Manchester City made it two wins from two on their pre-season tour of Far East Asia, dismissing of Bayern Munich at the Japan National Stadium on Wednesday.
City came into the contest looking to further build on their opening game against Yokohama F Marinos where, despite a first-half surprise from the hosts, Pep Guardiola’s side would run out as eventual winners courtesy of a 3-5 scoreline featuring an Erling Haaland brace.
Former Etihad Stadium star Leroy Sane would come the closest to breaking the deadlock inside the opening 20 minutes, after the Germany international rattled the crossbar with a free-kick from just outside of Manchester City’s penalty area.
However, it would be last season’s Champions League winners who would find the back of the net first in the game after some pinpoint build-up work from the City defence found it’s way to the feet of an awaiting James McAtee.
Kyle Walker – who has strongly been linked with a move to Bayern Munich – slid a through ball into the path of Rico Lewis operating in an advanced midfield role, who drove into the Bayern Munich penalty area before laying the ball off to Julian Alvarez, whose shot was only parried into the onrushing McAtee to tap home for his first senior goal.
The Bavarian club’s hopes at getting their opening gaul were not dampened following the opener, with Kingsley Coman forcing a strong save out of Ederson following some fine work from Serge Gnabry to bring the ball forward into the Manchester City penalty area.
With City leading at half-time, and as is usually common practice in pre-season friendlies, Pep Guardiola took the opportunity to change eight of his outfield players, injecting a fresh impetus into the Premier League champions’ line-up.
It was however Bayern Munich who would offer a late charge in the game, with Mathys Tel taking advantage of a parried save from Ederson to slam home from close range with just nine minutes of normal time remaining.
However, Manchester City would have one last goal in their armoury, and that would come from one player who has been strongly linked with a move away from the club in Aymeric Laporte.
An excellent through pass from Maximo Perrone would find Phil Foden inside the penalty area, and after his first effort was saved, the England international would instinctively pick out Aymeric Laporte to strike home the winning goal.
Manchester City have one pre-season friendly remaining during their tour of the Far East, as they take on Atletico Madrid in South Korea on Sunday evening, before returning to England to finalise their preparations for the FA Community Shield clash against Arsenal in early August.
Making some strong saves throughout the contest when called upon, Ederson’s rating is a reflection of an overall commendable performance, with the only goal conceded arguably unable to prevent.
Kyle Walker: 6.5
Put all transfer rumours to one side for the evening, and put on a strong performance celebrating defensive and offensive actions as ever. The pacy full-back’s athleticism was once again important to City’s success.
John Stones: 6.5
Operating once again in midfield, Stones offered plenty in the way of offensive threat through forward runs and his eye for creating an opportunity.
Ruben Dias: 6.5
A calming presence at the back as always, comfortable in possession, and faultless when called upon.
Nathan Ake: 6.5
Offered plenty in the way of important defensive actions, and amid strong rumours of an imminent contract extension, the Dutchman proved every reason why Pep Guardiola is so keen to retain his services. His substitution due to a fitness problem will be of some concern however.
Rico Lewis: 8
Many supporters are running out of words to describe just how good Rico Lewis is, and is continuing to become. Playing in a more advanced role than his usual defensive midfield position, the 18-year-old (yes, EIGHTEEN) highlighted his fine development throughout the Manchester City academy process by showcasing skills picked up across the ages in various roles for the club.
Mateo Kovacic: 7
The Croatian midfielder has fitted into this Manchester City midfield like a glove, keeping things ticking in the centre of the park, and showcasing an array of passes to retain possession both in defensive areas and more advanced regions of the pitch.
Bernardo Silva: 6.5
Another largely solid performance from the Portugal international, with very little in the way of misplaced passes or faults in his game. Proving exactly why Manchester City continue to be so desperate to retain him for the new season.
James McAtee: 7
A more bold and confident performance from James McAtee than his last outing against Yokohama F Marinos, this time providing a decisive first-half goal that showed his willingness to get into goal-scoring positions and anticipate the ball falling into areas within the penalty area.
Jack Grealish: 7
Another strong Jack Grealish performance that we have come to expect over the last eight months or so, causing plenty of problems for the Bayern Munich defence throughout his time on the field.
Julian Alvarez: 6.5
Once again, offered plenty in the way of off-the-ball movement and intensive pressing actions, but not too much on the ball or chance creation. It was however the Argentine’s saved effort that meant the ball would fall to James McAtee for Manchester City’s opening goal.
Manuel Akanji: 7
Called into action much earlier than anticipated, replacing Nathan Ake in the first-half. Adapted very well to the speed of the game, and as always, did not make too many mistakes, if any at all.
Joao Cancelo: 6.5
Looked great once again, building on a fine performance during the previous pre-season contest. While Manchester City may reportedly be insistent on letting him leave in the coming weeks due to the issues of last season, it is not surprising to see some fans on social media asking for a change of heart from club officials.
Aymeric Laporte: 7.5
The Spain international finished well to win Manchester City the game with his 86th minute strike, whilst defending well throughout the second-half and showcasing his fine passing range that many supporters have become accustomed to over his five years at the club so far.
Sergio Gomez: 6
Not too much in the way of chance creation despite taking up an advanced role in the full-back position, but brought his attacking threat and positioning alongside energy to the contest.
Kalvin Phillips: 6
Certainly brought his usual physicality into the Manchester City midfield, but largely struggled to provide the quality of performance that perhaps Leeds fans will know him for. Still plenty of time to go, and nobody should be writing him off at this stage. Second seasons will often bring strong performances from Pep Guardiola signings.
Perhaps should have made it two goals in two games this pre-season, but was excellent with his passing in the centre of the park – nothing new there.
Oscar Bobb: 6.5
The Norwegian has adapted to life in the first-team like someone who could be beginning a breakthrough season with the club. Lively and exciting once again on the right-hand side of Manchester City’s attack. We can’t wait to see more.
Erling Haaland: 6
Not too much in the way of on-the-ball opportunities, and struggled to find too many chances for himself, but linked up strongly and brought his usual excellent and improving movement in the forward line.
Phil Foden: 6.5
As with Rodri, Foden perhaps should have been the one with the late winning goal. However, he did do well to revive his 86th minute opportunity and present the chance to Aymeric Laporte.
Maximo Perrone: 6
A bright cameo from the Argentina international once again, who has creating plenty of excitement within the club’s online fanbase. It was Perrone’s through ball that found Phil Foden free inside the Bayern Munich penalty area, leading to the winning goal from Aymeric Laporte. A pre-assist is always an action to credit.
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