They say you shouldn’t read too much into pre-season friendlies.
And they’re probably right.
But, if like us you enjoy filling the football-less void of summer by jumping to conclusions then you would have already lumped on Man City to dominate the Premier League next season after an impressive showing against Real Madrid last night.
Pep Guardiola’s men ran riot in the second half at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, scoring four goals to Los Blancos’ one after a goalless first half in the everlasting, eternally enduring International Champions Cup.
Somewhat surprisingly, City’s superiority coincided with the introductions of Samir Nasri and Eliaquim Mangala at half-time, two players City are desperate to offload before the transfer window closes.
While Guardiola used the double substitution to tactfully place the two Frenchmen in the shop window, the change also proved to be Madrid’s undoing.
Seven minutes after the restart Nicolas Otamendi reacted quickly to stab City into the lead from a set piece…
Seven minutes later, another City sub doubled the lead when Raheem Sterling kept his cool in the box…
Then Kevin De Bruyne, undoubtedly City’s best player on the night, provided an assist for John Stones who produced a surprisingly composed finish…
City’s fourth and final goal was the best of the lot.
17-year-old wonderkid Brahim Diaz scored a beautiful goal involving a neat exchange of passes with Patrick Roberts and an emphatic top corner finish…
Madrid’s team was anything but weak.
Only Sergio Ramos, Toni Kroos and Cristiano Ronaldo were missing from their preferred starting XI with Gareth Bale, Luka Modric, Marcelo and Karim Benzema all starting.
However their consolation goal came from Oscar Rodriguez.
Not to be outdone by Diaz, Madrid’s own wonderkid fired past sub keeper Daniel Grimshaw from 30+ yards…
New City signing Danilo made his noncompetitive debut against his old club and played at left wing-back in a 3-5-2 formation.
Benjamin Mendy is injured and will not be fit for the start of the season.
The night belonged to De Bruyne.
The Belgian playmaker assisted City’s first three goals and rattled the post with a superb free-kick.
As for Nasri and Mangala, Guardiola will hope he doesn’t have to dish out many more pity appearances.
Reports suggest City are willing to accept a bid of £10million for Nasri – an absolute steal in a market that values Kyle Walker at £50million.
Although, the ex-Arsenal midfielder is currently the subject of an investigation into doping after his infamous intravenous drip social media post.
Stay tuned for more from the wacky (and often tedious) world of the summer transfer market.