Jul 18, 2014 at 7.30pm UK at ​Tynecastle
Man CityManchester City
Sow (56')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Sinclair (25'), Kolarov (80' pen.)

Live Commentary: Hearts 1-2 Manchester City - as it happened

Relive Sports Mole's live text coverage of Manchester City's slender 2-1 victory against Hearts.

Manchester City continued their pre-season campaign with a narrow 2-1 victory against Hearts at Tynecastle.

Scott Sinclair gave the Premier League champions the lead on 25 minutes, but trialist Osman Sow cancelled out the goal in the second half in a fixture marking the centenary of the stadium's Main Stand.

Aleksander Kolarov calmly tucked away a penalty with 10 minutes remaining when substitute Emyr Huws was brought down in the box, ensuring that the Citizens rounded off their tour of Scotland with victory.

Read how it all unfolded in Sports Mole's minute-by-minute live commentary of the action below.

7.02pmGood evening! It's just under half an hour until Premier League champions Manchester City continue their pre-season preparations with a visit to face Scottish Championship side Hearts at Tynecastle. Let's begin by taking a look at the team news...

7.05pmMAN CITY STARTING XI: Wright, Richards, Leigh, Nastasic, Rekik, Garcia, Zuculini, Sinclair, Nasri, Navas, Negredo

HEARTS STARTING XI: Alexander, Paterson, McHattie, Wilson, Ozturk, Gomis, Walker, Buaben, Sow, Carrick, Nicholson

7.08pmOf course, the main priority of these pre-season fixtures is to get players up and running ahead of a gruelling campaign. City have rotated the side that lost 2-0 against Dundee last week, as manager Manuel Pellegrini tries to give as much game time to his squad as possible. The World Cup contingent are yet to return to training, but City still boast a strong attack of Samir Nasri, Jesus Navas and Alvaro Negredo among others for tonight's clash.

7.11pmHearts have already played four games this summer – the latest of which was a 3-0 victory against East Fife – and will be far closer to full fitness than their English opponents. They've included trialist Osman Sow in their starting lineup, while Prince Beauben also starts just hours after officially signing for the club.

7.13pmCity have been showing off their Premier League trophy ahead of tonight's match in Scotland; 12,000 supporters are expected at Tynecastle as Hearts celebrate the centenary of their Main Stand.

7.16pmRobbie Nelson's side will be playing in the second tier of Scottish football next season for the first time since 1983 following their relegation in May. The Maroons were hit with a huge points deduction at the start of the campaign, meaning life outside of the Premiership was a real possibility throughout the season.

7.19pmCity on the other hand come into this one off the back of another title-winning campaign – their second in three years – and they will be looking to retain the Premier League trophy next time around, starting with a meeting against Newcastle United on the opening weekend. Still a long way off yet, of course!

7.22pmPREDICTION! As mentioned, these early pre-season friendlies are mainly about returning to fitness after a short break away from the field. That said, nothing breeds confidence like winning a string of games - friendlies or otherwise - and with such a strong attack I see City taking this one 3-1.

7.25pmTonight's Tynecastle meeting signals the end of City's short stay in Scotland, and they will fly out to the United States to resume their preparations ahead of the new season with a number of friendlies.

7.28pmMeanwhile, Hearts have just two more friendly fixtures remaining after tonight, with Dundee next up on Tuesday night. The likes of Sow and Beauben will be looking to make an impression tonight ahead of the season opener in early August.

7.30pmThe teams are now in the tunnel with kickoff just a couple of minutes away. City have brought around 1,000 supporters north of the border for this fixture, which promises to be an exciting affair.

0 minKICKOFF! The visitors get us underway at Tynecastle, playing in their traditional sky blue kit.

3 minCity have used the early minutes to get a feel of the ball; knocking it around the back four and into midfield, but yet to work their way into the final third of the field.

