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Manchester City vs Barnsley at Academy Stadium

Academy Stadium
31st July 2021 6:00 PM (BST)
  • 4 Manchester City

    • ‘23' Samuel Edozie
    • ‘30' Ben Knight
    • ‘34' Riyad Mahrez
    • ‘68' Nathan Aké
  • 0 Barnsley


Commentary By


See you Tuesday 👋

Right, I am going to sign off and bid you all a very fond farewell.

Four goals scored, none conceded and no injuries. A solid night's work in anyone's book that.

You can keep up to date with all of the reaction from Pep and the City players this evening and tomorrow morning on and our official app.

CITY+ is also the only place to watch Tuesday's Academy Stadium friendly with Blackpool,  where we will also have all the build up and commentary on our unmissable  Match Day Centre.

For more information about how to subscribe visit

All in all I'd call that a decent Saturday night!

Thanks as ever for your company. Enjoy the rest of your weekend and see you on Tuesday! 💪


Looking forward...

With 180 minutes action now under our belts and another 90 to come on Tuesday against Blackpool, things are building nicely ahead of next Sunday's Community Shield showpiece with Leicester at Wembley.

We're also just two weeks away from the start of our Premier League defence away at Tottenham.

Real sense of excitement and anticipation in the air.


Clean bill of health

Another big plus for the boss tonight was 90 minutes with no injury worries.

As much as performance and progress are important, arguably just as important if not more so is the need to avoid any injury setbacks.


Positives aplenty

Several top drawer displays from our youngsters, the return of Ilkay Gundogan and Oleks Zinchenko and more quality from the likes of Joao Cancelo, Riyad Mahrez and Nathan Ake.

You can't really ask for much more from a pre-season friendly.


Praise for Edozie

Richard Dunne on Sam Edozie:

"His dribbling was excellent, a lot of the younger lads have that desire to get the ball back, they press defenders and create their own opportunities.

"It’s alright being a good footballer but the attitude and desire to put 100% in means you go far."


Building nicely

Next up for City is another Academy Stadium assignment against Blackpool on Tuesday evening.

It will be behind closed doors again for safety reasons but you will be able to see all the action on CITY+.



All over at the Academy Stadium. City 4-0 Barnsley.

So many positives from tonight. Four goals, a clean sheet, numerous stand out displays from our youngsters.

The perfect pre-season outing


Looking lively

Oleks Zinchenko has looked bright and full of beans since coming on.

With KDB back in training today, things are really coming together in terms of our first team returnees.


Collins has to be alert to get down low and intercept a Roberts cross after good work by the City sub.

We are just stepping it up a notch in the last few minutes.


Give and go...

Rogers drives at the Barnsley defence once again and it takes a last gasp challenge to deny him.

A real grace and composure to Morgan when he's on the ball and running at the opposition.


Quality street! 👏

The game has become a touch more stop-start in the last 20 minutes. Only to be expected given the numerous changes.

But another superb evening's work from City - and a real step up from the Preston showing.


The running men...

A few of the Barnsley players are blowing hard. A reminder that City's fitness levels are almost as remarkable as their technical skills.


The four tops!

A searing ball from Mahez fires Rogers on the left. He pings in a first time ball, Moreno attempts the back heel and it finds Ake who finishes from close range.


Wait for it...

City keeping the ball, staying patient and searching for another opening.

You feel we could shift into a higher gear at any stage.


Leading man Ilkay

George Kelsey at the Academy Stadium:

"Ilkay Gundogan has barely finished adjusting the captain's armband before he gives James McAtee some instructions to get tighter on his man.

"The German already looks to have plenty of freedom in the middle of the park, spinning away into pockets of space, making himself available at every turn and spraying passes left, right and centre.

"A prime example of a combative midfielder at the highest level, and he's only been on the pitch for five minutes!"


Stop start

Some of the intensity has just dropped off a touch - not a surprise with so many changes in such a short space of time.

Be great to get some minutes under the belt for Gundo and Oleks too.


City changes

Mendy, Fernandinho, Cole Palmer and Ben Knight are all off for City. Gundogan, Zinchenko, Claudio Gomes and Pablo Moreno the men to come on.


