MUNICH • Pep Guardiola's reign as Manchester City manager started with a 1-0 friendly defeat at former club Bayern Munich on Wednesday in a game watched by 68,000 fans.
Erdal Ozturk scored the only goal of the game in the 76th minute, although both sides were under-strength and under-cooked at the Allianz Arena, with many of the leading players enjoying longer summer vacations following Euro 2016 and the Copa America.
Guardiola picked an interesting mix of key players and last season's Under-19 squad for his first match since replacing Manuel Pellegrini.
The 45-year-old is still without Kevin de Bruyne, Raheem Sterling, Bacary Sagna and Eliaquim Mangala after their Euro 2016 exploits.
"This is the new life for coaches (preparing without key players), but perhaps we need some of these younger players later in the season," Guardiola said.
The City manager stuck with a 4-2-3-1 formation for his first outing, with Fernando and Fernandinho shielding the inexperienced back-line until the second half.
Teenagers Angelino and Pablo Maffeo were narrow at full-back, but shifted across quickly when needed - crucial to Guardiola's positional set-up is the players' ability to adapt to the situation.
An aggressive pressing strategy was a hallmark of his game plan at both Barcelona and Bayern.
Without the ball, the overall team structure is compact, forcing the centre-backs to adopt a sometimes precarious high back-line and squeeze the space ahead.
Guardiola, however, was agitated when players - largely the young ones, who made a tepid start to proceedings - failed to create the right angle to receive a pass.
Aimless balls from the back that conceded possession provoked a fit of rage from him, as the Spaniard spent periods remonstrating from outside of his technical area.
With Vincent Kompany, who was an unused substitute for City after recovering from the thigh surgery which kept him out of Belgium's Euro 2016 team, Mangala and Jason Denayer still to take the field, perhaps the concerns will be addressed in the rest of pre-season in clashes with Manchester United, Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal.
THE TIMES, LONDON, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE