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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 18 November 2018

Pep Guardiola full of praise for Manchester City's youngsters after completing US tour with win over Bayern Munich

Two goals from Bernardo Silva either side of Lukas Nmecha's finish ensured victory for the Premier League champions in Miami

Manchester City fought back from two goals down to defeat Bayern Munich in the International Champions Cup on Saturday, but the victory was soured by an injury to new signing Riyad Mahrez.

Meritan Shabani and Arjen Robben had put German champions Bayern 2-0 ahead inside the first 24 minutes, before Bernardo Silva pulled one back for City just before half-time. Lukas Nmecha levelled for the Premier League winners 11 minutes into the second half, with Portuguese midfielder Silva scored his second in the 70th minute.

Mahrez, however, went down twice with what looked like an ankle problem. The Algerian forward, who joined City for a reported £75 million (Dh361m) this summer, was eventually forced off after just 27 minutes and looked in discomfort.

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With the traditional English season opener - the Community Shield - taking place next Sunday at Wembley against Chelsea, coach Guardiola will assess Mahrez's fitness as the start of the Premier League campaign looms into view.

City's opening games in the pre-season tournament, against Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool, had both ended in narrow defeats, but with Guardiola opting for familiarity - eight players in the starting lineup here had begun all three games of this US tour - it was another young side full of running.

"We analyzed our mistakes in the previous games and did it better against Bayern Munich," Guardiola said. "We were able to play good and overcome the situation when we were 2-0 down."

Despite missing a host of his World Cup stars on the pre-season tour, Guardiola insists the experience has been vital for the club's younger players.

"We came here with a lot of young players and new players," he said. "So for them, it will be good for the future. It helps them to understand the game. I like to see my players fight for our teammates and play like a humble team.

"You cannot imagine how much I have enjoyed these two weeks with these guys. The young guys have desire. They open their eyes and listen because they have their whole career ahead of them. I want to say thank you to them."

Guardiola also reserved special praise for teenage midfielder Phil Foden. The 18-year-old Englishman has been promoted to City's senior squad under Guardiola, who said: "Phil played an outstanding game today, he is a fighter, he is a guy who runs. He has an England mentality as in he never ever gives up. But I am so satisfied with all of them."

Bayern's main men, Robben and Franck Ribery, looked dangerous on the ball, yet with Mahrez afforded plenty of space in midfield the English champions dominated the early stages and really should have opened the scoring.

Mahrez, who had already spent a few minutes getting treatment after being challenged, sent German-born City striker Nmecha through only for his shot be saved by Sven Ulreich.

It wasn't long before Nmecha had the opportunity to make amends as another classy through ball from Mahrez set him free, but this time he was denied by the post.

That was to prove a costly couple of misses because on 14 minutes, Bayern were ahead.

The lively Rafinha found space on the right and his cross was headed in by Shabani.

It was a good team goal and on 23 minutes, Ribery and Robben combined for number two. The French midfielder's lofted through ball found the Dutchman in the area and his two touches - one to control and one to expertly lift the ball past Claudio Bravo - were top class.

And all of a sudden, a difficult evening for Guardiola darkened on 27 minutes when Mahrez was forced to leave the field with an injured ankle.

"We will see, maybe it is not a problem," said Guardiola.

The Algerian limped off to be replaced by Silva, who scored the goal his team's display had deserved on the stroke of half-time.

The former Monaco star ran unchallenged 25 yards out and produced an excellent low, curling finish leaving Ulreich with no chance.

The Bayern goalkeeper was being kept busy and on 51 minutes, he was picking the ball out of the back of the net once more after Silva fed Foden and when his curling shot was parried, Nmecha was on hand to steer home from close.

No-one could begrudge this young City side a share of the spoils, but the game was turned on its head with 20 minutes remaining.

A first City appearance for 17-year-old Spanish attacking midfielder Adrian Bernabe quickly resulted in a third goal for Guardiola's side. The former Barcelona youngster teed up Silva who wriggled clear in the area before drilling low past Ulreich for the winner.