Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic, right, is given a red card by referee… (Ina Kington / AFP/Getty…)
The English soccer season is off to a rollicking start with plenty of scoring and rugged play as Manchester City defeated Chelsea, 3-2, on Sunday in the Community Shield game at Birmingham.
The traditional start of the season, pitting the Champions League winner against the FA Cup champion, became somewhat one-sided when Manchester City scored three second-half goals in a 12-minute span against 10-man Chelsea.
Branislav Ivanovic, who made a sliding tackle on the run into City's Aleksandar Kolarov, was given a red card moments after Chelsea teammate Fernando Torres scored in the 40th minute.
Manchester City then got goals after the intermission from Yaya Toure, Carlos Teves and Samir Nasri. Chelsea's Ryan Bertrand closed out the scoring late in the game, when a small altercation followed his goal.
Coach Roberto Di Matteo of Chelsea said the ejection of Ivanovic was the difference in the game.
"It changed the game in favor of Manchester City," he said. "We competed very well and at that point were in the lead. We knew it would be difficult in the second half with 10 against 11."
Di Matteo defended Ivanovic's tackle as hard but fair.
"I thought there was no intention from our player to hurt the opposition," he said. "It was a sliding player -- he got him, and got the ball as well. Sometimes the red card is given, sometimes not, but there was no intention from our player to do any harm to the opposition."
Ivanovic will miss Chelsea's next three games to open Premier League play.
Manchester City Coach Roberto Mancini was equally pleased with his club's performance, and he couldn't deny the momentum changed with the red card.
"It was a good performance," Mancini said.
"It had an impact on the game," he added of Ivanovic's removal. "It is impossible to say no, because 11 versus 11 is different. But we played better than Chelsea, played better football."
News services contributed to this report.
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