Joao Cancelo makes label Man City return as Mateo Kovacic impressesKovacic leaves pundits delighted
Mateo Kovacic didn’t take long to make his impact.
Kovacic’s runs beyond Julian Alvarez to get on the end of long passes over the top early against Yokohama F Marinos, or his attempts to play the Argentine in, illustrated what he can contribute to the City attack as he looks to shoulder some of the load left by Ilkay Gundogan. Even though Manchester City had only played 15 minutes of their first scrimmage with the new player, the club’s commentators were already impressed.
Commentators referred to him as a shrewd signing and a player with all the necessary qualities to succeed as a City player, as if he had been a part of the squad for a much extended period of time. A promising beginning for a player who will likely have to fill very large shoes this season as the No. 8 player.
Cancelo rejoins the celebration.
Joao Cancelo was loaned to Bayern Munich for the second half of the 2016–17 season after falling out with Pep Guardiola to the point where he was exiled for the remainder of the season. This occurred while Manchester City were occupied winning the Triple Crown. In addition, when he faced his parent club in the Champions League quarterfinals, he was jeered in Manchester and subjected to chanting of “City reject” in the second leg.
A return to the fold is not anticipated to be permanent, but Cancelo was given 45 minutes to remind everyone what he was capable of doing despite the lack of an exit route. There were probably a few too many attempts at a nutmeg for the satisfaction of the first-team coaches, but Erling Haaland scored the fifth goal by tapping in a cute ball played across the field.
It does provide City with something to consider during campaign planning.
Walker is now City’s captain following the Bayern Munich incident.
Kyle Walker was the obvious choice for captain given the absence of Gundongan, Kevin De Bruyne, and Ruben Dias from the starting XI. The fact that City’s right-back came out battling will not have gone unnoticed in Munich or anywhere else.
Walker’s selection as captain for the first preseason match was an indication that Pep Guardiola does not want to lose him despite Bayern Munich’s interest. Obviously, it does not make up for not starting him in the Champions League final, but it was nonetheless instructive.
Bayern are the next opponent for City, and a German journalist went viral after presenting a Bayern shirt with Harry Kane’s name in a Tottenham press conference, leaving manager Ange Postecoglou unimpressed as he attempts to retain the English striker. You suspect that coverage of City’s use of Walker was included in the German press if the aforementioned event garnered attention.
Phillips is afflicted
Kalvin Phillips is determined to make it at City, but endured another difficult night while donning blue. Phillips, who started in the holding midfield position, struggled to keep the ball for the entire 45 minutes he was on the field and was responsible for both goals the team conceded during that time; he was unable to react quickly enough for the first and collided with Walker after giving the ball away for the second.
Even though he contributed to City’s goal by charging the goalkeeper, he wasted a chance to make an impression in the first half of the preseason opener.
Joao Cancelo makes label Man City return as Mateo Kovacic impresses