Pass masters

City pinging the ball about with consummate ease on the edge of or box before we break forward at speed.

It's quite hypnotic to watch. And a nightmare to play against


A joy to watch

So much of City's play looks effortless but it requires technical brilliance of the highest order.

In this mood we are just a joy to watch.



Some more exquisite play from McAtee puts in Rogers.

The sub powers in on goal with a searing run but Barnsley keeper Collins did well to deny Rogers and then follows up with another god block to keep out Mahrez's follow-up.



To their credit Barnsley are still trying to play.

However the sight of Ilkay Gundogan and Oleks Zinchenko warming up won't exactly help their mood you would think.


'So good on the ball'

Richard Dunne on James McAtee:

 🗣 "He came on against Preston but it’s a different situation starting the game.

"As the game went on, he’s in a position  where he can’t be marked, he’s causing trouble all the time.

"He’s so good on the ball, you look and think shoot! But he sees the pass and where the opportunity will be, his first touch is brilliant."


Pure poetry

Just enjoying some absolute skills on the CITY+ replay from Cole Palmer that won the penalty.

He turns the Barnsley absolutely inside out before being brought down.

So good.


'A priceless lesson'

More from Dunney on the learnings for City's young guns:

" 🗣 When you come into the City team as a youngster, you’re already good but these guys are world class, they’re just that little bit more.

"It'll give them experience of playing with people at their absolute pinnacle. It’s so useful for the younger players." 


'A brilliant first half'

Fair to say Richard Dunne has been impressed:

Richard Dunne 🗣 : "It was brilliant, City have had to work things out on the pitch and it’s been a really good exercise so far, the performance will have delighted the manager so far."


Half time 💙

An excellent first 45 minutes.

Goals from Sam Edozie, Ben Knight and Riyad Mahrez with Pep Guardiola's side in cruise control.

The only blip was a missed penalty by Cole Palmer.

Otherwise perfect stuff from the champions.


Energy boost

George Kelsey at the Academy Stadium:

"Well in Ben!" comes the shout from the City defence as Ben Knight wins the ball back inside the Barnsley half.

"City's youthful attacking quartet of Knight, Palmer, Edozie and McAtee took a bit of time to come to terms with the physicality of their opponents but are now really starting to make a mark on proceedings.

"Their energy and flair is causing plenty of problems."


The hunger games...

City look in the groove and hungry for more.

The only consolation for Barnsley is that they won't find much of this in the Championship!


Volley good show...

Some more brilliance this time with a senior twist.

Ben Mendy whips in a teasing long cross and Mahrez despatches a quite brilliant volley.

Barnsley must be feeling stunned.


Class acts... 💙

City working hard and looking composed and full of concentration when Barnsley have the ball.

Much to admire in our work so far tonight.


Knight rider...

Again all the danger came down the right flank.

Mahrez put in Cancelo with the outside of his foot, Cancelo whipped in a low inviting ball and Knight needed no second invitation to finish.

Wonderful stuff.



Now City impress at the other end as Dias and Mendy combine to snuff out a Barnsley threat after a dangerous free-kick from the visitors.


Super Sam

It had been coming and City are ahead with Sam Edozie scoring his second successive goal.

Riyad Mahrez was the architect latching onto a long pass from Dias and then pinging in a pin point cross behind the Barnsley defence to find Edozie who finishes with style.

Great stuff from the City youngster.


Penalty shout

Edozie burst into the box and attracts the attention of Jasper Moon.

The City man is felled in the box but the referee is not impressed.

No spot kick is the verdict.


Now Palmer and Knight combine to steal possession to tee up Mahrez on the edge of the box. The Algerian drifts inside but his shot is blocked.

City stepping it up you feel.


Forward march...

Some more great trickery from Edozie and McAtee in the Barnsley box almost puts in Ben Knight.

McAtee is a real box of tricks and one of those players who always looks to make things happen.

No lack of confidence or belief from the City youngsters.