5 minCHANCE! A great touch from Negredo puts Navas in down the right-hand side, and the Spaniard does well to pick out Nasri who saw his effort well handled by Neil Alexander. A first sign of the Citizens' potent attack.

7 minJamie Walker opts to shoot from range, but a horrible connection on the ball sees it fly well over the target without troubling Richard Wright.

10 minScott Sinclair - a player who will no doubt be using this fixture to showcase his talents - wins a free kick for City on the edge of the box, but the resulting delivery is easily collected by Alexander.

13 minWalker is having a lot of joy down the left in the early stages, and he managed to win a free kick near the corner flag which Negredo heads clear.

15 minNasri sweeps a lovely pass out to Negredo on the right, but the Spain international fails to control the ball properly and Hearts are awarded a goal kick. The interplay between Nasri, Negredo and Navas has so far been very positive.

17 minHEARTS SUBSTITUTION! Sam Nicholson leaves the field after picking up a knock, with Adam King replacing him.

20 minCHANCES! Kevin McHattie tries his luck from long range, but his effort deflected wide for a corner without really troubling Wright, although Walker's resulting corner had to be cleared off the line. Moments later, the lively Walker released Dale Carrick down out wide, and his angled-shot from the edge of the box after cutting inside was well saved by Wright in the game's best chance so far.

25 minGOAL! Hearts 0-1 Man City (Sinclair)

26 minManchester City make the breakthrough courtesy of Sinclair, who tucked the ball home after a fine through-ball from Negredo. Sinclair will take the credit, but the crafted pass from his Spanish teammate was brilliantly disguised to set up the opener.

29 minHearts had certainly held their own up until Sinclair's goal, but City have enjoyed more possession in the last few minutes without really troubling the Maroons' defence.

32 minBilly King collects Walker's pass on the left wing, but he is unable to get the better of City skipper Micah Richards, who is happy to concede a corner which comes of nothing.

35 minThe visiting side are essentially playing with two at the back at the moment, with both full-backs pushing high up the pitch. There's 10 minutes remaining of the first half, and we can expect mass changes from Pellegrini at the interval.

38 minThe Citizens are still probing away, but there's been no real chances of note since that opening goal. The tempo seems to have understandably slowed down somewhat.

41 minGregory Leigh's strong tackle sees an attack from the Scottish side break down. The English youngster can be more than happy with his 45-minute display at Tynecastle.

44 minThis is a worrying sight for Pellegrini as Negredo limps down the tunnel clutching his hamstring. It looks as though City are going to play the final couple of minutes of the half with 10 men.

45 minHALF TIME: Hearts 0-1 Man City

8.22pmNo added time at the end of the first 45 minutes, with Man City seeing out the half with 10 men following the injury picked up by Negredo. Not the most exciting half of football, with just a couple of chances being created for either side. The difference, though, was Negredo's ability to spot the pass which Sinclair tucked away.

8.26pmPellegrini's side have narrowly edged out their opponents with 53% possession in the first half, and you have to say that they're deserving of their lead. That said, Hearts have hardly been pushovers, and Walker in particular has looked when on the ball.

8.31pmBENCH WATCH! City are expected to make 11 changes at the interval - as is often the case in the early stages of pre-season - with Willy Caballero, Aleksandar Kolarov and Stevan Jovetic all likely to feature. It could be a different case for Hearts who are closer to their opening game of the season, meaning manager Nelson may opt to wait until the hour-mark before using options from the bench.

8.33pmMAN CITY SUBS! It's not quite a complete overhaul for the second half, with goalscorer Sinclair remaining on the field. The second-half team in full: Caballero, Bossaerts, Boyata, Kolarov, Fransisco, Denayer, Rodwell, Sinclair, Huws, Jovetic, Guidetti

47 minCHANCE! A positive start to the half for the Premier League champions, as Emyr Huws picks out John Guidetti on the penalty spot, but the striker is unable to control the ball on the stretch and the chance goes begging.

