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Football: Barclays Asia Trophy – City topple brave South China to reach final



Manchester City beat a battling South China side 1-0 in the second semi to set up a mouth-watering Barclays Asia Trophy final against Sunderland on Saturday.


James Milner, who set up Edin Dzeko (pictured) for his 21st-minute headed goal, was named Man of the Match after an impressive performance and the England winger was already looking ahead to Saturday evening’s final at Hong Kong Stadium.


“Sunderland will be tough. They look sharp and they look ready to go,” Milner said. “Speaking to Adam Johnson, I know they’ve have been training hard pre-season so we know it will be a difficult game.”


Milner paid tribute to Hong Kong champions South China, whose organisation and brave defence – including centre-back Sean Tse, formerly in the Manchester City set-up – stopped the 2012 Barclays Premier League champions from adding to their tally.


“It was a good workout, they were organised and gave it everything,” Milner said. “We knew it would be tough, so it’s pleasing to win.”


“We’ve still got guys like Sergio [Aguero] and Jesus [Navas] who haven’t even played here, so we’ve got great competition all over the field for places,” the former Leeds and Aston Villa winger added, looking ahead to the side’s attempt to regain their Premier League crown.


20130724_Kompany-MCFCManuel Pellegrini, the new Manchester City boss, agreed that the Hong Kong tournament was a vital part of their pre-season preparation. “Our target is to win, it’s better always to win, but we’re preparing a squad, not just a team.”





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