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Manchester City thrash Urawa Red Diamonds to reach Club World Cup final

Having already added the European Super Cup to last season’s treble, City will now have the chance to claim a fifth trophy of the calendar year

Andy Hampson
Tuesday 19 December 2023 22:35 GMT
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Manchester City’s Mateo Kovacic celebrates (PA)
Manchester City’s Mateo Kovacic celebrates (PA) (PA Wire)

Manchester City eased into the final of the Club World Cup with a comfortable 3-0 win over Japanese side Urawa Red Diamonds on Tuesday.

Without Erling Haaland, the Champions League winners needed an own goal to launch their campaign in Saudi Arabia but second-half strikes from Mateo Kovavic and Bernardo Silva saw them stroll to victory.

Having already added the European Super Cup to last season’s treble, City will now have the chance to claim a fifth trophy of the calendar year when they face Brazil’s Fluminense in Friday’s final in Jeddah.

With Urawa showing limited ambition against City’s formidable line-up, the only surprise was the game remained goalless until first-half stoppage time.

City may have been without a recognised centre forward in Haaland’s continued absence due to a foot injury, but the Reds defence was given little respite and goalkeeper Shusaku Nishikawa had a busy night.

Rodri had City’s first attempt on goal when he fired wide after eight minutes and he had another effort deflected past the post after Silva shot over.

Nishikawa did well to turn over from Matheus Nunes on the half-hour and he denied both the Portugal international again and Phil Foden from distance.

City finally claimed the breakthrough their play deserved just before the interval, although they did benefit from a stroke of luck.

Nunes broke down the right and exchanged passes with Silva before driving the ball low towards goal, where it was turned into his own net by Norwegian defender Marius Hoibraten.

With their lead established, City tightened their grip after the break.

Kyle Walker played Kovacic into space for the Croatia midfielder to lift the ball over Nishikawa for the second after 52 minutes.

Nunes should have added another moments later but headed wide from a Jack Grealish cross.

The third came just before the hour after Nishikawa pushed away another Nunes effort and Silva drove in the rebound with the aid of a deflection.

Guardiola began to make changes in the latter stages as he looked ahead to the final.

One of the substitutes, Julian Alvarez, was denied by Nishikawa at point-blank range and Grealish squandered another chance by delaying his shot.

Urawa had a couple of late chances as City eased up but John Stones cleared after Bryan Linssen seized on a poor backpass and Ederson denied Shoya Nakajima with his feet.

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