Manchester City returned to action for the first time since their UEFA Champions League final victory over Inter Milan, taking on Japanese outfit Yokohama in a pre-season friendly ahead of the highly-anticipated 2023/24 campaign.
However, the treble winners went 2-0 down against the J1 League side. Guardiola's men conceded twice inside 37 minutes and had to fight back to get a result, with John Stones and Julian Alvarez scoring to equalize before the break.
Then came on Erling Haaland. The Norwegian started on the bench but was introduced right after the break. And to no one's surprise, the striker tore Yokohama F. Marinos apart and scored twice to end their hopes of beating the Cityzens.
The Premier League Golden Boot winner needed only seven minutes to get on the scoresheet and completed his brace in stoppage time to seal the Man of the Award title.
Erling Haaland in his first pre season game:— Squawka Live (@Squawka_Live) July 23, 2023
45': Subbed on
Here we go again... pic.twitter.com/5xF1JCahrY
However, the 23-year-old was awarded a strange gift due to his brilliant performance. While players in Europe's top league are simply awarded a small trophy for this, Haaland was given a cheque worth one million yen (¥1M).
Erling Haaland was rewarded a check for his Man of the Match performance vs. the Yokohama F. Marinos pic.twitter.com/yU2h45Ewph— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) July 23, 2023
That translates to just over $7000, which is a drop in the ocean for Haaland given his extravagant wages at the Etihad Stadium. The player earns a rumored £850,000 (just over $1M) per week, though these numbers have not been confirmed.
Next up for Guardiola's men are back-to-back showdowns against Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid, which should be interesting. The Cityzens eliminated Bayern in the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals last season, which means the German champions will be out for revenge.