Stuttgart run riot, crush Manchester City 4-2 in preseason friendly

Manchester City crashed to a 4-2 defeat to Stuttgart as their preseason fixtures ended with a shambolic defensive display.

City were 4-0 down after 36 minutes even though manager Manuel Pellegrini fielded first-choice goalkeeper Joe Hart and a back four, of Bacary Sagna, Vincent Kompany, Eliaquim Mangala and Aleksandar Kolarov, that could start the Premier League campaign.

Filip Kostic, Daniel Didavi and Daniel Ginczek, with a swift brace, scored for Stuttgart, who only finished 14th in the Bundesliga last season, as City conceded four goals in a game for the second time in pre-season.

Serbia forward Kostic opened the scoring at the Mercedes-Benz Arena after outpacing Sagna when City failed to deal with a long ball.

Kolarov had to clear off the line from Stuttgart captain Christian Gentner but the left-back was found wanting as Didavi doubled Stuttgart's lead with a low shot that went through Hart's legs.

City's problems worsened with Ginczek scoring twice in three minutes, the first when he converted Martin Harnik's cross and then when he evaded Kompany to finish comfortably.

The £49 million signing Raheem Sterling, who had struck three times in pre-season, came close to a consolation for City and set up both of their late goals.

Substitute Kelechi Iheanacho found the net with six minutes to go before Sterling teed up Edin Dzeko for a tap-in.

The Roma target, who has barely been used in City's pre-season games, came on for the last 15 minutes and scored what may prove his final goal for the club.

Wilfried Bony, who had missed City's trip to Australia and Vietnam because of injury, made his first start of pre-season to improve his chances of figuring next Monday at West Brom, when Sergio Aguero is not expected to start.

City were again without the three Argentinians, Aguero, Martin Demichelis and Pablo Zabaleta, who had played in the Copa America, as well as Brazilian midfielder Fernandinho.

All four could miss the start of the Premier League season along with summer signing Fabian Delph, who suffered a hamstring injury against Real Madrid.

Yaya Toure, Fernando and Gael Clichy were not in the 18 for the game in Germany but Sterling, David Silva, Jesus Navas and Samir Nasri all started.

City had beaten Adelaide United, Melbourne City and a Vietnam XI as well as overcoming Roma on penalties after a 2-2 draw, but lost 4-1 to Real Madrid.