Manchester City kicked off their pre-season in a late night match against Mexican team, Club America in Houston, USA. The match was not a walkover for the Cityzens as the Mexican side really put up a contest and brought the game to them.
However, Guardiola’s side were up to the task as they grabbed a narrow 2-1 win, thanks to team captain, Kevin De Bruyne. The maestro midfielder scored his first goal on the 30 minute mark after dribbling brilliantly past 2 players and knocking the ball from outside the 18-yard box. Jack Grealish’ assist may prove to be a turning point for the player, following a rather blunt performance last season.
Club America wasted no time in responding as they scored a tactically smart goal through Henry Martin. Martin converted a superb pass from Alejandro Zandejas in the 43rd minute. Although Stefan Ortega had a touch on the ball, he failed to save the one-on-one attempt fron the forward.
De Bruyne surfaced again almost immediately, finishing Mahrez’ pass with calm nerves. The captain scored just on the half time mark and gave his side a victory at the break and at the end of the 90′.
The second half produced no goals, but it seemed to be more intense than the first. Guardiola substituted a handful of youngsters into the match, including Cole Palmer, James McAtee, Josh Wilson-Esbrand, Kayky and Liam Delap. The academy stars put on an intelligent performance, hoping to impress the boss and show him that they can make their way into the first team.
Wilson-Esbrand especially put up the most beautiful show, handling left-back position like a veteran would. Pep Guardiola may have a lot of thinking to do in selecting a starter for that position next season. It seemed to be a leaking spot for Man City before now as they did not have an orthodox left-baxk for the position. With Joao Cancelo and most likely Marc Cucurella to contest with Wilson-Esbrand, it now looks to be one of City’s most reinforced wing.
City will play another Friendly against Bayern Munich in three days time before facing Liverpool in their Community Shield tie at the end of the month. They will have to show same dominance and alertness as they did against Club America to be able to conquer more silverware.