In Houston on Wednesday, Manchester City defeated Club America 2-1 thanks to a brace from Kevin De Bruyne while Pep Guardiola delayed Erling Haaland’s debut.
The Premier League champions of the United Kingdom opened their two-game US tour with a victory thanks to the Belgian international’s masterfully executed brace at NRG Stadium, but City’s new striker, who cost $61 million, was forced to watch from the bench.
This Was Manchester City’s First Pre-Season Game
Guardiola and Manchester City were playing in their first preseason game whereas Club America had already played three Liga MX games. This was evident early on as the Mexican team was well-prepared and energetic.
While fellow new striker Julian Alvarez, an Argentine international who was acquired from River Plate, was making his Manchester City debut, Haaland may have been waiting in the wings.
After 70 pretty ineffectual minutes of a game that threatened to blow up halfway through the first half when Jack Grealish got into a pushing battle with the goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa, both sets of players had to be hauled apart.
The City midfielder was the target of animosity that persisted until the second half, as American supporters booed every move he made.
Both players received a caution before Ochoa watched helplessly as De Bruyne curled in an unstoppable attempt from just beyond the area at the 30 minute mark.
The Mexican international was replaced shortly after, and his replacement came dangerously close to being defeated by a viciously hit Joao Cancelo attempt. However, as halftime approached, City were undone by a long ball forward, and Henry Martin overcame Ake’s tackle to roll home.
However, the unstoppable De Bruyne regained the advantage shortly before halftime when he was supplied by Riyad Mahrez and finished clinically for his second of the evening.
A new signature, Kalvin Phillips, the $54 million England international midfielder acquired from Leeds, was introduced as a central defender as Haaland watched. Saturday’s match against Bayern Munich at Green Bay’s Lambeau Field will be his next opportunity to play under Guardiola after joining from Borussia Dortmund this summer.