Manchester City claimed a dramatic 2-1 win in a blockbuster summer friendly against familiar foes Bayern Munich at Tokyo’s National Olympic Stadium today.
Amid growing speculation linking today’s captain Kyle Walker with a move to the Allianz Arena, the European heavyweights put their off-field differences aside to give the Tokyo crowd a day to remember.
Following a historic treble-winning 2022/23 season, Pep Guardiola’s all-conquering side started pre-season with a goal-glutted 5-3 win over reigning J1 League champions Yokohama F. Marinos.
Man City entered the field with a mixed line-up but still managed to grab the lead midway through the first half through youth academy graduate James McAtee.
Outgoing Bayern keeper Yann Sommer pulled off a magnificent diving save to deny Julian Alverez’s attempt from point-blank range, only for the 20-year-old to tap the ball into an empty net.
Despite being in front, the perennial Premier League champions were lucky to get away with a half-time advantage, as the Bavarians had several promising chances to level the score.
Before McAtee’s deadlock-breaker, ex-Man City forward Leroy Sane came close to opening the scoring, but his well-taken free-kick rattled off the crossbar.
Kingsley Coman had a glorious opportunity to put things back to square one just around the half-hour mark, yet Ederson came up with a brilliant leg save to thwart his close-range effort.
Thomas Tuchel’s team produced eight shots in the first half, including four on target. However, they couldn’t find a way past the Brazilian shot-stopper.
Wasted openings nearly took their toll on the stroke of half-time as Sommer spiced things up in his six-yard box. Luckily for the Swiss veteran, Rico Lewis failed to pick the right pass.
In stark contrast to an action-packed first half, the second 45 minutes were off to a sluggish start.
Both managers made numerous substitutions at the break, leading to a slow second-half pace, with Man City trying to control the tempo with Guardiola’s recognisable quick passes.
However, almost 70,000 fans in attendance had to wait until the 81st minute for the first opportunity in the second half as second-half substitute Mathys Tel cancelled out the Cityzens’ lead.
Like his counterpart McAtee on the other side, the French forward was quickest to latch onto the rebound inside City’s six-yard area to restore the stalemate.
Bayern’s celebrations were short-lived as Aymeric Laporte brought Man City back in front with a first-time volley on Phil Foden’s lay-off only five minutes later.
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