15 goals in two games - But Chelsea and Manchester City are none the wiser

After yet another high scoring affair in the Premier League outfits 'post-season' exhibitions we ask what they truly learnt from the fixtures.

Last night Manchester City completed the double over Premier League rivals Chelsea in their post-season friendly match-ups in the USA after an entertaining 5-3 win.

Hilario was in the goalmouth from the start for The Blues and City punished the veteran Portuguese within five minutes; Gareth Barry with a close range follow-up. Samir Nasri then got in on the act by lobbing the keeper to make it 2-0 at half time.

The second-half was a free-for-all.

Ramires scored two goals either side of James Milner making it 3-1 before Nasri coolly dinked the ball over substitute Petr Cech to make it 4-2.

The cherry on the icing of this goal-fest cake came when Juan Mata and Edin Dzeko scored late goals to finish the scoring at 5-3 to City.

It may not have had the drama of the three-goals-behind comeback victory of earlier in the week; when Micah Richards stole a late winner in a 4-3 triumph; but it would have still pleased the New Yorkers in attendance to see so many goals.

As American’s sometimes do not understand ‘soccer’. Why are the scores so low? What is a 0-0? You mean they just ‘tie’?

So for City this was a good advert for the game ahead of their partnership with the New York Yankees that will birth the next MLS franchise.

So what have we learnt from these end-of-season friendlies?

Well we have learnt that the game is more commercially driven than ever and that if you want to peeve off a national team coach then this is the way forward.

But on a footballing basis neither team truly learned anything of note.

There once was a time when pre-season friendlies were a venture toward understanding your team for next season, blending in new transfers, trying new formations and blooding youngsters that might be ready for the step-up.

Nowadays they are far more commercially orientated. Taking a Premier League team on money-spinning global tours is now the norm.

The purpose of a ‘post-season’ friendly however is purely to make money and we are sure that the vast wealth of Chelsea and City definitely increased their margins by a quarter of a percent with this latest stunt.

But for both teams it has been a long season -especially Chelsea who have played 69 games in all competitions; so the logic behind dragging that season out any longer simply makes no sense other than to risk their players fitness at the expense of selling a few more t-shirts.

That has been reflected in the score-lines in these games. Neither team has given the tie a serious degree of respectability which has essentially made the games a brouhaha experience with goals galore but little in the way of tactical nous or fortitude.

I truly hope these ‘post-season’ friendlies do not become a staple for the future because for me they represent everything that is wrong with modern football.

But at least the American fans got to see some goals.

image: © Crystian Cruz

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