LOS ANGELES • Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola believes that his new goalkeeper Ederson will reap the rewards of thwarting European football's most potent attacking force.
City romped to a 4-1 win over Spanish LaLiga and Champions League holders Real Madrid in Los Angeles on Wednesday, after a second-half blitz saw Guardiola's side secure a first pre-season International Champions Cup victory.
However, prior to defender Nicolas Otamendi breaking the deadlock and changing the course of the game with the opening goal early in the second half, City had been indebted to Ederson for making several superb saves.
The Brazilian was signed for €40 million (S$63.64 million) last month and there were some questions about his transfer fee after a costly error in last week's 2-0 defeat to Manchester United. Yet Guardiola is in no doubt that the 23-year-old is on course to become his country's first-choice stopper.
"We knew his quality," the Spaniard said. "He saved many, many balls. He has the quality to read the situations and he put in a good performance."
Two of City's four second-half goals came from corners, with centre-halves Otamendi and John Stones both scoring. Those two strikes were scored either side of a cool finish from forward Raheem Sterling. Substitute Brahim Diaz, 17, added a fourth for City before Oscar Rodriguez grabbed a late consolation goal for Real. But Guardiola refused to get carried away.
"I want to convince my players that playing in that way is the best way to achieve our dreams, our targets," he said. "I want them to be aggressive without the ball. Of course it's good for the confidence, to see the players with this intensity at this level. But it's just pre-season."
Real coach Zinedine Zidane was not too disheartened by the loss.
"It's a bad result, but not a bad game," he said. "I've been impressed by the youngsters. I'm very happy with all of them."
AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, THE GUARDIAN