LOS ANGELES -- Nicolas Otamendi, Raheem Sterling, John Stones and Brahim Diaz scored the goals as Manchester City eased past Real Madrid 4-1 in their International Champions Cup meeting at the Memorial Coliseum on Wednesday evening.
After a goalless but entertaining first half, City broke clear after the break with three strikes in just 15 minutes -- all from players with something to prove to fans and pundits this summer.
Otamendi scored from close range at a corner, substitute Sterling soon added another when sent clear inside the area, and the game was ended as a contest by Stones' neat finish from a Kevin De Bruyne assist..
Though not on the scoresheet, Belgian playmaker De Bruyne got two assists and really ran the game in a floating midfield playmaker role.
After a dramatic mobile-phone lit entrance in front of the largest soccer crowd in Coliseum history, Isco had the game's first effort on target, a 15-yard curler punched away by City keeper Ederson.
But most of the early action came at the other end, with Gabriel Jesus looking especially lively. The young Brazilian hurdled challenges as he drove into the penalty area but the shot hit the side-netting, then soon afterwards tested Keylor Navas with a low 25-yard skidder.
Madrid settled as the first half progressed, and Zinedine Zidane's team worked out that early balls forward would unsettle City's three-man central defence.
Pep Guardiola's new €30 million signing Danilo was having tough debut at left-wing-back, a position he never played during his two years at former side Madrid. A Casemiro header and Karim Benzema snap-shot both forced decent saves at close range from Ederson.
City's shakiness at the back was evident early in the second half, with Otamendi almost gifting Dani Carvajal an open goal. But their defenders combined to much better effect in the Madrid area, as Stones leaped to head a corner goalward, and his Argentine colleague pounced to hammer home the rebound when Navas' half-time replacement Kiko Casilla could only parry.
Stung into action Madrid looked for an equaliser, but the impressive looking Ederson denied Casemiro, and Modric fired too high. With Zidane's side pushing further up, there were gaps left at the back. Gabriel got in behind Nacho, but shot just wide of the par post. Sterling broke into the same space soon afterwards, from De Bruyne's lovely slide ball, and the England winger easily beat Casilla to make it 2-0.
Zidane immediately made 10 substitutions, among them a debut to new €17 million playmaker Dani Ceballos, but it was almost 3-0 when De Bruyne's free kick was tipped onto the post by Casilla. And It was 3-0 moments later, when the former Chelsea man's neat cut-back was finished coolly by Stones.
And substitute Diaz would finish the scoring, shifting from right to left across the top of the penalty area and firing an unstoppable shot past Casilla.
With the game in hand, Oscar Rodriguez fired a outswinging shot from 30 yards that beat substitute goalkeeper Daniel Grimshaw to reach the final scoreline.
So far 2017-18 hasn't gotten going for Guardiola's work-in-progress side, but they have shown they can hurt the Champions League holders.
Zidane has some thinking to do now ahead of Saturday's ICC 'Clasico' against Barcelona in Miami.