Urawa Red Diamonds 0-3 Manchester City: Pep Guardiola’s side cruise into Club World Cup final

18 December 2023 0 By Total Football News
Mateo Kovacic scoresManchester City restricted Urawa Red Diamonds to just two shots while having 25 themselves

Manchester City's players have a once "in-our-lifetime" opportunity when they face Brazil's Fluminense in the Club World Cup final, says manager Pep Guardiola.

Guardiola's team swept past Urawa Red Diamonds in Tuesday's semi-final to set up a meeting with the South American champions on Friday in Saudi Arabia.

City are looking to become the fourth English club to win the title after Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea.

"The players know how important it is for the club," said Guardiola.

"To be in this final, you have to do incredible things like win the Champions League. This may be the only time we play this in our lifetime.

"We are there. We will try to win a title we don't have and finish the circle."

The Spaniard has previously won the competition twice while Barcelona boss and once during his three-year tenure at Bayern Munich.

And the odds of him adding to that collection seem short given the manner in which City comfortably defeated the Asian champions Urawa.

The Japanese club displayed plenty of defensive resilience until defender Marius Hoibraten turned Matheus Nunes' cross into his own net on the stroke of half time.

However, after the break it was a different story, with Mateo Kovacic quickly adding City's second - running through the heart of an absent Urawa defence to latch on to Kyle Walker's pass and lift his effort past goalkeeper Shusaku Nishikawa.

Portugal midfielder Bernardo Silva added City's third before the hour mark, guiding a effort low into the bottom right corner after his international team-mate Nunes had a shot blocked by Nishikawa.

In truth, City's margin of victory could and should have been more with Nunes, Jack Grealish and second-half substitutes Oscar Bobb and Julian Alvarez all failing to convert good opportunities when well placed.

Brazil's Fluminense had beaten Al Ahly 2-0 in the first semi-final played on Monday and City's victory ensures the 13th meeting between the champions of Europe and their South American counterparts in the showpiece match since 2005.

Man City on course to close the circle

After winning the Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup and Uefa Super Cup, Guardiola had spoken about this competition as an opportunity to "close the little circle and win all the trophies" possible.

And his team will be undoubted favourites when they face their opponents from Rio de Janeiro later this week in a match being played at the King Abdullah Sports City, north of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Fluminense should, though, at least represent a step up in class from Urawa, who were defensively disciplined until they fell behind but struggled to build any sort of attacking momentum to chase the game.

The gulf in class between the sides was underlined by Urawa boss Maciej Skorza summoning former Ross County forward Alex Schalk from his bench as his team chased the game.

In contrast Guardiola had Alvarez, Ruben Dias, Josko Gvardiol and the out-of-favour Kalvin Phillips in reserve, while Nunes, a £53m summer arrival from Wolves, cost City more than it took to assemble the entire Urawa squad.

And even despite the continued absence of the prolific Erling Haaland and midfield playmaker Kevin de Bruyne, there was a formidable look to the Blues as they close in on a fifth trophy of the calendar year.

Player of the match

FodenPhil Foden

with an average of 7.42

Urawa Red Diamonds

  1. Squad number28Player nameScholz

    Average rating

    6.10

  2. Squad number3Player nameIto

    Average rating

    6.04

  3. Squad number26Player nameOgiwara

    Average rating

    5.97

  4. Squad number21Player nameOkubo

    Average rating

    5.96

  5. Squad number1Player nameNishikawa

    Average rating

    5.94

  6. Squad number17Player nameSchalk

    Average rating

    5.94

  7. Squad number15Player nameAkimoto

    Average rating

    5.87

  8. Squad number11Player nameKanté

    Average rating

    5.86

  9. Squad number14Player nameSekine

    Average rating

    5.85

  10. Squad number5Player nameHøibråten

    Average rating

    5.83

  11. Squad number25Player nameYasui

    Average rating

    5.70

  12. Squad number10Player nameNakajima

    Average rating

    5.68

  13. Squad number9Player nameLinssen

    Average rating

    5.66

  14. Squad number8Player nameKoizumi

    Average rating

    5.64

  15. Squad number19Player nameIwao

    Average rating

    5.64

  16. Squad number22Player nameShibato

    Average rating

    5.42

Manchester City

  1. Squad number47Player nameFoden
    Average rating

    7.42

  2. Squad number20Player nameBernardo Silva
    Average rating

    7.13

  3. Squad number52Player nameBobb
    Average rating

    7.03

  4. Squad number4Player namePhillips
    Average rating

    6.98

  5. Squad number8Player nameKovacic
    Average rating

    6.93

  6. Squad number16Player nameRodri
    Average rating

    6.89

  7. Squad number19Player nameÁlvarez
    Average rating

    6.76

  8. Squad number24Player nameGvardiol
    Average rating

    6.73

  9. Squad number31Player nameEderson
    Average rating

    6.69

  10. Squad number5Player nameStones
    Average rating

    6.68

  11. Squad number27Player nameMatheus Nunes
    Average rating

    6.65

  12. Squad number6Player nameAké
    Average rating

    6.62

  13. Squad number10Player nameGrealish
    Average rating

    6.57

  14. Squad number21Player nameGómez
    Average rating

    6.50

  15. Squad number2Player nameWalker
    Average rating

    6.49

  16. Squad number25Player nameAkanji
    Average rating

    6.41

Line-ups

Urawa Red Diamonds

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Nishikawa
  • 14Sekine
  • 28Scholz
  • 5Høibråten
  • 15Akimoto
  • 3ItoSubstituted forOgiwaraat 57'minutes
  • 19IwaoSubstituted forShibatoat 78'minutes
  • 21OkuboSubstituted forSchalkat 57'minutes
  • 25Yasui
  • 8KoizumiSubstituted forNakajimaat 64'minutes
  • 11KantéSubstituted forLinssenat 64'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2H Sakai
  • 4Iwanami
  • 9Linssen
  • 10Nakajima
  • 16Niekawa
  • 17Schalk
  • 22Shibato
  • 26Ogiwara
  • 27Panya
  • 30Koroki
  • 31Yoshida
  • 66Ohata

Man City

Formation 3-5-2

  • 31Ederson
  • 2Walker
  • 25AkanjiBooked at 24minsSubstituted forGvardiolat 65'minutes
  • 6Aké
  • 47FodenSubstituted forÁlvarezat 65'minutes
  • 5StonesSubstituted forGómezat 77'minutes
  • 16RodriSubstituted forPhillipsat 77'minutes
  • 8Kovacic
  • 10Grealish
  • 27NunesBooked at 83mins
  • 20Bernardo SilvaSubstituted forBobbat 64'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Rúben Dias
  • 4Phillips
  • 18Ortega
  • 19Álvarez
  • 21Gómez
  • 24Gvardiol
  • 33Carson
  • 52Bobb
  • 68Alleyne
  • 76Susoho
  • 82Lewis
  • 92Hamilton
Referee:
Mohammed Khled Al Hoish
Attendance:
40,127

Match Stats

Live Text

Match ends, Urawa Red Diamonds 0, Manchester City 3.

Second Half ends, Urawa Red Diamonds 0, Manchester City 3.


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