Manchester City thrashed Barnsley 4-0 in a friendly at the Etihad Campus on Saturday, led by Riyad Mahrez.
Mahrez set a new record for City when he signed from Leicester City in 2018, and Jack Grealish is allegedly on the verge of breaking it, with the Premier League champions reportedly making a £100million bid for the Aston Villa star.
Some analysts thought Grealish would struggle to adjust to life under Pep Guardiola in the same way Mahrez did three years ago, but the Algerian winger demonstrated his full potential against City’s overmatched Championship opponents.
Mahrez raced down the right side to collect Ruben Dias’ raking pass and crossed for Samuel Edozie to knock in a 23rd-minute opening — the teenage striker also scoring in the midweek victory against Preston North End.
Ben Knight, another junior teamer, increased the lead after Mahrez released an overlapping Joao Cancelo, and the right-winger got in on the act himself in the 34th minute, clipping home a superb half-volley from Benjamin Mendy’s cross.
It might have been much worse for Barnsley just before half-time when Cole Palmer wriggled away from Cauley Woodrow to earn a penalty, but Bradley Collins accurately predicted the teenage playmaker’s spot-kick.
Mahrez was unavoidably involved again when Nathan Ake made it 4-0 halfway into the second half, while Ilkay Gundogan and Oleksandr Zinchenko made their pre-season debuts after their return from Euro 2020 duty.
City will play Blackpool on Tuesday in their last friendly before facing Leicester in the Community Shield at Wembley next weekend.