Football Football

City hit Arsenal as Nasri is banned by France


BEIJING, China, July 27- English Premier League champions Manchester City downed Arsenal 2-0 in a pre-season friendly at the Bird’s Nest here on Friday.

The two English giants played a good match under heavy rain at the main stadium of the 2008 Beijing Games, exactly on the same day, and just several hours before the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympic Games.

Man City were the better side of the night. Right back Pablo Zabaleta opened the scoring in the 39th minute with a sharp angle shot from the right inside the box, before playmaker Yaya Toure doubled the advantage four minutes later with a comfortable touch from close range after receiving a center from the right.

The gunners had two threatening shots from Andre Santos in the first half, and rallied after the break. But although the Londoners controlled the second half and created more chances, they find it difficult to beat the Blue Moon’s goalkeeper.

English international Alex Chamberlain missed the best opportunity for Arsenal in the 60th mintue, when his powerful drive was denied by the post.

Meanwhile, City midfielder Samir Nasri was handed a three-match ban from the French national team on Friday following a French Football Federation investigation into his behaviour during Euro 2012 adds AFP.

Nasri was punished for shouting “Shut your mouth” to television cameras following his goal in the 1-1 group-stage draw with England in a tirade he later said was aimed at a journalist who wrote a critical article.

He then directed a string of foul-mouthed insults at an AFP journalist after the quarter-final defeat to Spain in Donetsk.

Jeremy Menez, of Paris Saint-Germain, was given a one-match international ban following a spat with captain Hugo Lloris in the game against Spain and for insulting the referee after the same match.

In addition, Newcastle United’s Hatem Ben Arfa and Yann M’Vila, of Rennes, were both issued with warnings.

Nasri, Mvila and Ben Arfa appeared personally before the FFF disciplinary commission, but refused to comment after their hearing.

Lawyer Carlo Alberto Brusa, representing Menez, who is currently on tour in the United States with PSG, described the outcome as “fair” and said he would be advising his client not to appeal.

Ben Arfa — whose father and agent came to blows outside the FFF headquarters on Friday morning — had been called before the disciplinary committee to explain an altercation with then-coach Laurent Blanc in the changing rooms after the 2-0 defeat to Sweden.

M’Vila had been asked to explain his refusal to shake substitute Olivier Giroud and Blanc’s hands when he was replaced against Spain.

A statement released by the disciplinary committee of the FFF added that all or part of the players’ bonuses would be withheld.

The case came two years after France players went on strike during the World Cup in South Africa that led to the suspension of four players, including Nicolas Anelka for a record 18 games, Patrice Evra for five games and Franck Ribery for three.

The players have ten days to appeal the decision.