Nigerian youngster Sam Edozie was grabbed a goal as Manchester City flagged off their preseason on a victorious note.
A stunning free kick from Algeria international Riyad Mahrez flagged off the defeat of helped a depleted Preston North even the Citizens playing with a depleted side following the absence of most senior players.
Mahrez, one of only a handful of senior players available to Pep Guardiola following the European Championships and the Copa America, opened the scoring in the first half against the Championship side before 18-year-old Sam Edozie added a second after the break.
Ruben Dias, Joao Cancelo and Nathan Ake only returned to training on Monday, but were immediately thrown back into action by Guardiola as part of a back four which also included Benjamin Mendy.
Fernandinho and Mahrez also started at City’s academy stadium alongside a host of youngsters including exciting winger Morgan Rogers. Mahrez gave City the lead in the 25th minute with a curling free-kick from 25 yards which was too good for Preston goalkeeper Connor Ripley.
Edozie, on as a substitute at half-time as Guardiola made 10 changes, doubled City’s advantage after a slick move after 64 minutes. An otherwise comfortable evening for City was soured late on when 18-year-old goalkeeper Cieran Slicker was forced off on a stretcher after a collision with Tom Bayliss.
City are set to play Barnsley at the CFA on Saturday after a planned trip to France to face Troyes had to be cancelled because of quarantine issues surrounding their return to the UK.
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