City turned in a sumptuous display to tear Real Madrid apart, winning 4-1 in Los Angeles. The teams went off even at the break with neither side able to convert a host of decent chances, but that all changed after the re-start with City irresistable. If this is a sign of things to come, the new campaign can't come quick enough for Blues' fans. In front a sell-out crowd of more than 90,000 fans, City took on Real Madrid against the spectacular backdrop of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. In typical Hollywood style, the players walked out to spotlights and a sea of mobile phone lights – they don’t do things by half measures in Los Angeles!
What happened? With Real Madrid fielding a strong starting XI (minus the vacationing Cristiano Ronaldo), this felt like much more than a pre-season warm-up game. Phil Foden was again handed a starting berth and the 17-year-old could be forgiven if he had stars in his eyes as one world class performer after another shook his hand before kick-off. The pace was fast and furious from the word go and Gareth Bale might have but the La Liga side ahead had he kept his cool after racing past Vincent Kompany and Isco produced a flying save from Ederson on seven. But a mesmerising run from Gabriel Jesus moments later saw the Brazilian strike the ball into the side netting and he then forced Navas into a good save a minute later as the breathless start continued. City the cut Madrid to pieces with a move involving Kyle Walker, Yaya Toure, Sergio Aguero and Jesus with the Brazil star forcing a good save from Navas on 22 minutes during a spell of sustained pressure by the Blues. The excellent Kevin De Bruyne fed Aguero into the box where he forced Navas into another five save with Jesus unable to convert the rebound as Madrid grimly hung on. It was impressive stuff considering this was only City’s second match of the summer. Despite being on the ropes for ten minutes or so, Madrid then went close as Casemiro headed against the post and Ederson pushed the follow-up shot around the post. Some of the challenges were anything but friendly with the competitive edge there for all to see throughout an absorbing first half with Yaya Toure, Nacho and Carvajal all picking up yellow cards. Karim Benzema went close to connecting to Modric’s low cross but was beaten by the pace and the Frenchman wriggled past a couple of challenges before seeing his shot beaten away by Ederson as the Spaniard’s ended the half strongly but there was to be no goals in an entertaining opening period. The second-half saw a few changes for the Blues and just one for Madrid to begin with, but the pace remained the same and within seven minutes City were ahead. A De Bruyne corner was met powerfully by the head of John Stones and while Casilla did well to keep the ball out, the lurking Nicolas Otamendi made no mistake from a couple of yards out . The Blues almost doubled their lead six minutes later as a clever De Bruyne header set sub Raheem Sterling clear and the England winger saw his low shot go inches wide of the far post - a minute later and Sterling did score. De Bruyne -again - spotted Sterling's run and slid the ball into his path and this time he made no mistake with a low shot past the sub Madrid keeper. Time and time again Madrid were undone by the overlapping runs of Danilo and Walker who have already given City an exciting new dimension. De Bruyne's display merited a goal and he came within a lick of paint of doing just that but his free-kick was brilliantly saved by Casillas - it was brief respite however as the Belgian provided his third assist of the night, finding John Stones in the box who swept the ball home with aplomb on 66 minutes. The celebrations showed how much it meant to the City players and how relieved Madrid must've been to see the back of De Bruyne with 20 minutes to go! Leroy Sane hit the post moments after coming on but best goal was yet to come, however as the Blues - by now fielding an entirely different XI from the side that began - poured forward again and Brahim Diaz played a one-two with Patrick Roberts before rifling a left-foot shot high into the top corner with 82 minutes played to round of an exhilarating performance by City. Madrid had the final say as Oscar scored a stunning goal from 30 yards with the last kick of the game - but it took nothing away from a pleasing work-out!.
Star man Kevin De Bruyne was superb from start to finish with a mix of industry and vision. The Blues' assist king was at it again, providing three against the Champions League holders on a night the La Liga giants will want to forget in a hurry.
What’s next? City will fly over to Nashville for the final leg of the US Tour where they face Tottenham at Nissan’s Nashville Stadium on Saturday. You can watch highlights of this game coming up shortly...
Manchester City (4): Ederson (Grimshaw, m.79); Walker (Duhaney, m.69), Danilo (Sané, m.79), Kompany (Mangala, m.46), Otamendi (Adarabaioyo, m.79); Stones, Toure (Roberts, m.79), De Bruyne (Díaz, m.69), Foden (Nasri, m.46); Aguero (Sterling, m.46) y Jesús (Zinchenko, m.69).