Edin Dzeko - Manchester City
Premier League champions Manchester City
completed their pre-season schedule with a comprehensive 4-0 win over Irish side Limerick FC
on Sunday evening.
Limerick were celebrating their 75th anniversary but Roberto Mancini's side were in no mood to join the party, producing a clinical display to warm up for their upcoming Community Shield match against Chelsea.
Three quick-fire goals before half time from Edin Dzeko, who bagged a double, and Dedryck Boyata set the tone of the match before Luca Scapuzzi claimed a fourth with 12 minutes remaining to add a gloss to the scoreline.
Having beaten Wolfsburg 2-0 on Saturday, Mancini unsurprisingly opted to rotate his entire starting XI with names such as Samir Nasri, Edin Dzeko and Joleon Lescott given an opportunity to gain some match fitness alongside youngsters Ryan McGivern and Denis Suarez.
Limerick, on the other hand, are currently in the middle of their season and are three points clear at the top of the Airtricity League First Division. They named a strong side, despite having a semi-final against Shamrock Rovers in the EA Sports Cup looming on Monday.
Dominic Foley came in up front for the Irish side in place of the injured Denis Behan while captain Pat Purcell returned to the starting line-up.
At a vociferous Thomond Park, City dominated the early possession without showing any real fluency or incisiveness and subsequently created few chances despite their control.
That was until the 11th minute, when slick build up pay between Dzeko and McGivern allowed the 22-year-old to get his shot away, but he could only hit the side netting.
The home side were sticking to their guns against their more illustrious opponents, proving tenacious and enthusiastic in midfield without making any inroads into the City defence.
Mancini's side continued to probe and after a long ball stretched the Limerick defence, Dzeko's dangerous cut-back was blocked before James Milner could connect.
City were building up a head of steam and after some delightful trickery from Gael Clichy, his low centre was glanced wide by Dzeko.
The mounting pressure paid off in the 33rd minute. Milner broke down the right wing and tricked his way past the Limerick left-back, Corie Treacy. His precise cut-back found Dzeko and the Bosnian netted from close range, despite the best efforts of goalkeeper David Ryan.
City were starting to settle into their stride and some fluid link-up play saw substitute Luca Scapuzzi clip a perfectly weighted ball through for Denis Suarez. The Spaniard beat the goalkeeper but saw his chip strike the outside of the post and roll behind.