If you didn't think a preseason friendly at the Audi Cup between Manchester City and AC Milan would be worth your time, well, you had another thing coming.
The two teams exploded for eight goals in the first half in a breathtaking display, with Manchester City ultimately holding on for a 5-3 victory.
Take a deep breath, folks, because the goals are about to come fast and furious.
Manchester City struck immediately, scoring in the third minute, and it was set up by two of the new guys.
Jovetic nearly doubled the score in the eighth minute, finding space in the right of the box and screaming an effort across the face of goal. Unfortunately for him, it skittered just wide.
But the Citizens did double their lead in the 19th minute.
But Aleksandar Kolarov had no desire of letting his fellow fullback be alone on the scoresheet, adding his name in the 22nd minute.
Even had the shot veered wide, Dzeko was at the back post for the easy tap-in, so Kolarov was covered.
The complete and utter domination continued in the 32nd minute.
Try to catch your breath because City made it five goals just three minutes later.
Brilliance all around, folks.
But just a minute later, AC Milan decided to join the scoring fray.
Stephan El Shaarawy broke free on the left side and froze Joe Hart with a bouncing shot across the face of goal that rolled into the side netting.
In the 39th minute, El Shaarawy earned the quick brace and cut City's lead to three.
But why stop there? Andrea Petagna would make it three for Milan in the 43rd minute, because why the heck not?
The game would go into the half with City leading 5-3, and one question on everyone's minds—could the two teams possibly duplicate that blistering pace in the second 45?
No, of course not, as both managers cycled through their benches, interrupting the insane pace of the first half. But it certainly wasn't boring.
Samir Nasri nearly struck in the 55th minute after substitute keeper Gabriel completely muffed the ball on the ground, but the angle was too tight for Nasri and his chipped effort dribbled harmlessly wide.
Kevin Prince-Boateng nearly struck three minutes later, breaking into the clear down the right side, but Hart made a brilliant save with his right leg to maintain the two-goal lead.
Hart would again stymie AC Milan in the 67th minute, this time making a fine save on an Andrea Poli attempt as the midfielder was found in the box.
In the 79th minute, Alvaro Negredo ripped a shot from just outside of the box, but his blast hit the crossbar and bounced free of the goal.
That would do it from the Allianz Arena, as both teams came close in the second half but were kept off the scoresheet.
Stevan Jovetic and Jesus Navas, Manchester City: A
Early on, the two new fellows look quite good.
Stephan El Shaarawy, AC Milan: A
El Shaarawy essentially got Milan back into this match after City had sprung for five goals, showing he knew what to do with the ball once he got a hold of it in the box. He probably could have had three or four goals in this game, in fact, so he may be somewhat disappointed there. But for a player who really dropped in form late in the 2012-13 season, this performance should help him find his mojo again.
Edin Dzeko, Manchester City: A
He sure looked like a man ready to seize the first-team striker role. As usual, his positioning was fantastic, his twisting volley was the highlight of the match and his work rate was superb. He's going to make Sergio Aguero and Negredo really work to earn a spot as the primary forward.
|Sulley Ali Muntari||MF||C+|
|Nigel De Jong||MF||B|
|Stephan El Shaarawy||F||A|
Manchester City awaits the winner of the Bayern Munich versus Sao Paulo match—spoiler alert, it's going to be the Bavarians—while AC Milan will take on the loser.