Manchester City have won their first-preseason match vs Club America as Kevin De Bruyne’s first-half goals were enough to secure the victory.
The Belgian picked up where he left off last season with two goals of real quality at the home of the Houston Texans. He was, as he so often is, the difference and looked particularly sharp in his first game of the tour.
His first goal was trademark De Bruyne, surging through midfield and giving the goalkeeper no chance from distance and his second was the product of brilliant movement as he ghosted behind the Mexican’s defence to meet Mahrez’s slide-rule pass.
Julian Alvarez, Stefan Ortega Moreno and Kalvin Phillips played their first game as Manchester City players as we returned to action with victory over Club America in the opening match of our pre-season tour of the United States. Erling Haaland was an unused substitute as Kevin De Bruyne’s brace gave Pep Guardiola’s side a 2-1 win over the Mexican outfit at Houston’s NRG Stadium.
The Belgian opened the scoring with a trademark finish on the half hour mark, riding two challenges on a burst forward and curling a wonderful 18-yard effort into the far corner. Club America levelled against the run of play 13 minutes later as striker Henry Martin latched onto a lofted ball over the top and checked inside Nathan Ake before squeezing the ball between Ortega Moreno’s legs.
De Bruyne sealed the win on the stroke of half-time, ghosting in behind the opposition defence to collect Riyad Mahrez’s perfectly weighted through ball and firing underneath Oscar Jimenez.
The tourists were good value for the victory and might have won by a greater margin had Jack Grealish and Bernardo Silva converted from promising positions. It began as a fiery and entertaining contest in Texas, where Alvarez and Ortega Moreno were both handed starts as Guardiola named a strong XI and the Catalan sprung his first tactical surprise of the 2022/23 when Phillips was introduced as a centre-back at half-time.
The England international was one of seven changes in the second period, with 17-year-old Rico Lewis also coming on for his maiden senior appearance and the numbered of alterations from both sides saw the game peter out in the closing stages. City, however, will have no complaints after scoring two fine goals in a competitive friendly which provided a valuable workout ahead of the new campaign.