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A young Blues side suffered a 1-0 defeat at Soldier Field, courtesy of Mario Gotze’s first-half penalty, after Oleks Zinchenko had upended Christian Pulisic.
Although Pep Guardiola last year credited the Club’s remarkable success of 2017/18 to our challenging and impressive pre-season campaign, with the majority of his squad enjoying deserved breaks after their World Cup exploits, the focus of our opening 2018 International Champions Cup clash was fitness and the opportunity of senior minutes for our budding Blues.
The first City starting XI of the new season heralded a mixture of youth and experience. Captain Claudio Bravo was shielded by a backline of Luke Bolton, Eric Garcia, Jason Denayer and Zinchenko, while Douglas Luiz occupied the defensive midfield role behind Brahim Diaz and Phil Foden. New signing Mahrez and Jack Harrison were employed on the wings with Lukas Nmecha leading the line upfront.
The Blues started brightly, pressing high and seeking to find joy via the wide men – particularly through Harrison on the right, who was at the heart of our best attacking moves in the opening 45.
Despite City dominating the early exchanges, it was Dortmund who created the game’s first chance, as Gotze forced Bravo into a save at his near post.
Stand-in right-back Bolton then portrayed some true Mancunian steel, throwing himself in front of a powerful effort before Dortmund were handed the chance to break the deadlock from the spot. Gotze stepped up to convert.
The lead was almost doubled inside five minutes but Alexander Isak could only find the side-netting, having rounded Bravo. Heeding the warning – City responded well.
The Blues tried to unlock the Dortmund defence with some intricate team moves but our first shot on target would not arrive until just before half-time. Mahrez’s deflected free-kick was well-saved by Marwin Hitz, after Nmecha displayed excellent strength to muscle forward before being upended.
After the restart, Dortmund subsitute Mahmoud Dahoud then fired wide, while Mahrez’s second set-piece - this one a curling effort - suffered the same fate.
Dortmund found the net for the second time through Max Philipp – but the goal was correctly ruled out for offside – and at the other end, Nmecha also fell victim to the linesman’s flag, although somewhat controversially.
The forward was then denied at the near post by Hitz, having done well to fashion a yard of space for himself inside the box.
Introduced from the bench at the break, goalkeeper Joe Hart kept City in the game with a smart stop to thwart Dahoud - but it would prove in vain as Dortmund hung on for the victory.
City fan Luke Bolton produced a solid performance, beyond his years. Despite occupying an unfamiliar position at right-back, the winger coped admirably and won the majority of his duels against tricky opposition such as the likes of Jadon Sancho.
City travel to New York for the second leg of our US International Champions Cup tour, where we will face Liverpool at MetLife Stadium, New Jersey on Wednesday 25 July (8:05pm ET).
"We did many good things. It is really good for the future.
"We played against one of the best teams in Germany and we did many good things.
"We spoke in the week about courage, intensity and a desire to play. The players did very well and I am so satisfied with the performance of these guys."
"It was a good test. We had some good combinations and we dared to play forward."
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