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Manchester City vs Blackpool at Academy Stadium

Academy Stadium Referee : Oliver Langford
3rd August 2021 6:00 PM (BST)
  • 4 Manchester City

    • ‘3' Samuel Edozie
    • ‘48' Riyad Mahrez
    • ‘58' Ilkay Gündogan
    • ‘75' Ilkay Gündogan
  • 1 Blackpool

    • ‘21' Luke Garbutt (Pen)


Commentary By Caroline Oatway


Signing off ๐Ÿ‘‹

Well, that's all from me.

As always, it's been a pleasure bringing you coverage of tonight's game. Thanks for tuning in!

Stay tuned to for more post-match reaction, plus the highlights and Full Match Replay of our triumph.

Roll on Saturday...


Guardiola (on young players, especially Edozie) ๐Ÿ’ฌ

"I like all of them!

"As a young talent, having a special quality, a guy who gets to the box with intention with the intention to score a goal - it's so important for wingers.

"He's an incredible young player with good pace.

"We have to be patient with him. He had minutes and played good and this is important."


Guardiola (on early goals) ๐Ÿ’ฌ

"You never know before the game when you are going to score a goal โ€“ at the beginning or late. It's important to take chances.

"It was so demanding. I was really impressed with Blackpool - they are a young side with quality."


Pep Guardiola ๐Ÿ’ฌ

"We played against a good side โ€“ they did very well in many things, especially in the build-up.

"We had to do things to regain the ball as soon as we could.

"One more day, one more game with no more injuries.

"I'm very pleased for the young players and the more experienced players - for what they have done,. I have no complaints. We saw many good things.

"We need time - players are coming back. We need time and space to do it."


Paul Dickov ๐Ÿ’ฌ

"The younger ones are brought through from the ages of six, seven, eight, nine, ten...

"I thought it was really refreshing to see the young players and they all did excellently.

"Cole Palmer is lovely to watch - his play is very easy on the eye - and James McAtee had a great cameo.

"The senior players lead by example."


Shaun Goater ๐Ÿ’ฌ

"The boys did exceptionally well, certainly in the second half.

"We really controlled the ball, moved it well... I liked the ball shifting across with a diagonal ball to Mahrez....

"Mahrez's form in pre-season has been really good and I'm really lookin forward to seeing him in the Community Shield.

"Fernandinho in the centre as well, dictating the tempo and quality... It's beautiful to watch."


A job well done ๐Ÿ’ช

Another strong pre-season showing from City.

With the return of more of our first-team stars this week, Pep Guardiola fielded a more familiar line-up with plenty of experience, whilst allowing our young players to show us what they can do.

Riyad Mahrez the star of the show once more - he's looking very sharp ahead of the new campaign - while it was also pleasing to see Ilkay Gundogan picking up where he left off too.

It wasn't all plain sailing - Blackpool levelling from the spot, after a Ruben Dias foul - but we'll learn from those lessons. These are the games to get those mistakes out of the system, trial new things, analyse different options and ultimately, increase match sharpness.

Really exciting to see our youngsters shine again too. Bright futures ahead.



City wrap up our pre-season campaign with a 4-1 win over Blackpool!

Sam Edozie, Riyad Mahrez and Ilkay Gundogan (2) on target, as a clinical second half display renders Luke Garbutt's equalising penalty a consolation.

Another great 90 minutes in the tank!


Oooft! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

Grimshaw with a good stop to deny Mahrez, who fired goalward after a typically slick stepover.

The corner comes to nothing.


Ohhhh! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

Rogers whips a curling effort to the far post, which bounces just wide, before Mahrez tries an acrobatic attempt which suffers the same fate!


Four more City changes ๐Ÿ”

Zack Steffen, Cole Palmer, Ruben Dias and Joao Cancelo make way.

Mikki van Sas,Tommy Doyle, Yan Couto and Claudio Gomes are introduced.


City changes ๐Ÿ”

That's Ilkay Gundogan's last action, as he's replaced by James McAtee.

Morgan Rogers and Romeo Lavia also replace Fernandinho and Sam Edozie.


Putting that work in ๐Ÿ’ช

City well in control of this one, passing the ball around now, looking to open up the Blackpool defence.

Can afford to be more patient now, try new things.

Let's make the most of these final 15 minutes or so ahead of the new campaign!


