MANCHESTER CITY P1-1 SEVILLA: COLE PALMER STARS AS PEP GUARDIOLA’S SIDE WIN UEFA SUPER CUP ON PENALTIES

Champions League winners Manchester City lifted the UEFA Super Cup after a penalty shootout victoty over Sevilla. Youssef En-Nesyri gave the Europa League winners a surprise first-half lead with a thumping header before Cole Palmer levelled things up in the second half with a header of his own. In the subsequent shootout, Nemanja Gudelj missed the decisive spot kick to give City the win.

Manchester City have won the UEFA Super Cup for the first time in their history, after beating Sevilla on penalties in Piraeus.
City dominated the first half, forcing two good saves from Bono before Sevilla struck from nowhere to take the lead.
A quick, three pass move started by Bono ended with a towering header from Youssef En-Nesyri to put Sevilla ahead.

Ederson made two important saves from En-Nesyri in the second half, either side of an equaliser when Cole Palmer nodded in a cross from Rodri.
With no further goals the match went to penalties, with Sevilla’s fifth kick from Nemanja Gudelj’s hitting the bar to hand City the victory.

TALKING POINT

Facing an uphill battle, City finds itself grappling with the impending absence of Kevin De Bruyne. The news, delivered somberly by Pep Guardiola in his pre-match press conference, carries a heavy blow, projecting De Bruyne’s potential prolonged absence even into the year 2024.

This setback comes at an inopportune time for City, particularly following a summer where they bid farewell to other key contributors in terms of assists and goals, namely Ilkay Gundogan and Riyad Mahrez. While they have made strategic reinforcements in other areas, with standout performances from players like Mateo Kovacic and debutant Josko Gvadriol, the void left by their most creative dynamo behind the forward line is causing a significant headache for Guardiola.

In an attempt to adapt, Foden was tested in this role, albeit with intermittent impact throughout the match. Regrettably, the ball often found its way to the flanks, resulting in Erling Haaland enduring one of his least influential outings since donning a City jersey.

Guardiola, renowned for his tactical acumen, will undoubtedly convene his coaching staff to brainstorm a solution. Yet, the road ahead looks challenging as City navigates the foreseeable future without the presence of Kevin De Bruyne. As Guardiola and his team strive to shape a new approach, the absence of their playmaking maestro could potentially pose a taxing challenge.

PLAYER OF THE MATCH – COLE PALMER (MANCHESTER CITY)

It was a tight match, and one of the most entertaining one-on-ones of the night was the battle between Palmer and Marcos Acuna. In the second half particularly Palmer enjoyed notable success, leaving Acuna stranded on several occasions, and his goal capped an exciting performance.

PLAYER RATINGS

Manchester City: Ederson 6, Walker 7, Akanji 6, Gvardiol 7, Ake 6; Rodri 7, Kovacic 7, Foden 6; Palmer 8, Haaland 6, Grealish 6

SUBS: Alvarez 6

Sevilla: Bono 7; Jesus Navas 7, Bade 6, Gudelj 7, Acuna 6; Jordan 6, Rakitic 6; Oliver Torres 5, Ocampos 7, Lamela 6; En-Nesyri 7

SUBS: Montiel 6, Suso 6, Rafa Mir 6, Juanlu 5

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

8’ BONO’S DOUBLE After easily gathering a low drive from Palmer, Bono palms away a flying header from Ake a minute later that was headed into the ground before kicking up high. That’s good judgment.
Given that it’s Bono’s first action, you can probably go to Twitter/X right now and try to hold your sides in as several thousand U2 related puns about that save are confidently launched into cyberspace.
17’ ANOTHER GOOD SAVE Grealish shimmies past Navas on the left corner of the area, and unloads a curler to the top corner. Bono gets across though, and tips it out for a corner.
25’ GOAL! MANCHESTER CITY 0 SEVILLA 1 (EN-NESYRI 25) What a header! From nothing Sevilla lead. Bono skids a fortuitous ball forwards, which finds Jordan, who works out to Acuna tight on the left wing. Acuma dumps an inswinger to the penalty spot, where En-Nesyri rises between Gvardiol and Ake and thumps a header into the bottom corner with Ederson rooted!

50’ GOOD SAVE! City hem Sevilla in around their own area, until Sevilla break suddenly again as Ocampos skips past the sliding Walker and is away. He’s got En-Nesyri clear to his right, and finds him; En-Nesyri shoots first time from 15 yards out but Ederson saves with his legs! That’s a poor finish; if he’d hit either corner this might be over.
63’ GOAL! MANCHESTER CITY 1 (PALMER 63) SEVILLA 1 City are level! Rodri takes matters into his own hands, and lofts a purposeful cross to the back post from the left. Palmer times his run perfectly, and nods it back across Bono into the far corner to level it up!

65’ SEVILLA ARE IN AGAIN! Ocampos slides En-Nesyri straight through on the left of the area, and only a superb, point blank save from Ederson keeps it at one each!
PENS – GUDELJ HITS THE BAR! MANCHESTER CITY 5-4 SEVILLA, THE SUPER CUP IS GUARDIOLA’S AGAIN!

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