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Match Reports

Match Report: Manchester City 2-0 PNE

27 July 2021

Goals from Riyad Mahrez and Sam Edozie earned Manchester City a 2-0 victory over PNE at the Academy Stadium.

Mahrez opened the scoring for the hosts with a superb free-kick, while half-time substitute Edozie put the gloss on the scoreline in the second half.

The Premier League champions put out a strong team in what was their first game of pre-season, with the likes of Fernandinho and Joao Cancelo starting the tie.

PNE saw plenty of the ball in the opening stages of the match though, and created the first chance of the half, with Brad Potts feeding Tom Barkhuizen, who got the better of Premier League Player of the Season Ruben Dias, but he couldn’t keep his effort down.

City then had a chance to open the scoring themselves 15 minutes in, with Ben Knight sent one-on-one with Connor Ripley, and it was the goalkeeper who came out on top, saving his effort before collecting the ball at the forward’s feet.

The hosts did take the lead ten minutes later, though, as a free-kick from 20 yards, earned by Morgan Rogers, was superbly converted by Mahrez into the top corner.

After Ryan Ledson was denied by goalkeeper Zack Steffan, Barkhuizen had an even better chance to draw level, latching onto a ball over the top, but the City ‘keeper rushed out of his goal to get there just before he could take a shot on.

Just before the break, home forward Cole Palmer had arguably the best chance of the game, but hit his effort over from just six yards.

Pep Guardiola’s men came out with a completely different outfield in the second half, now a much more youthful-looking side, while Greg Cunningham replaced Josh Earl for PNE.

North End had the first meaningful effort of the second 45 and Brad Potts will perhaps be frustrated he didn’t draw his team level, as he headed over the bar on the end of Sepp van den Berg’s cross from the right.

Ripley did well to keep out Edozie soon after, but he was later beaten by the 18-year-old on 64 minutes as he slammed the ball home at the near post.

As the game progressed, Frankie McAvoy chose to make more changes to his side, and of those subs Tom Bayliss was involved in a nasty collision with City goalkeeper Ciaran Slicker, who as a result left the field on a stretcher.

North End had an opportunity to pull one back right at the death, with Joe Rafferty fizzing a great ball across the edge of the six-yard box, but Patrick Bauer was just ahead of it and couldn’t make contact.

PNE starting XI: Ripley, van den Berg, Storey, Lindsay, Hughes, Earl, Whiteman, Ledson, Potts, Maguire, Barkhuizen.

PNE full-time XI: Ripley, Rafferty, Storey, Bauer, Hughes, Cunningham, Bayliss, Harrop, Browne, Maguire, Riis.


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