Blackpool changes ๐ŸŠ

Five substitutions for the Tangerines

Sinclair, Bowler, Ekpiteta, Lavery and Carey are replaced.

Connolly, Keogh, Anderson, Yates and Hamilton all come on.


Almost! ๐Ÿ˜ฉ

Mahrez with another curling delivery to the far post where Ake and Dias are lurking but neither can apply the crucial touch!


Unlucky, Ilkay! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

Gundogan with a diving header to the backpost to keep the ball alive. He can't direct it on target so heads back across goal and it's scrambled away by Casey.


Bright start ๐Ÿ‘

Well, that was a great start to the second period. How many times have we seen that from City in recent seasons: flying out of the blocks after the break and scoring an early goal?

Some nice passages of play already as well - City regaining our rhythm.



What a start to the second half!

Mahrez continues his superb scoring streak, drilling the ball across Grimshaw and into the far corner! Excellent finish!

Lovely exchange between Gundogan and Ferna in the build-up to that too.


Blackpool changes ๐ŸŠ

There's a change between the sticks for Blackpool as former City goalkeeper Daniel Grimshaw replaces Moore.

Very familiar surroundings for the shot-stopper, of course!

Ward, John-Jules and Husband also introduced for the Tangerines.


Goater ๐Ÿ’ฌ

"Thereโ€™s a couple of patterns... It looks like Pep will tuck the full-back in, which allows the centre-half to play it out to the wide player. 

"All of a sudden, it exposes them. Weโ€™re seeing this triangle being formed with Nathan Ake, Fernandinho and Benjamin Mendy in particular."


Shaun Goater ๐Ÿ’ฌ

"Edozie pounced for his goal - heโ€™s in the right position, heโ€™s onto it...

"He will be saying to Pep: 'Listen, Iโ€™ve played a few games now and Iโ€™m scoring consecutively.'

"His confidence will be sky high."


Paul Dickov ๐Ÿ’ฌ

"Weโ€™ve controlled the game as youโ€™d expect. Give Blackpool credit - theyโ€™ve made it difficult at times. 

"With a bit more cutting edge, it couldโ€™ve been a bit more comfortable at times. 

"Edozie and Palmer have been outstanding for me."



That's the break.

City head in level, after Luke Garbutt's penalty cancelled out Sam Edozie's opener.

What did you make of that half, Blues?


Again! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

Another chance for Cancelo, who cuts inside well and tries to poke the ball inside the near post...

It just didn't have enough on it to squeeze past Moore.


Argh! ๐Ÿ˜ซ

What a chance for Cancelo, who collects a neat one-two with Palmer but skews his effort wide of the near post!

Great move. Deserved more.


Blackpool change ๐ŸŠ

Stewart is replaced by Antwi.

Hope that injury isn't too serious - he did manage to walk off the pitch so fingers crossed.


Save ๐Ÿงค

Moore parries Edozie's effort, after Mahrez (who had been found with a delightful crossfield pass) picked him out.

Better from City.


Big Ben ๐Ÿ‘Š

Mendy receives three pats on the back from his fellow defensive backline, analysing the danger and blocking a cross. He concedes a corner (which comes to nothing) but he watched that well.


Nice idea ๐Ÿ‘Œ

Cancelo looks to set Knight free with a lovely through-ball... but Moore is out to collect.

Little scrappy in recent minutes - Blackpool have definitely grown in confidence, looking more threatening going forward.

City need to calm it down, regain control.


Reset ๐Ÿ”

So, City concede our first pre-season goal from the penalty spot.

No cause for alarm - now is the time to make those mistakes, get them out of the system...

That's what these games are for: learning and sharpening.


Good effort ๐Ÿ‘

Palmer twists and turns inside the Blackpool penalty area, waiting his chance to get a shot away.

He creates a yard for himself but the effort bounces just wide.


George Kelsey at the Academy Stadium ๐Ÿ’ฌ

""No turn" comes the call from Zack Steffen as Ruben Dias gets in tight on Shayne Lavery on the half-way line. 

"There's been a real zip to City's play so far, pressing in numbers to really put Blackpool under pressure in dangerous areas, just like in the build-up to the game's opener. 

"Pep will surely be pleased with the energy that he's seen so far."


Warning! โš 

Blackpool's first venture into the City penalty area sees Bowler scoop the ball way over the crossbar.

Until that point, they hadn't had a sniff - City not giving the Tangerines an inch... straight on them.



What a start! 1-0 to City!

Mahrez picks up a loose ball and finds Gundogan, whose effort is blocked but ricochets kindly for Edozie who makes no mistake with the finish!

What a week for the youngster!


Pitch perfect ๐Ÿ‘Œ

The Academy Stadium pitch is looks superb - like the green of s snooker table!

City - sporting our new 2021/22 PUMA kit - enjoying the early possession.

Blackpool of course, donning their full orange!


Goater ๐Ÿ’ฌ

"This is exactly what Pep wants: heโ€™ll want a team thatโ€™s fitter to test our players and their ability to keep the ball. 

"Youโ€™ve got to find a way. What I found is: each quality team you play, you had to find a way. 

"They'd probably be quicker or better in the air so you have to be clever. This is what they have to figure out, coming up against a physically strong player: how can I be cute and clever, play on the shoulder?

"I remember when Phil Foden was around that level - heโ€™d get booted in sessions and the coaches would allow it because quality players get kicked - you either have to take it or avoid it. You have to have both sides - a bit of toughness but also a smartness to avoid it."


Tangerine test ๐ŸŠ

Blackpool earned promotion to the Championship last season via the play-offs, finishing third in League One. 

The Bloomfield Road outfit defeated Lincoln City 2-1 in the Final at Wembley to secure a return to the second tier for the first time since 2015. 

The Tangerines travel to Bristol City in their Championship opener on Saturday so this will be a great challenge for both sides, and a useful test of their fitness and sharpness.


Dickov on Ruben Dias ๐Ÿ’ฌ

"I think heโ€™s been earmarked as a future captain from the start. 

"A young 23-year-old coming from a different country, it takes a lot of people a while to get used to the Premier League but heโ€™s filled the leadership void that Vincent Kompany left.

"I hate saying that but what I love about him is that he loves defending. The art of defending sometimes is secondary, but he celebrates a tackle or a block like a goal. Heโ€™s going to go from strength to strength."


Head-to-head ๐Ÿ‘ค

City have won 35, drawn 24 and lost 19 of our 78 matches against Blackpool

Our last defeat against the Tangerines came in the League Cup in August 1997 - a 1-0 reverse at Bloomfield Road.


Brazilian magic ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ท

Paul Dickov hailed Fernandinho as the signing of the summer for City!

Our skipper has put pen to paper on a deal which keeps him at the Club until the summer of 2022, extending his stay at the Etihad Stadium into a ninth season.

Dickov: "Itโ€™s the signing of the summer for me! He was outstanding when called upon at the back end of the season - the PSG game in particular, he was the best player on the pitch. 

"Having him there with the players coming in and already there, everyone has so much respect for Fernandinho because of how he handles himself.

"He has that fantastic knack of sensing danger. Weโ€™ve got so many wonderful attacking players who want to go forward and heโ€™s happy to sit in and cover if John Stones or another defender goes forward. Heโ€™s more than happy to go in there - his game knowledge is absolutely superb."

Goater agreed: "His ability to play and execute the quality of game in different roles takes  a lot of quality and intelligence. Iโ€™d have a nosebleed if I had to go out wide but Fernandinho has that ability to drop into the defence, play as a three, the holding role... His intelligence as a player is just on another level."


Dickov and Goater on first-teamers returning ๐Ÿ’ฌ

Goater: "Itโ€™s good to see Ilkay Gundogan back.

"These guys will get right into it. His fitness will already be at a certain level but I wouldnโ€™t be surprised if he pops up with a goal as well with those ghostly runs into the final third!"

Dickov: "Bernardo Silva has been fantastic since he came in - his energy and enthusiasm.

"A lot of the City players have had disappointment of not being successful at the Euros and when that happens, you canโ€™t wait to get back to your Club football and get it out of your system. 

"Kevin De Bruyne and Bernardo coming back? Not bad is it?!"


Shaun Goater (on Sam Edozie) ๐Ÿ’ฌ

"Heโ€™s scored two goals now in pre-season. Heโ€™ll be thinking heโ€™s doing the right thing.

"Pep will give him the information to take it even to another level.

"Iโ€™m quite interested too with Palmer - his ability in and around the final third and the timing of runs - and McAtee. I really want to see him.

