando Torres and Ryan Bertrand scoring the first and last goals.
Good and bad for Chelsea
Stefan Savic was booked after ten minutes, which set the scene for an opening period in which both sides were guilty of going too far at times. Ivanovic was the worst offender. Forced to challenge for a stray John Terry pass, the Serb slid straight into countryman Aleksandar Kolarov with studs raised.
It was not two-footed, but it was dangerous. And though Chelsea protested, referee Kevin Friend was justified in dismissing Ivanovic, who must now miss next week's trip to Wigan Athletic, plus home encounters with Reading and Newcastle United.
Earlier, David Luiz had been cautioned, followed by Frank Lampard, and in the immediate aftermath of Ivanovic's exit, John Obi Mikel. It amounted to some introduction into English football for Eden Hazard, who was a bystander when Chelsea got their opener.
Ramires created it, nipping past Pablo Zabaleta before surging into the box and flicking an astute pass past Hazard to Torres on his right. The £50million man showed signs last season of starting to find his old form and, with Didier Drogba embarking on his new life in China PR, manager Roberto Di Matteo needs Torres to justify that massive price tag.
Today's contribution was clinical, beating the advancing Costel Pantilimon with the predatory instinct of old. Pantilimon had been given a rare start due to Joe Hart's back injury and, having been the least busy of the two goalkeepers, probably felt hard done by.
Toure begins comeback
Tevez, Nasri and captain Vincent Kompany had all gone close for the Premier League champions. As so often on showpiece occasions, though, Toure was the man who did the damage.
Seizing on Terry's poor clearance, the midfielder drilled a fierce shot straight back through a crowd of bodies, giving Petr Cech no chance of keeping it out. Now City had the momentum with them and made their extra man tell.
Six minutes later, neither Luiz nor Terry were able to check Tevez's darting run along the edge of the penalty area. From a central position, Tevez belted a superb shot into the top corner to put the champions ahead.
Six minutes after that, City scored again as Kolarov streaked past makeshift right-back Ramires and curled a cross to the near post which Nasri touched home. If Ramires had not managed to steer James Milner's cross over the bar, an unmarked Tevez would have had a tap-in as a rampant City poured forward.
Yet it was Chelsea who scored ten minutes from time, through substitute Bertrand, who promptly became involved in a spat with Pantilimon as he tried to wrestle the ball away to restart the game.
City came closer to grabbing a fourth than Chelsea an equaliser, though, as Sergio Aguero somehow managed to turn Milner's cross wide in the final minute when it seemed easier to score.