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Men's Team

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Laporte focused on season opener

ARRIVAL: Aymeric Laporte reports for duty against Wolves.

ARRIVAL: Aymeric Laporte reports for duty against Wolves.

Aymeric Laporte insisted Manchester City’s pre-season focus is on being ready for the first game of the new campaign after losing the Premier League Asia Trophy final to Wolves on penalties.

Pep Guardiola’s side dominated proceedings in Shanghai, where we enjoyed 66 percent of possession and were rarely troubled by our opponents, though our usual ruthlessness in the final third was missing.

Raheem Sterling missed a first half penalty to compound City’s attacking frustrations, with three more missed in the shootout, but Laporte remained philosophical in defeat.

READ | 'De Bruyne's performance was incredible'

“We came here to prepare for the season,” he said.

“We have to keep working to be ready, that’s the most important thing.

“We made a good job, but the result wasn’t good.

“Obviously it would have been better to win today, so we keep working."

The Frenchman completed 62 minutes in his second outing of the summer and though rarely called upon at the back, both the attacking and defensive side of his game was on display.

He dovetailed nicely with John Stones to deny Morgan Gibbs-White, before clipping a lovely ball over the top for Leroy Sane to race in to in the build up to winning the penalty, a timely reminder of how important his composure is to this team.

It was a team performance which left Guardiola satisfied and like his manager, the 25-year-old felt there were positives to take in defeat.

“I think the first half was good,” he added.

“We were better than them but we didn’t score. That’s the most important thing in football.

“It was difficult, the temperature was so hot. We stopped twice, which is good for us, because it is difficult playing in these conditions.

“It could have been better for us but it’s pre-season and we have to improve and keep working.

“Hopefully we come back better than when we left. That is what we are here for.”

 

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