Manchester City kicked off their pre-season tour of the States with a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Borussia Dortmund at Soldier Field in Chicago. City started the better off the two sides, knocking the ball around with ease but a loose leg from Aleks Zinchenko led to a Dortmund penalty which was converted by Mario Gotze. It was then a tale of two halves for the remainder of the game as many fresh-faces aimed to impress their respective bosses.
Claudio Bravo – 6
The Chilean shared halves with the man he displaced nearly two years ago, Joe Hart. Within his first half, he was as cool on the ball as ever. However, the only time he was truly tested he could have done better with Gotze’s lacklustre penalty.
Luke Bolton – 7
Bolton deputised for City at right-back, a position unusual to him as he hasn’t featured that deep on the right-hand side before. It didn’t allow for him to showcase his ability to get down the line and whip numerous crosses in like he so frequently does, but he did have a solid game. In the second half, he was tasked with dealing with Jadon Sancho, to which he did well making numerous interceptions and recovery tackles.
Eric Garcia – 8 (Man of the Match)
Garcia, another player making his first-team debut today, and wasn’t he fantastic? It’s easy to see why he was so highly regarded by Catalan giants Barcelona with such ability to break down Dortmund’s first line of press and accurately find teammates time after time. The Spaniard also sniffed out danger and mopped up competently at the back.
Jason Denayer – 6.5
Denayer on the whole rarely put a foot wrong. Considering it was his first appearance under Guardiola in two years, he will have caught his eye. He brought the ball down well, moved it around efficiently and drove into midfield with the ball confidently. A solid performance all round.
Oleksandr Zinchenko – 5.5
It was rather telling that Zinchenko was one of the most experienced players starting in a blue shirt. All too often at left-back, he gets found out for his positioning and this was yet again the case when his trailing leg caught Christian Pulisic resulting in a penalty. His performance didn’t get much better as the Dortmund forwards then targeted the right-hand-side as a weakness of City’s.
Douglas Luiz – 5
Luiz, like so many others, started impressively on the ball, doing the simple things very well. But the occurrence of him overcomplicating passes and choosing to go alone on the ball from the holding midfield position, meant he wasn’t very impressive on his debut. His defensive positioning, much like Zinchenko, isn’t of the ability required at City as they were caught out all too often.
Brahim Diaz – 6
Diaz began the game in his preferred role at ‘8’ for the first time during his tenure with the first-team. He did so brightly, pressing intently from the front and making some tidy touches to link-up play. Diaz then moved out wide to the right, with Mahrez coming inside, where he did find joy in one-on-ones but lost the ball too frequently to a poor touch which is unusual for him, but hopefully, his sharpness will soon be regained.
Phil Foden – 6
Alike Diaz, Foden also started at ‘8’ and aided the press from the front. He was the only player trying to unlock the Dortmund backline with some through balls to Lukas Nmecha, but unfortunately, they were either too short or too long. The ideas were right, but the execution wasn’t quite there, and this will surely come with time.
Riyad Mahrez – 6.5
Mahrez started rather quiet out on the right flank. When two free kicks did come City’s way, he took both and came close on both occasions. This seemed to be the catalyst for him to influence the game more, creating numerous half-chances and driving forward towards the Dortmund defence to cause them problems.
Lucas Nmecha – 7.5
Considering the lack of service he was allocated, Nmecha certainly held his own in a largely different City side. He held the ball up well to bring other attackers into play, whilst also using his body wisely to win freekicks and leave Dortmund players with no option but to bring him down. With the little amount of striking potency in the squad, Nmecha certainly has something to build on for the next time he is called upon.
Jack Harrison – 6.5
Harrison made his first appearance for City since his move from sister club New York City in January. He got down the line well, using trickery to beat his man. However, he didn’t drive into the box with the ball which could have caused further problems and created chances for Nmecha, rather choosing to go back on himself too often. On the whole, a positive debut for Harrison who will be hoping for another chance to demonstrate his ability.
Joe Hart – 6.5
Hart was only called into once and saved well. If the short ball was on from the back, he would play it, but if not, he could showcase his rather impressive distribution which has seemingly improved significantly.
Cameron Humphreys – 6.5
Humphreys’ road to recovery has been lengthy, but his determination and willingness to get back into action was rewarded with a 35 minute cameo appearance. He displayed his competency on the ball and made some vital interceptions, so Guardiola may turn to him again in the coming days.
Tom Dele-Bashiru – 6
Dele-Bashiru looked after the ball well despite one stray pass intended for Patrick Roberts. He moved the ball nicely and helped push for an equaliser.
Patrick Roberts – 6
Roberts displayed how deadly he can be in one-on-one situations using his low centre of gravity to his advantage to weave his way past defenders. However, that intuition to drive at defenders could have been utilised more frequently to really trouble them.
Leroy Sané – 6.5
Sané looked his dangerous self at times when promptly approaching the opposition, but a few nonchalant touches showed he is still off his usual pace just yet.
Benjamin Garre – N/A
Nabil Touaizi – N/A