International Champions Cup Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Att:29195 Saturday, July 28, 2018 11:05:00 PM
Bernardo 45', 70'
- Ribery (c)
- Unused subs
- Zirkzee, Batista Meier, Woo-Yeong, Bernat, Zaiser, Zylla, Hoffman, Martinez, Fruchtl, Sanches, Stanisic, Gnabry, Wriedt, Johansson.
- Bravo (c)
- Laporte Gomes 66’
- Mahrez Bernardo Silva 28’
- Foden Garre 85’
- Diaz Harrison 66’
- Bolton Bernabe 66’
- Unused subs
- Hart, Pozo, Touaizi, Matondo, Roberts, Grimshaw, Wilson, Mendy, Muric, Denayer, Dele-Bashiru, Adarabioyo, Sane.
City signed off the International Champions Cup campaign with a superb comeback victory, as Bernardo Silva came off the bench to bag a brace in the Blues' triumph over Bayern Munich.
In keeping with tradition(!), Pep Guardiola's men came from behind to defeat the German Champions 3-2, courtesy of Bernardo's two fantastic finishes and Lukas Nmecha's first senior goal, after Meritan Shabani and Arjen Robben had handed Niko Kovac’s men a two-goal lead.
Once again, a City team mixed with youth and experience produced a very impressive display, showcasing some beautiful football in parts, creating chance after chance, and a calmness beyond their years to claw us back into the contest.
Guardiola made two changes from the side that fell to a last-gasp defeat to Liverpool, as Aymeric Laporte (making his first appearance of pre-season) and Douglas Luiz replaced Jason Denayer and Jack Harrison.
Captain Claudio Bravo was shielded by a backline of Oleks Zinchenko, Laporte, Eric Garcia, Cameron Humphreys and Luke Bolton, while Luiz occupied the defensive midfield role. Brahim Diaz, Phil Foden and Riyad Mahrez were employed in midfield, behind lone striker Nmecha.
Complimenting the thunder which roared around the Hard Rock Stadium, City flashed into a lightning start. Diaz showed electric pace and skill to weave his way into the box inside two minutes before nutmegging Rafinha – but the young Spaniard was unfortunate not to see his hard work rewarded, as his cross was cleared away.
It was an early sign of intent from the Blues, who dominated the early proceedings with more Pep-inspired quick-passing and high pressing.
Mahrez felt he should have had a penalty when he was upended but once again, City’s appeals were waved away. The Algerian required treatment from the challenge and would be forced off through injury later in the half.
Nmecha then fired straight at Sven Ulreich and came within inches of opening his senior account, striking the post, having drilled across the Bayern ‘keeper.
Despite the pressure, it would not be City who broke the deadlock. Instead, Bayern struck against the run of play with their first effort on target, as Rafinha found himself with too much time and space on the right and crossed for Shabani to head home.
It was a frustrating blow for the Blues and lightning would strike twice within eight minutes, as once again City found themselves in possession in the Bayern penalty area one moment; then picking the ball out of our own net the second.
Foden displayed a wonderful piece of skill to pluck the ball out of the air and lose his marker, before feeding the speedy Bolton down the flank. The winger’s touch was unusually heavy though and Ulreich claimed to launch an immediate counter-attack. The ball was lofted over the City defence to Robben and he swept past Bravo to double the lead.
Unwavered, City continued to press. Foden almost capped his imaginative display with a goal but fired off-target on the half-volley, and Diaz attempted an exquisite lob which bounced just wide, after Bravo produced a stunning low save to deny Robben his second.
The dangerous Diaz then came close with two quickfire chances – one which forced Ulreich into another stop, and the second which flew just wide of the top corner.
Bernardo Silva stamped his early mark on the 2018/19 campaign by halving the deficit – his close control allowing the Portugal man to jink into the box and unleash a lovely finish into the far corner on the stroke of half-time.
Inspired, City picked up where we left off after the break and found a leveller six minutes into the second half. Foden again was involved, forcing Ulreich into a stop, which the Bayern ‘keeper could only parry and Nmecha pounced to open his senior account.
Garcia then produced an excellent piece of defending to deny Bayern a third, shielding the ball away from the onrushing Sandro Wagner, before City clinched a hat-trick of comebacks against the German outfit, as Bernardo struck a similar goal to his first – only this time, firing into the near post.
It was a remarkable but deserved turnaround for the Premier League Champions, though the young Blues had to showcase our defensive qualities to preserve the slender lead.
As Bayern pressed for an equaliser. Kovac’s side found the Blues’ defence difficult to breach and Bravo was alert when called upon to maintain his side’s lead.
Riding the late charge, City hung on for our first win of pre-season – just reward for a fantastic display, which heralded further evidence of the Club’s bright future.
Man of the Match
Displaying excellent vision, control and composure, Phil Foden produced the performance of real quality. At the heart of the Blues' midfield, he unlocked the Bayern defence on a number of occasions and was unfortunate not to mark his display with a goal. He completed the first half with a passing accuracy of 100%.
With the pre-season tour complete, City head back to Manchester to begin preparations for next weekend’s Community Shield clash with FA Cup holders Chelsea at Wembley (Sunday 5 August, 3pm BST). Next week will also see the return of the majority of our World Cup-partaking senior stars.
Reaction (Pep Guardiola)
“The result doesn’t matter. We analysed our mistakes and we did better. We have played together for a longer time now and we played against Bayern - one of the best teams with quality players.
“We were able to play good football and keep calm in the situation, even when we were 2-0 down.
“We started really well and created chances. When they arrived, they were so clinical. They have players like Robben and Wagner, and that was the difference. They have exceptional players."
Reaction (Niko Kovac)
"By and large, the spectators saw a spectacular game with a result that we are not happy with. We did many good things moving forward. But we committed too many easy, individual mistakes moving backwards that led to chances and goals."