Treble winners Bayern Munich came from a goal down to beat Manchester City 2-1 in a mini pre-season tournament final on Thursday and look on track for the start of the Bundesliga season next week.
Bayern, who lost 4-2 to rivals Borussia Dortmund in the German Super Cup last weekend, take on lower-tier BSV Schwarz-Weiss Rehden in the DFB Pokal first round on Monday.
“We played a good first half, but did not attack enough,” Bayern coach Pep Guardiola told reporters. “Obviously, City are a very strong team. With some substitutions in the second it worked better. I am optimistic for the season. The coach always has to be optimistic.”
Despite dominating much of the game, Bayern, who won the UEFA Champions League as well as the domestic double last season, found themselves trailing on the hour.
New City signing Alvaro Negredo latched on to a Samir Nasri pass to beat Javi Martinez in a sprint and slot past goalkeeper Manuel Neuer on the hour.
The Premier League side’s joy was short-lived, though, as man of the match Thomas Mueller converted a penalty awarded for handball five minutes later and the hosts added another with a low header from Mario Mandzukic in the 73rd minute.
Bayern, who beat Sao Paolo 2-0 on Wednesday to reach the four-team mini tournament final, have looked sharper this week, with Spaniard Guardiola saying he was impressed by how quickly his players were adopting “my very small ideas.”
City had beaten AC Milan 5-3 on Wednesday.
“We are at a good level, but you saw today that we still have some problems at the back,” Mueller told reporters. “We still have room for improvement.”
AFP, PHOENIX, Arizona
France international striker Karim Benzema scored twice in the second half as Real Madrid coasted past the Los Angeles Galaxy 3-1 on Thursday in the International Champions Cup friendly tournament.
Angel di Maria also scored for Real, his 15th-minute goal putting the Spanish giants on the path to a fourth win in as many years over the two-time defending Major League Soccer champions.
With the win, Real booked a clash with English Premier League side Everton in the winners’ bracket of the tournament today at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.
On the undercard at the home of the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Galaxy — who had a spectacular goal from Jose Villarreal — take on Italian side Juventus in the consolation bracket.
The tournament, which also features Chelsea, Inter, AC Milan and Valencia concludes in Miami on Wednesday.
Real Madrid took charge from the start, and the Galaxy could not match their speed and skill.
Cristiano Ronaldo hit the crossbar with a header in the sixth minute and less than two minutes later Denis Cheryshev’s shot was saved by Galaxy goalkeeper Brian Rowe.
Real Madrid went ahead in the 15th minute when Francisco Alcaron launched a ball from deep in his own half and found Ronaldo. He eluded three defenders to deliver it to Di Maria, who slotted it past Rowe.
Although he continued to test the Galaxy goalkeeper, Ronaldo did not score. He departed in a flurry of halftime substitutions that brought on Benzema, who scored just six minutes after coming on.
Los Angeles were without Landon Donovan and Omar Gonzalez, who played on Wednesday in the Major League Soccer All-Star Game against AS Roma, and they were also without the injured Robbie Keane.