The inaugural Dublin Super Cup came to a dramatic conclusion with Manchester City eventually lifting the trophy after a weekend of top quality football that saw 13 goals scored.
Roberto Mancini’s side secured their first piece of silverware ahead of the new season after beating Inter Milan 3-0 in the final game, with goals from Mario Balotelli, Edin Dzeko and Adam Johnson. Captain Vincent Kompany lifted the trophy to wrap up what had been a fantastic two days of action. Celtic ensured they would finish second by beating the Airtricity XI in the day’s other game, with Inter finishing third.
Both City and Inter named strong starting XIs for the tournament’s concluding game, with global superstars Samuel Eto’o, Wesley Sneijder, Yaya Toure, David Silva and Mario Balotelli all playing. Balotelli put City ahead at the end of a lively first half with a powerful header, before Dzeko made it two shortly after the restart after some fine work by Silva. Inter tried to reignite their now slim title chances but Johnson’s goal at the death made sure that the title was heading to Manchester.
Over 42,000 supporters were at the Aviva Stadium over the two day tournament with Celtic fans sounding their appreciation for their sides 5-0 victory against the Airtricity League XI. Irish international, Anthony Stokes, netted twice and also picked up the man of the match award whilst Gary Hooper also bagged a brace before Daryl Murphy completed the scoring. Former West Ham United trainee, Danny Kearns, was Damien Richardson’s stand out performer although his efforts couldn’t stop the scoreline despite it being somewhat flattering to Celtic.
In between the day’s two games, Mary Byrne followed on from Saturday’s eye-catching welcoming ceremony with a powerful rendition of two of her most well-known hits.
The tournament kicked-off on Saturday with Manchester City overcoming the Airtricity League XI 3-0 with goals from Shaun Wright-Phillips, Adam Johnson and Luca Scapuzzi. Goals from Dutch striker Luc Castaignos and Giampaolo Pazzini helped Inter Milan beat Celtic 2-0 in the day’s second game, ensuring there was still plenty to play for on Sunday.
Winning manager Roberto Mancini said, “I’m delighted to win the Dublin Super Cup, it’s a fantastic way for us to start the season. The tournament has played a very important role in our pre-season preparations and a three nil victory over Inter Milan will give us great confidence going in to the new season.”
Endemol Sport Managing Director Gregg Oldfield said: “Seeing Manchester City lift the trophy brought an end to two days of highly entertaining football. Right from kick-off in the first game, all four teams gave their all and we’re delighted that the tournament will have entertained the fans watching in over 160 countries around the world. I’d like to pass our thanks to the fans that came to the Aviva to create such a good atmosphere and look forward to welcoming them all back when the tournament returns in 2012.”
*An additional point was awarded for each goal scored