June 13, 2024

Man City gets into Club World Cup final

2 min read

Agency Report

Manchester City shrugged off their sluggish Premier League form to cruise into the Club World Cup final, 3-0 over Urawa Reds on Tuesday, despite missing the presence of Erling Haaland.

Mateo Kovacic and Bernardo Silva struck after Marius Hoibraten’s own goal opened the scoring as City set up a clash with South American champions Fluminense in Friday’s final in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

City have won only one of their last six Premier League matches and fallen behind Arsenal and Liverpool in the title race.

But they were never troubled as an unblemished record for European sides against Asian teams at the Club World Cup was extended to 14 games.

Haaland sat out a third consecutive game due to a foot injury, with the Norwegian facing a race against time to be fit for the final.

However, Haaland still provoked the biggest cheer of the night from a barely half-full King Abdullah Sports City Stadium when he offered the crowd a wave as he appeared on the big screens during the first half.

Kevin De Bruyne was also absent from the City squad despite making his return to training on Monday from a four-month layoff due to a hamstring injury.

Without their biggest goal threat and creative hub, City lacked penetration and punch for the first 45 minutes despite enjoying over 80 percent of possession against the Asian champions.

Urawa had lost six of their previous 10 games but largely kept the European champions at bay before a self-inflicted blow opened the game up for City on the stroke of half-time.

Guardiola made the surprise call to leave Julian Alvarez on the bench, leaving City without a natural striker in their starting 11.

It took the Champions League winners 30 minutes to even create a clear sight of goal as Matheus Nunes cut inside and blasted a shot goalwards that Shusaku Nishikawa tipped over.

City were slowly building momentum towards the break as Phil Foden was next to test Nishikawa from outside the box.

But they needed a slice of fortune to break the deadlock in first-half stoppage time.

AFP.

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