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Manchester City rallies to beat Chelsea in opener of US tour

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The Canadian Press
5/23/2013 11:05:40 PM
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ST. LOUIS -- Micah Richards re-directed a header in extra time and Manchester City overcame a three-goal deficit to beat rival Chelsea 4-3 on Thursday night in the opener of a two-game U.S. tour.

Edin Dzeko's second goal of the game tied it in the 85th minute for Man City, which was 3-0-1 against Chelsea in the regular season.

The tour that finishes at Yankee Stadium in New York on Saturday comes on the heels of the just-completed English Premier League season and was predictably a polite affair in front of an enthusiastic neutral standing-room crowd of 48,263 at Busch Stadium. Ticket sellers on StubHub sought triple-digit payoffs up to $300 not long before game-time.

Juan Mata set up a pair of first-half goals for Chelsea before coming out. Man City victimized backup goalie Jamal Blackman for all four goals after starter Petr Cech came out at around the 60-minute mark.

Manchester City got goals from Javi Garcia and Dzeko in a 3-minute span of the second half not long after the goalie change. Cech made several big saves in the first half.

There were a handful of slips on sod installed days earlier covering the infield dirt, pitcher's mound, batter's box and baseline, none of them consequential.

Manchester trailed 2-0 at the half, dominating everywhere except the scoreboard.

Mata's crossing pass set up Demba Ba's header for the lead in the 15th minute and Cesar Azpilicueta scored on a penalty shot after Mata was dragged down by Karim Rekik.

Manchester City finished second in the English Premier League, one spot ahead of Chelsea.

Frank Lampard did not play for Manchester and the club's leading career scorer also is skipping the second friendly to join England. Defenders Gary Cahill and Ashley Cole also are heading back home early.

There was a brief moment of silence prior to the start in tribute to those killed and injured in the Oklahoma tornados earlier in the week. Both teams wore black arm bands a day after joining a fundraising effort to aid children affected by the storm, with the Cardinals and event promoter Relevent pledging $1 per ticket and the teams matching the donation.

Sergio Aguero (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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