03 Aug 2022 | 08:29 | Football
Manchester City beat Club America 2-1 in Houston as Kevin de Bruyne scored twice.© AFP
Kevin De BruyneHis brace was enough to help Manchester City beat Club America 2-1 in Houston on Wednesday as Pep Guardiola kept Erling Haaland waiting for his debut. The Belgium international’s superb brace settled a furious clash at NRG Stadium but the new $61m City striker could only come on from the bench as the Premier League champions started started the two-match US tour with a win. This is Guardiola’s first game of pre-season while Club America is three in their Liga MX campaign and it shows how organized and lively the Mexican team was early on.
Haaland may have been waiting on the wing but compatriot striker Julian Alvarez, an Argentina international signed from River Plate, made his debut for City.
He was substituted after a rather inefficient 70 minutes of a game that threatened to boil down midway through the first half when both groups of players had to split after Jack Grealish participated in a shoving match with the goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa.
The ill feeling shown for the Man City midfielder continued into the second half as American fans mocked his every touch.
Both players were cautioned and in the 30th minute, Ochoa was helpless as De Bruyne successfully finished from outside the box.
The Mexican player was substituted shortly after and his replacement was almost defeated by a fierce blow Joao Cancelo effort but as the clock ticked at half-time, City undoed with a long kick forward and Henry Martin overcame Ake’s challenge before rolling home.
The irresistible De Bruyne, however, restored the lead when he was fed by Riyad Mahrez and ended clinically on Monday evening just before recess.
New signing Kalvin Phillips, the England international midfielder signed for $54 million from Leeds, came on at center-back after a break as Haaland looked at the match against Bayern Munich on Wednesday. Seven at Green Bay’s Lambeau Stadium is the next chance to have his first minutes under Guardiola following his move this summer from Borussia Dortmund.
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