VANCOUVER, B.C. — Shaun Wright-Phillips continued his torrid start to Manchester City’s preseason with his second goal in as many games in the Herbalife World Football Championship.
This one, a laser to the upper-90 past Vancouver ‘keeper Jay Nolly, proved to be the game-winner in an entertaining 2-1 Citizens win.
“I saw I had some space and I hit it,” Wright-Phillips said, doing his best Crash Davis impression. “We have a lot of great players on this team, and we all know we have to produce when we get on the field. That’s all I’m trying to do out there.”
The 29-year-old winger, who’s in his second spell with City, featured just seven times in league play last season without managing a single goal. In all, he played 18 times, tallying just once.
It was a far cry from his best days in light blue, and a return to form is something that could end up being quite valuable to City this coming season. In addition to the usual English fixture crunch — league, League Cup, FA Cup — City’s owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan will be expecting a deep run in the UEFA Champions League.
When all is said and done, City could play as many as 60 games, so every bit of quality depth counts.
“We’ve got top-class players all across the field, and that’s why a lot’s expected of us,” James Milner said in a postmatch interview. “Shaun’s shown over the years that he’s a top-class player as well.”
Guidetti Leaves An Impression
While Wright-Phillips provided the winner, it was youngster John Guidetti who gave City their equalizer. After a first half in which the Whitecaps constantly poked holes in the Citizens’ defense but couldn’t take the multi-goal lead their endeavor deserved, City began to run the show in the second.
That was in large part thanks to Guidetti, who proved a handful off the ball and was a lurking danger in the box. He finally made it count in the 68th minute, heading home a corner from Andrea Mancini.
“Guidetti did well,” Roberto Mancini — Andrea’s father and the team manager — said of his young striker. “He scored a good goal, and that is what we want to see.”
Clichy Settling In
Left back Gaël Clichy, who joined City last week on a £7 million-transfer from Arsenal, put in a solid 45-minute shift at left back in the second half. It was the Frenchman’s aggressive run that led to the corner Guidetti nodded home.
“I think it went really well. They gave us a really big challenge and that’s why we came here,” Clichy said. “I think they gave us what we needed. It was a good result for us.”
Clichy is in a battle for playing time with incumbent Alexandar Kolarov at the left back slot.