49 minIncidentally, if tonight's game ends in a draw we will have a penalty shootout to declare the winner.

51 minCHANCE! Huws's corner leaves Alexander stranded in the box after he failed to collect, but City are unable to capitalise as a back post header misses the target. A let off for Hearts.

54 minCaballero's punt up field is closed down by Sow who gives the keeper a scare. The Mexican underestimated the striker's speed, but made up for it in the end.

56 minGOAL! Hearts 1-1 Man City (Sow)

57 minWell I'm pretty sure Sow has just bagged himself a contract with that goal. The trailist was played through by Carrick before slotting past Cabellero in composed style to level the contest. A fine Hearts goal which carved City's backline open.

60 minHEARTS SUBSTITUTION! Scott Robinson replaces Buaben on the hour.

61 minHEARTS SUBS! Goalscorer Sow is replaced by James Keatings, while Jason Holt comes on for Walker.

63 minJack Rodwell has looked lively in the last few minutes, and his strike forced a good stop out of Alexander with an angled shot just moments after seeing an effort fly well over the bar.

67 minBelgian youngster Jason Denayer has had a couple of dodgy moments in the last few minutes. Twice he was guilty of giving the ball away, but his block from Keatings's strike on the edge of the box denies Hearts from taking the lead.

70 minHEARTS SUBS! It's been all Hearts since Sow's goal, and at this stage there looks like being only one winner. The Maroons have brought on another couple of pairs of fresh legs with Jack Hamilton coming on for Alexander and Brad McKay replacing Alim Ozturk.

72 minMAN CITY SUBSTITUTE! It's City's turn to make a change as Gael Clichy comes on for Mathias Bossaerts.

75 minCHANCE! Well I said Hearts looked the more likely to score, but Guidetti came within inches of regaining City's lead. His quick footwork on the edge of the box allowed him to get a shot away which narrowly missed the target.

76 min

78 minHEARTS SUBS! The changes keep on coming as we enter the final 10 minutes. Gary Oliver and Jordan McGhee enter the fray in place of Morgaro Gomis and Danny Wilson.


80 minGOAL! Hearts 1-2 Man City (Kolarov, pen)

81 minThe lively Huws managed to get his foot to the ball first ahead of Callum Paterson inside the box and wins his side a penalty. Aleksander Kolarov places the ball into the bottom corner to give City a 2-1 lead with less than 10 minutes remaining.

82 minPENALTY APPEAL! Almost instantly Oliver goes down on the edge of the box at the other end with Hearts players appealing for a penalty, but the referee waives play on.

86 minWell after an exciting 15 minutes or so the game has now quietened down, much like we saw in the first half. Both sides are taking it in turns to knock the ball around in defence and midfield, which will of course suit City well.

88 minJovetic has come alive all of a sudden, unleashing a strike from distance which Hamilton does well to push behind for a corner late on. The striker then had another pop at goal shortly after, which was less successful.


9.23pmSo there we have it. City have picked up their first victory of their pre-season campaign thanks to goals in either half from Sinclair and a Kolarov. Hearts trialist Sow briefly levelled the scores in the second half, but it wasn't to be for the Scottish Championship side as City showed their experience and quality.

9.26pmWith it being a pre-season friendly it's important not to read too much into the game, but the interplay between Negredo, Nasri and Navas in the first half was brilliant at times. Negredo's injury will of course be a concern for Pellegrini, but Man City now head to the United States looking to step up their preparations ahead of the season opener against Newcastle.

9.29pmThere's also plenty of positives for Hearts to take away from this game, holding their own against the Premier League champions and only being denied by a penalty with 10 minutes remaining. They will be among the favourites to gain promotion from the competitive looking Scottish Championship next season, and on this showing they'll take some stopping!

9.30pmThanks for joining Sports Mole for tonight's match; stick around for a full match report and reaction from Tynecastle.

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