For those who thought Manchester City would easily become champions over Sevilla, they were deeply mistaken. Join us as we recount the thrilling match that decided the UEFA Super Cup Champion.
Manchester City vs Sevilla
The UEFA Super Cup features a one-off clash between the Champions League winner and the UEFA Europa League winner.
On one side, there’s Sevilla. Owner of the Europa League. Undoubtedly the biggest champion with 7 titles. On the other side, the mighty Manchester City, which clinched its first Champions League title last season in a tough battle against Inter Milan.
However, when analyzing this clash, it’s important to be candid and acknowledge the obvious. Manchester City is a significantly stronger team than Sevilla.
City won a staggering 3 titles last season, achieving the famous “treble.” They dominated the F.A Cup, the Premier League, and, of course, the Champions League. The football they displayed in these tournaments made it evident that the Manchester City led by Pep Guardiola is the best team in the world.
Image: Molly Darlington / Reuters
Sevilla, on the other hand, had a season of ups and downs. They spent most of the league season towards the lower end of the table and underwent changes in the coaching staff. They finished La Liga in 12th place. However, when it comes to the Europa League, the team transforms. In an electrifying final against Roma, also decided by penalties, the Spanish team secured their 7th title.
Image: Gonzalo Arroyo – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images
Given this, when it’s a single-game final, there’s a feeling that anything can happen. After all, it’s the start of the season, and the teams haven’t reached their peak physical condition or rhythm of play.
Despite this, the UEFA Super Cup was an extremely intense and competitive game.
Early on, at the 7-minute mark, in a Grealish cross, Aké headed well, but it was met by Bounou’s spectacular save. In fact, this impressive goalkeeper, who apparently played his last game for Sevilla, had a great performance. He’s set to join Neymar at Al-Hilal.
Following that, Grealish, who also had a strong performance, attempted a placed shot, but Bounou pushed it away for a corner.
From there, Sevilla became more dangerous. Once again, Bounou, under pressure during ball distribution, made a strong pass through the midfield, bypassing not only the Sevilla player but also the first two lines of Manchester City’s defense.
The ball reached the wing, where a cross was delivered. The target was the head of the team’s top scorer, El-Neysri, who powered a header into the bottom right corner, leaving Ederson with no chance. Sevilla 1-0, at 26′.
The chances to increase the lead didn’t stop there. Three minutes later, Lamela received the ball in a good position but had a poor finish.
City had opportunities from crosses into the box towards the end of the first half, indicating that they were on the verge of scoring.
At the 49th minute, a moment that could have changed the course of the match. Sevilla counter-attacked with speed. Walker attempted to intercept the pass, but Ocampos played it ahead and cleverly bypassed the fullback. He then elegantly served El-Neysri.
Sevilla’s goal scorer fumbled badly this time. He faced Ederson one-on-one and delivered a terrible shot. The Brazilian goalkeeper made a fantastic save, keeping Manchester City in the game.
In a match against a team like Manchester City, one thing must be crystal clear. Mistakes cannot be tolerated. If an opportunity to score arises, it cannot be missed. This is because, even on days when the Cityzens aren’t at their best, they create enough chances to win the game.
Well then. In the 62nd minute, an unlikely hero emerged. Rodri delivered a beautiful cross, finding Cole Palmer. The young player headed the ball in the opposite direction of Bounou, deceiving the Moroccan goalkeeper.
After the equalizing goal, Manchester City still had a chance to turn the game around but were thwarted by Bounou.
Therefore, the match went into penalties.
Both teams seemed to have practiced penalties in their preparations. Nine consecutive shots were successfully converted. Noteworthy is the 9th kick, taken by Walker. Bounou guessed the direction and got a touch on the ball, but it found the back of the net.
In the following penalty, Gudelj struck the ball powerfully but hit the crossbar, handing the UEFA Super Cup title to Manchester City.
Image: Divulgação Manchester City
The Cityzens enter another season as favorites in all competitions. Will Pep Guardiola’s team soar high once again?
Written by Vitor F L Miller.