Manchester City 4, Blackpool 1 (Pre-Season Friendly)
Goals by Sam Edozie, Riyad Mahrez, and a double by Ilkay Gundogan ensured victory over newly promoted Championship side Blackpool in Manchester City’s final pre-season fixture at the City Football Academy.
Edozie scored his third goal in as many pre-season games but his early opener was cancelled out by ex-Everton man Luke Garbutt’s penalty.
Riyad Mahrez put City back into the lead just after half time before Ilkay Gundogan struck twice to make sure of the win.
City boss Pep Guardiola was relaxed in the dugout as their pre-season came to an end along with the sunny weather in Manchester.
The first silverware of the season is up for grabs at Wembley on Saturday – the Community Shield at Wembley against Leicester City.
With other senior players coming back into training quite late several of the youngsters who have taken part in the full pre-season could stake a claim to start on Saturday with one in particular starting candidate staking a claim.
Edozie was on the scoresheet again within three minutes as he showed his prowess in front of goal to react first when Ilkay Gundogan’s shot was blocked and the rebound fell kindly for him to finish well.
Cole Palmer was showing plenty of talent down the left and he teed up Ben Knight for a shot that went straight to Stuart Moore in the Blackpool goal.
But City still looked vulnerable to some pre-season sloppiness in their build-up.
Josh Bowler blazed over with just Zack Steffen to beat as City allowed Blackpool to break on them at pace down their right flank after losing the ball – proving that the cobwebs were still there for Pep Guardiola’s side.
They soon paid for that sloppiness with a mistake that allowed Blackpool back into the game.
Ruben Dias gave away a penalty with a clumsy challenge on Shayne Lavery after 20 minutes and Luke Garbutt levelled matters from the spot, sending Steffen the wrong way.
Edozie had a goal bound shot tipped away by Moore after 34 minutes while Riyad Mahrez and Gundogan hit shots wide after Blackpool largely kept City at bay in the first half.
Riyad Mahrez slotted home after the restart after Fernandinho picked out the unmarked winger on the right and the slotted past Moore who got a hand on his effort but not enough to keep it out.
Ilkay Gundogan scores twice to ensure victory over Blackpool
Cancelo’s cross was put behind by Olly Casey as City upped the tempo and City created a two goal cushion when Gundogan got on the end of Mahrez’s free kick from the right to volley in low past Moore in the 58th minute.
That was the signal for a couple of changes for City and Nathan Ake and Ben Knight made way for Philippe Sandler and Bernardo Silva.
Fernandinho’s deflected shot was saved by Moore as City kept the pressure up.
But Gundogan made sure of victory with a smart finish from close range after a defence splitting pass from Cancelo, left footed, was controlled and finished first time by the German.
With the game won City made three more changes with Edozie, Fernandinho, and Gundogan getting a rest while Romeo Lavia, James McAtee, and Morgan Rogers got a run out.
Dias, Steffen, Palmer, and Cancelo were taken off with 9 minutes to go for Tommy Doyle, Mikki van Sas, Yan Couto, and Claudio Gomes as City went to pot shots to try and get a fifth under the setting Manchester sun, although McAtee missed a golden chance to head a fifth for City right at the end.
Man City 1, Blackpool 0: 3. Sam Edozie reacted first when Ilkay Gundogan’s shot was blocked but the rebound fell to him to finish quickly past Stuart Moore.
GOALS (Manchester City 4, Blackpool 1 – Pre-Season Friendly)
Man City 1, Blackpool 1: 21. Luke Garbutt sent Zack Steffen the wrong way from the penalty spot after Ruben Dias gave away a spot kick with a clumsy challenge on Shayne Lavery.
Man City 2, Blackpool 1: 48. Riyad Mahrez put City back into the lead with a precision shot to beat Stuart Moore after the unmarked Algerian was picked out by Fernandinho with a cross field pass from the midfield pack.
Man City 3, Blackpool 1: 58. Ilkay Gundogan got on the end of a quickly taken Riyad Mahrez free kick to send a low volley past Stuart Moore.
Man City 4, Blackpool 1: 75. A defence splitting pass from Joao Cancelo, left footed, was controlled and then finished by Ilkay Gundogan into the opposite corner.
MATCH STATS – (Manchester City 4, Blackpool 1 – Pre-Season Friendly)
Man City: Steffen (van Sas 81), Cancelo (Couto 81), Dias (Gomes 81), Ake (Sandler 61), Mendy, Fernandinho (C) (McAtee 77), Gundogan (Rogers 77), Palmer (Doyle 81), Mahrez, Edozie (Lavia 77), Knight (Bernardo Silva 61)
Man City subs not used: Roberts, Moreno, Burns
Goals: Edozie 3; Mahrez 48; Gundogan 58, 75
Blackpool: Moore, James, Stewart (Antwi 38), Sarkic, Bowler, Carey (Hamilton 68), Lavery (Connolly 68), Casey, Ekpiteta (Yates 68), Sinclair (Keogh 68), Garbutt (C)
Blackpool subs not used: Grimshaw, Husband, Anderson, Ward
Goal: Garbutt 21 pen
Referee: Oliver Langford