Pep Guardiola’s reign as City boss began with a narrow 1-0 defeat to his former side, Bayern Munich.
Erdal Ozturk scored the only goal of the night after 76 minutes with a shot which hit Gael Clichy’s boot and rolled into the corner.
Unsurprisingly, with this being our first pre-season engagement and only Bayern’s second, the game was played at a gentle pace but there were still intriguing glimpses from the Guardiola playbook on show, including an increased emphasis on pressing.
Iheanacho was a lively presence as City’s no.9 in the first half and he in the thick of the action after 22 minutes when he exchanged passes with Navas and curled in a looping shot which beat Sven Ulreich in the Bayern goal but landed on the roof of the net.
On either side of that strike, City were indebted to their goalkeeper for a trio of fine saves as Bayern’s greater experience started to show with clever passing triangles and incisive dribbles from Franck Ribery opening up a fledgling defence.
City started the second half looking more assured but it was the hosts who broke the deadlock 24 minutes from time with a fortuitous deflected strike from Ozturk which wrong-footed debutant Angus Gunn.
The game was in its seventh minute when Iheanacho gave a perfect demonstration of the benefits of City’s pressing game.
The 19-year old pickpocketed Javi Martinez just outside the Bayern area before teeing up Oleksandr Zinchenko who saw his goalbound effort blocked by a defender.
This brief passage of play may not have resulted in a goal but it did whet the appetite for what we might be enjoying at the Etihad Stadium this season.
Photo of the Match…
THE BOSS: Pep in the away dugout this time.
Man of the Match…
The Argentine goalkeeper produced a hat-trick of stunning saves in the first half to repel a Bayern side who were building up more momentum as the first 45 progressed.
His save from Julian Green was the pick of the bunch – a fingertip parry over the crossbar.
How they lined up…
Pep’s first-ever City line-up contained an intriguing blend of youth and experience, with no fewer than six teenager handed starts, including new boy Zinchenko who made his non-competitive debut as the no.10 in behind Iheanacho with Barker and Navas on either side.
Experienced heads in Aleksandar Kolarov, Fernando, Navas and captain Fernandinho were also included as City kicked off in a 4-2-3-1 formation.
As is tradition for friendlies, Guardiola made a raft of changes for the second period, bringing on Clichy, Delph and Bony, as well as Angus Gunn for his first-team debut.
As for Bayern, they were without a number of regular first-teamers due to Germany’s involvement in the last four of Euro 2016 but it was still a strong line-up featuring the likes of Franck Ribery, Xabi Alonso, David Alaba, Javi Martinez and Philipp Lahm.
What it Means…
City head to China on Thursday for the second leg of their pre-season tour where they take on Manchester United in the Bird's Nest Stadium in Beijing on Monday.