Manchester City ended pre-season with a 100% record after a convincing 4-1 victory over Blackpool at the Academy Stadium.

Sam Edozie and Riyad Mahrez both scored for the third consecutive game, either side of Luke Garbutt’s penalty, with Ilkay Gundogan’s second half brace ensuring the score line reflected City’s dominance.

Pep Guardiola’s men took the lead in the third minute, with Edozie calmly lifting the ball over Stuart Moore after Gundogan’s blocked shot dropped into his path six-yards from goal, but Garbutt fired an emphatic spot-kick into the top left corner to level things up after Ruben Dias tangled with Shayne Lavery.

Mahrez restored the home side’s lead three minutes into the second half, with substitute and former City goalkeeper Daniel Grimshaw unable to keep out his angled drive following a brilliant lofted pass from Fernandinho.

The third goal was the pick of the bunch for Guardiola’s men as the visitors were undone by the quick thinking of Mahrez and Gundogan, with the latter ghosting unmarked into the area to steer a first-time finish under Grimshaw following the winger’s pinpoint delivery from a free-kick wide on the right.

A similarly accurate cross from Cancelo teed up the German’s second as he got in behind the Tangerines’ defence again and converted a smart side foot finish from six-yards.

Blackpool proved stubborn opposition in spells, but City, who had Bernardo Silva back involved for the final 30 minutes, controlled the game throughout and might have won by a greater margin.

Marvin Ekpiteta’s last ditch tackle denied Cole Palmer with the goal gaping, whilst Ben Knight stung the palms of Moore with an 18-yard drive and Cancelo should have scored only to slice an effort wide after a brilliant driving run from deep.

The visitors best spell came in the first half and City were afforded a let off when the unmarked Josh Bowler blazed over from 18-yards after a slick counter-attack down the left.

Both sides made a host of changes after the break, but it did little to alter the flow of the game as City continued to threaten.

Fernandinho’s deflected 20-yard effort forced Grimshaw into a low stop, and the goalkeeper did well to tip over a rasping Mahrez strike, with Morgan Rogers also going close with a fierce drive that flew the wrong side of the bar.

Excellent Edozie

Pre-season has been nothing but a success for the 18-year-old winger, who has grasped the opportunity afforded to him by delayed return of so many senior players.

This was his third goal in as many starts, but there was much more to his performance as he again delivered another mature display.

Minutes after scoring, he left the full-back in his wake to create what would have been a certain goal for Palmer but for Ekpiteta’s saving tackle and he might have added a second.

Arriving late in the box to meet Mahrez’s pass to the far post, he showed the composure that was evident for his opening goal by checking inside and curling an effort towards the opposite corner which Moore clawed away at full stretch.

It remains to be seen what’s next for the pacy wide man, but with his pre-season performances, he has certainly put himself in contention to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Palmer, Liam Delap and Tommy Doyle.

Right side strength

Whilst Edozie shone on the left-wing, the interplay between Cancelo and Mahrez stood out on the opposite side of the pitch.

The Algerian has been hugely impressive in our pre-season outings and whilst his individual display was again a highlight, so to were his combinations with the Portuguese full-back.

Whether it was Cancelo releasing the winger, or Mahrez picking out his advancing team-mate, the two caused Blackpool countless problems.

One such moment, saw City’s No.27 just clear the bar with a rising effort after Mahrez showed great awareness to spot his burst forward and when the playmaker did the same again as his colleague overlapped, Cancelo was unlucky to see his prodded effort gathered by Moore in the Tangerines’ goal.

City will hope to hit the ground running when the season resumes and these two players look set to do exactly that.

Pep Guardiola: I have no complaints

“We played against a good side – they did very well in many things, especially in the build-up. We had to do things to regain the ball as soon as we could.

“One more day, one more game with no more injuries.

“I’m very pleased for the young players and the more experienced players - for what they have done,. I have no complaints. We saw many good things.

“We need time - players are coming back. We need time and space to do it.”

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Man City


CITY XI: Steffen (Van Sas 81’), Cancelo (Gomes 81’), Dias (Couto 81’), Ake (Sandler 60’), Mendy, Fernandinho (Rogers 76’), Gundogan (McAtee), Palmer (Doyle 81’), Mahrez, Edozie (Lavia 76’), Knight (Bernardo 60’).

SUBS: Roberts, Moreno, Burns.

BLACKPOOL XI: Moore (Grimshaw 45’), Sinclair (Connolly 67’), Ekpiteta (Keogh 67’), Casey , Garbutt (Husband 45’), Stewart (Antwi 38’), James (John-Jules 45’), Bowler (Hamilton 67’), Sarkic (Ward 45’), Carey (Anderson 67’), Lavery (Yates 67’).


What’s next

City face Leicester City in the Community Shield at Wembley Stadium on Saturday 7 August.

Kick-off is at 17:15 (UK) and tickets are on sale now to qualifying supporters. Find out more, HERE.

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