Loud and proud

From George Kelsey at the Academy Stadium:  

"A lively start here at the Academy Stadium, but with little goalmouth so far. Zack Steffen in particular has been very vocal, giving out constant instructions and encouragement as he marshals the City defence from deep.

"City are starting to get more of a feel for the ball, with Riyad Mahrez and Sam Edozie hugging the touchline to try and stretch Barnsley's back four."



Some superb link up work between McAtee and Edozie sees the winger free on the left however his deflected cross is gathered by Collins. 



Some great work from Sam Edozie as the City youngster fights to win possession on the edge of the Barnsley area.

He pushes into the box but his shot is blocked.


First to the punch

Cauley Woodrow causes some danger in the City half and a resulting shot is deflected wide for the game's first corner and Steffen does well to punch the setpiece clear


Three at the back for Barnsley who are already showing a desire to pass the spread the ball around.

Sun flooding half the Academy Stadium pitch as City get in the groove.


Special K 💙

Amongst the interested staff looking on tonight is a certain Kevin De Bruyne.

Wonderful to have the brilliant Belgian back in the fold.


Action stations 🤞

Out come the teams, with Fernandinho leading City onto the pitch.

Our second pre-season clash is almost upon upon us.

Time to build on last Tuesday's excellent opener against Preston...


Blue sky thinking 💙

Clear and calm conditions at the Academy Stadium. Perfect conditions as we prepare to welcome the teams onto the pitch.

Looking forward to this...


Broadcast information 📺

A reminder that the only place to watch tonight's pre-season friendly is on CITY+.

A subscription costs just £1.99 per month and includes the live stream of selected Women’s, EDS and Academy matches throughout the season, as well as full-match replays of all Men’s and Women’s games.

It will also grant you access to next Tuesday's pre-season friendly against Blackpool, which is also being exclusively shown on our streaming service.

 For further details about how to sign up, visit


'A massive asset for the team'


Richard Dunne on Ilkay Gundogan 🗣: "He's the one midfielder within the squad that can break the lines.

"He runs almost unnoticed at times, if you have a central midfielder scoring 13 goals in the Premier League - it’s a massive asset for your team.

"He’s such a clever player who knits things together really nicely. The work he does is incredible."


'Another big season for Ruben Dias'

Richard Dunne on our Portuguese centre-half 🗣: "You’d imagine he’s settled in and feels more comfortable, so he improves.

"It’s very important he starts well and continues the form from last season, like him the players will know him and understand what he’s good at and not as much.

"He’ll be looking to start the season well, continue to progress because as a centre back there was nobody near him last season, let’s hope that continues."


Michael Brown on Barnsley...

Michael Brown 🗣: "They have a new manager and Cauley Woodrow is one to watch, having scored 19 goals last season. The manager change has made the type of football different ,they were direct long ball but now they play out, two centre backs over three, but will they be brave enough against the press?"


'James McAtee looks a great footballer'

Michael Brown likes the look of James McAtee. He's not alone!

Michael Brown  🗣: "He does look a great footballer, his footwork, pace, agility, he’s had that taste, he wants to follow Phil Foden and get more minutes and playing in these games tells you he’s highly regarded. He’s got to take that opportunity. Normally you’d think I’m in, but this is Manchester City, it’s difficult. The journey starts again tonight and I'm really looking forward to seeing him live.


Showcase for Nathan Ake

Richard Dunne  🗣 : "He was in and out last season, suffered an injury but it’s an opportunity for him to get game time, players rotate. They get plenty of opportunities and he’s got the chance to form a partnership with Ruben Dias here."


Next generation...

Really looking forward to seeing Sam Edozie and James McAtee play from the get-go tonight.

I was lucky enough to see quite a bit of both Sam and James with our EDS side last term and they are really exciting young talents.

Great lads to boot too. Am sure they will really make the most of their chance tonight.


Opportunity knocks...


Michael Brown  🗣 : "Pep’s looking to see what type of player is happy to take that stance, get on the ball and show they have the character. I’m looking forward to seeing Cole Palmer, it’s an opportunity for him and others just like Phil Foden."




Matchday Live...

