MAN CITY 1-0 BAYERN MUNICH: Haaland needed just 11 minutes of his debut to find the back of the net on a night which saw the first ‘soccer’ game to be played at Lambeau Field halted by spectacular thunderstorms
Erling Haaland announced himself at Manchester City like a bolt from the blue.
Haaland needed just 11 minutes of his debut to find the back of the net on a night which saw the first ‘soccer’ game to be played at Lambeau Field halted by spectacular thunderstorms.
Kick-off was delayed and then, after Haaland’s lightning strike, play was postponed for an hour as the weather took another violent turn.
Jack Grealish cleverly worked himself some space on the left after being found by Kevin De Bruyne.
And when he crossed low, Haaland slid in the direct a clever finish beyond Manuel Neuer.
Haaland had scored against Bayern before. Six times in seven games for Borussia Dortmund in fact – but had finished on the losing side in all seven matches.
This goal was enough to secure victory.
The Norwegian thought he had scored again on the stroke of half-time in a game reduced to 80 minutes, only for an offside flag to go up after he had given Bernardo Silva’s cushioned volley an emphatic finish.
Haaland was replaced at the break by Julian Alvarez, but the sell-out 78, 217 crowd had seen what they had come for.
1: ERLING HAALAND STRIKES LIKES LIGHTNING
Storm warnings meant kick-off was delayed – but City’s new £51million striker still didn’t need long to open the floodgates.
It took Haaland just 11 minutes to score his first City goal.
He had only had a couple of early touches, but when Kevin De Bruyne combined with Jack Grealish on the left and the England midfielder sent over a delicious low cross, there was Haaland to gobble it up from close range.
It wasn’t quite a thunderbolt but the teams were immediately taken from the field again as lightning and thunder rolled in once more.
2: JACK GREALISH LOOKS LIKE HE MEANS BUSINESS
City’s £100million man admitted that last season was tougher than expected and that he has to step up.
Grealish has been impressive in both of the champions’ two pre-season friendlies in the United States and appears to be really fitting into a role wide on the left of midfield.
The England star set-up Haaland for his debut goal and was at the heart of much of City’s best work.
This is a big season for Grealish. It seems he is ready for it.
3: PEP GUARDIOLA CANNOT LET BERNARDO SILVA LEAVE
Silva was non-committal when he was asked about his future after the game against Club America in Houston on Wednesday night.
Barcelona are desperate to take the Portuguese midfielder to the Nou Camp, but it would cost them £80million just to make City think about it.
City should not sell Silva at any price. He was outstanding last season and has been exactly the same on tour.
He has tenacity to go with his technique and stamina to match his silky skills. Even at £80million he would be an absolute steal.
There is no-one else like Silva at the Etihad and City would be crazy to let him leave.
4: LEROY SANE SHOULD HAVE BEEN CAREFUL WHAT HE’D WISHED FOR
The German international had his head turned by a Bayern charm offensive two years ago after winning two Premier League titles at the Etihad.
But he hasn’t kicked on. In fact he has regressed at a rate of knots and the word is that Bayern would sell him if they could recoup most of their money.
Sane is now 26 and should be nearing the peak years of his career.
He was used as an attacking midfielder against his former club – and hardly got a kick as his old team-mates showed him exactly what he is missing.
It is tough for any German to turn their back on Bayern when they come calling, but Sane made the wrong choice and is now paying the price.
5: CITY STILL LOOK LIKE THE TEAM TO BEAT
Guardiola’s men have been notoriously slow starters in previous years.
But the City boss referenced his team’s 100-point season last week and it is clear that he wants them to hit the ground running for a campaign that will be interrupted by the World Cup.
City already look like the slick, quick-passing machine that has won four of the last five Premier League titles.
And with Haaland needing just 11 minutes to show that he is fitting in, it appears that the Blues are continuing to improve.