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Dirty Tackle

Here’s the Hong Kong mud pit Man City and Sunderland played on

Brooks Peck
Dirty Tackle

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A combination of too many matches and never ending torrential rain turned the pitch at the site of the Barclays Asia Trophy — Hong Kong Stadium — into a treacherous mud pit that claimed two victims. First, Tottenham's Jan Vertonghen sprained ankle ligaments during Wednesay's semifinal against Sunderland. Then, during the final between the Mackems and Man City, Matija Nastasic had to be stretchered off with an ankle injury of his own.

Sunderland manager Paolo Di Canio described it as a "killer pitch," but in speaking about Nastasic's injury, Manuel Pellegrini tried to be diplomatic. From the Telegraph:

“I can’t tell you now the full extent of the injury,” Pellegrini said. “He [Nastasic] has to see the doctor when we arrive back in Manchester on Sunday and we will know then.

"The best option is to wait. It was his ankle, a kick rather than the way he landed on the pitch, and I think the injury was part of the game, rather than the pitch. Playing on this pitch was not easy, but we always tried to play, not with high balls, but passing the ball.”

City eventually took the first trophy of the Pellegrini era by winning the final 1-0 thanks to an Edin Dzeko goal, but the whereabout of Samir Nasri remain unknown.

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