"In the Preston game, he did a move and absolutely sold me, and I was in the stands! 

"I want to see more of him. Theyโ€™re all starting to get into their gear and perform."


Paul Dickov (on young players gaining experience) ๐Ÿ’ฌ

"Theyโ€™ve been fantastic so far.

"We know Pep likes to get them training with the first team and see what it takes to get in but seeing them in the pre-season games and gaining the experience, itโ€™s not phased them at all. 

"Thereโ€™ve been some fantastic performances. Itโ€™s great to see Sam Edozie, Cole Palmer, James McAtee - heโ€™s a player who really excites me."


Team news and tactics, courtesy of Club Journalist John Edwards ๐Ÿ—’

"Ilkay Gundogan makes his first start of pre-season and Bernardo Silva is amongst the substitutes as Manchester City face Blackpool in our third friendly of the summer.

"The Portugal midfielder comes into the matchday squad after returning from his summer break on Monday, whilst Gundogan is included in the starting line-up following his second half substitute appearance in the 4-0 win over Barnsley on Saturday.

"The German is the only change to the XI that kicked-off against the Tykes, replacing James McAtee in midfield as Pep Guardiola once again goes with an experienced team, supported by Ben Knight and Sam Edozie, who has two goals to his name already this pre-season.

"Bernardo is the most senior player on a substitutes bench including Tommy Doyle and Romeo Lavia, who join up with the first team for the first time this summer."


Sunshiiiiiiiine โ˜€

It's a glorious day in Manchester today. 

As our roving reporter George Kelsey just told me: "We're a stick of rock and a donkey ride away from this being an away game!"


Did you know...? ๐Ÿค”

That was David Silva's first *Premier League* goal for City - his first goal arrived in the Europa League against Red Bull Salzburg.

The league game at Bloomfield Road, which City edged 3-2, was played in front of Blackpool's record crowd since their stadium's renovation in 2002 with 16,116 supporters in attendance!


I'm sure I'm not the only one who immediately thinks of this magical moment either when it comes to recalling previous clashes against the Tangerines! ๐Ÿ’ซ


Countdown to kick-off โฑ

The wait is almost over...

Premier League Champions City will kick-off the new 2021/22 campaign on Saturday evening with our FA Community Shield curtain raiser against FA Cup winners Leicester City at Wembley.

(By the way, tickets for that game are still on sale! Buy yours now!)

Ahead of the new campaign, as we look to defend our league crown and challenge in all competitions, we'll have enjoyed some useful outings against Championship sides Preston North End and Barnsley - and of course, Blackpool this evening.

There has been a great blend of youth and experience within those squads - our senior stars racking up the minutes and our budding Blues gaining valuable first-team action.

Slowly but surely, our Euro 2020 heroes are returning to the fold too - Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva and Rodrigo the latest trio to rejoin the ranks at the City Football Academy.

Will they be lacing up the boots tonight? Find out in roughly half an hour when team news will be released...


Matchday Live ๐Ÿ“บ

Ahead of tonight's clash, you can get into the matchday mood by tuning into our live pre-match show from 5pm (UK time), available on all digital platforms.

Appropriately enough for a new season, the show - formerly known as โ€˜Weโ€™re Not Really Hereโ€™ โ€“ returns with a brand-new title: โ€˜Matchday Live.โ€™

Despite the new name, it will still offer the same levels of insight and humour as its predecessor, with special big name guests all casting their unique eye over all things City.

Our panellists Paul Dickov and Shaun Goater, along with presenter Cel Spellman, will offer their expert analysis ahead of our clash with Blackpool before reconvening for half-time and post-match debriefs.

Matchday Live makes for essential viewing for all City supporters who prefer a more City-centric take on proceedings.


Hello, hello! ๐Ÿ‘‹

A very good evening from Manchester!

We're back for City's final pre-season clash, ahead of the 2021/22 campaign, as Pep Guardiola's men entertain Blackpool at the Academy Stadium.

It's a 6:00pm kick-off (UK time) and as ever, we'll be bringing you closer to the action in our Matchday Centre, while you can also tune in to live coverage of the game with a CITY+ subscription!

For just ยฃ1.99 a month, CITY+ allows members to live stream selected Womenโ€™s, EDS and Academy clashes throughout the season and watch full-match replays of all Menโ€™s and Womenโ€™s games.

For further details about how to subscribe visit HERE.

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