Manchester City completed their pre-season trip to Asia with a 3-1 victory over Yokohama F Marinos in Japan. In their final warm-up before taking on Liverpool in next week’s Community Shield at Wembley, goals from Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling and Lukas Nmecha secured victory for the Premier League champions against their sister club.
De Bruyne struck City’s opener from the edge of the area in the 18th minute in front of a near-capacity 65,000 crowd at the Nissan Stadium – the 2002 World Cup final venue – although Yokahama made a quick response. City’s goalkeeper, Claudio Bravo, looked to have kept the hosts out with a double save before Endo tucked in a rebound to make it 1-1 in the 23rd minute.
De Bruyne was the architect for City’s second goal five minutes before the break as his threaded through ball set up Sterling to race through and restore their lead.
Pep Guardiola’s side were made to work for the win and Yokahama came close to a second equaliser after the break but Bravo saved well from Takuya Kida. Two minutes into added time, City wrapped up victory when Nmecha forced the ball over the line following a cross from his fellow substitute Adrián Bernabé.
Guardiola said: ”Yokohama played some incredible football and they were an incredible test for us. I knew how good they were and it was tough for us. Now we need more games to get in the best condition.”
With Sergio Agüero and Gabriel Jesus resting after taking part in the Copa América, Guardiola played Sterling in a central role and praised the winger’s contribution. “Sterling as a striker is incredible so we have many solutions,” said the manager. “The players are good and they’re coming back soon.”
Source: The Guardian