Join Cel Spellman, Michael Brown and Richard Dunne right now for all of the build-up to today's clash with Barnsley!

Essential viewing to get you in the matchday mood.


Here's how we line up this evening... ⚽️

Team News 🔵📋 

City XI: Steffen, Cancelo, Dias, Ake, Mendy, Fernandinho, McAtee, Palmer, Knight, Edozie, Mahrez

Subs: Van Sas, Gundogan, Zinchenko, Sandler, Roberts, Couto, Moreno, Pozo, Rogers, Bolton, Gomes, Diounkou, Burns


Back in business 💙

It was great to see Oleks Zinchenko back at the CFA yesterday after his exploits at Euro 2020 with Ukraine.

And it was straight down to work for Oleks!!


Stat attack...📈

City have scored 17 goals in our last three home games against Barnsley in all competitions: a 5-0 win in the FA Cup quarter-finals in March 2013, a 7-1 win in the League Cup second round in September 2004, and a 5-1 win in our Division One promotion-winning season of 2001-02.

Let's hope there are more goals to enjoy this evening!


Youth to the fore?

Amongst the many positives from Tuesday's Preston win was the performance of our younger players.

With several City first team players still on their summer breaks after the Euros and Copa America, Pep handed opportunities to a number of our Academy starlets and it's fair to say they more than delivered.

It could be that we see several of our young guns in action once again tonight.

We'll know more when the team drops at 6pm.


In the red corner 🥊

Barnsley enjoyed a fine 2020/21 campaign, finishing fifth in the Championship before losing out to Swansea in the play-off semi-final.

Over the summer the Tykes have recruited a new boss, former Austrian international Markus Schopp, and with the Oakwell side's pre-season preparations also well underway they are poised to present another stern test for City.

All the portents are in place for a cracking friendly encounter.


Watching brief...


Matchday Live

You can also get in the matchday mood ahead of kick-off by tuning in to our live match day show from 6:00pm (UK) - which this season returns under the new name, Matchday Live.

Like We’re Not Really Here before it, Matchday Live offers a plethora of insightful analysis and lighthearted humour, all with a City-centric twist.

Richard Dunne and Michael Brown will be our special guests for Saturday's edition, which is available to view on all our digital platforms.

The former City duo will offer their thoughts ahead of our clash with Barsnley before once again reconvening for half-time and post-match debriefs.

As always, it's absolutely essential viewing for all City fans... 👀



With this evening’s clash again being played behind closed doors as a COVID-19 safety precaution, CITY+ is the only place that will be showing live pictures of our clash with Barnsley.

A CITY+ subscription costs just £1.99 per month and includes the live stream of selected Women’s, EDS and Academy matches throughout the season, as well as full-match replays of all Men’s and Women’s games.

It also grants access to exclusive CityTV productions, including the Shaun Wright-Phillips: City’s Homegrown Hero and Kevin De Bruyne: Made in Belgium documentaries.

For further details about how to subscribe visit


Matchday greetings 👋

Good afternoon and a very warm welcome ahead of City’s second pre-season outing of the 2021-22 season.

Just as in last Tuesday's opening summer encounter against Preston, we face testing Championship opposition at the Academy Stadium, this time in the shape of Barnsley.

A youthful City side caught the eye against the Lilywhites in midweek with goals from Riyad Mahrez and Sam Edozie securing a 2-0 win

With our Community Shield clash against Leicester just over a week away, another 90 minutes in the tank will be vital preparation for Pep Guardiola's squad as the build up to the new season gathers pace.

We'll have all the pre-match build-up right here, as well as bringing you the team news in half an hour. Plus we will also carry in game commentary as well as rounding up all the post match reaction.

Other games that day

  • Nice1
  • Roma0
  • FC Bayern München0
  • Preston North End0
    Manchester United0
  • RB Leipzig1
  • Monza1
  • Besiktas0
  • VfB Stuttgart0
  • VfL Wolfsburg1
    Atlético de Madrid2
  • Fenerbahçe3
    SpVgg Greuther Fürth2
  • Feyenoord0
    ADO Den Haag0
  • Arsenal0