Manchester City finally came to life in the 2018 International Championship Cup by scoring three unanswered goals to earn a 3-2 victory over Bayern Munich on Saturday at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.
Meritan Shabani and Arjen Robben got Bayern off to a terrific start with two goals in the first 24 minutes of action.
When it seemed like Bayern were in complete control of things, Manchester City responded. Bernardo Silva got the Citizens on the board just before half-time. Lukas Nmecha followed with the game-tying goal six minutes into the second half before Silva added his second of the game in the 70th minute to secure the win.
Silva was one of City's few stars who took part in the ICC, cutting his World Cup break short to make sure he was ready to help his team defend the English Premier League title.
"I wanted to get fit as soon as I could. I wanted to come back to be able to start this season well and that's why I came back," Silva told reporters this week.
Bayern and Man City Showcase Next-Gen Prospects
With top stars from both teams sitting out after playing in the World Cup, the ICC has allowed the next generation of players to showcase their skills.
Shabani took centre stage for Munich with his header in the first half. The 19-year-old is still getting his feet wet with the first team after being promoted in March.
Scouted Football @ScoutedFtbl
Despite the two goal deficit, Bayern’s Meritan Shabani (19) started the match well. He’s an energetic midfielder ambitious to press defenders and force his opposition into turnovers. His influence petered out towards the end of the half, but he caught our eye. https://t.co/dOelpAyFXY
Even though Brahim Diaz and Phil Foden were unable to find the goal in the game, there are plenty of positives to take away from their efforts for City.
Foden, in particular, displayed some of the skills that make him one of City's most promising talents. He was involved in the game-tying goal when Nmecha grabbed a rebound off his shot and put it past Bayern goalie Sven Ulreich.
There was some distressing news, with Foden leaving the game with an apparent hamstring injury, that City will have to keep a close eye on.
The reviews for Diaz's performance as he continuously put pressure on Bayern's defense were just as rapturous:
After losing their last two games, Manchester City's ability to respond against Bayern Munich when they fell behind early is a great way for the team to finish their International Champions Cup run.
Ulreich Errors Show Bayern Can't Afford Another Neuer Injury
Bayern got a taste of life without Manuel Neuer when the star goalkeeper missed seven months from September through April with a broken left foot.
Neuer also sat out the International Champions Cup after playing for Germany in the World Cup. That gave Ulreich his moment in the spotlight, though it didn't end well against Manchester City.
Ulreich's inability to secure Foden's shot early in the second half set up the game-tying goal by Nmecha.
This isn't the first time Ulreich has made errors that led to poor results for Bayern. He got caught in between wanting to catch or kick a back pass from Corentin Tolisso that led to Karim Benzema giving Real Madrid a 2-1 lead in the Champions League semi-final.
That mistake led to Bayern losing 4-3 on aggregate and Ulreich issued an apology on Instagram:
Since those types of errors are becoming a more common occurrence for Ulreich, it's become readily apparent just how essential Neuer is to the team's success with the Bundesliga season starting on Aug. 24.