Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko has made the nuisance of a mid-season friendly against Hamburg work to his advantage this afternoon, producing the kind of accurate finish which should serve as a timely reminder to boss Manuel Pellegrini that the Bosnian striker should not be overlooked.
Dzeko is at risk of getting lost in the mix at the Etihad in 2015, after City decided a full-blown injury crisis in attack has left their title defence in such a perilous position the presence of Wilfried Bony was required.
Bony will arrive after African Cup of Nations duty to stake his claim for a starting spot, but on this evidence Dzeko will not give up his claim to regular first-team football without an almighty fight.
Dzeko remains a class act
Pellegrini opted to start Dzeko alongside Stevan Jovetic in an experimental frontline in City's Abu Dhabi friendly against the Bundesliga strugglers, which saw then run out 2-0 winners.
Jovetic and Dzeko both got on the scoresheet in Sergio Aguero's absence, but it was a calm finish from the latter late on which cannot be overlooked. Dzeko's languid style can sometimes mean his work is overlooked or underestimated, but at his very best the 28-year-old is ruthless forward of the very highest order.
Pellegrini has a problem on his hands
73 minutes into a workout for some of City's peripheral squad figures Dzeko made a clever run off his marker to meet James Milner's looped curling cross, before showing neat close control and arrowing a measured finish into the bottom corner.
The former Wolfsburg hero looks to finally be over a calf problem which has blighted his start to 2015, which should cushion the blow of Frank Lampard limping out of a match that's given Pellegrini food for thought.