Man City beat Urawa 3-0 to reach Club World Cup final

Man City will face Fluminense of Brazil in the final on Friday

By AP

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Manchester City players celebrate a goal. — AP
Manchester City players celebrate a goal. — AP

Published: Wed 20 Dec 2023, 12:21 AM

Manchester City set aside struggles at home to ease past Urawa Red Diamonds 3-0 in the Club World Cup semifinals on Tuesday and is one game away from a fifth title in 2023.

The champions of Europe have never lost to the champions of Asia at a Club World Cup and it never looked likely on a balmy evening in the Red Sea port city Jeddah.

After it took Man City until first-half stoppage time to score from an own goal by defender Marius Hoibraten, Mateo Kovačić and Bernardo Silva struck with shots in a seven-minute spell early in the second half against the Japanese team.

Man City now will be favoured to beat Fluminense of Brazil in the final on Friday.

Pep Guardiola’s team keep finding respite in international games during an untypical run in the Premier League where the defending champions have won just one of their last six games while leaking late goals.

A winning Club World Cup debut followed City closing out a perfect six-win streak in their Champions League group this month.

City also added a Uefa Super Cup title in August to their storied trophy treble last season of Champions League, Premier League and English FA Cup.

City needed some help to score first on Friday when Hoibraten diverted goalward a pass across the goalmouth by Matheus Nunes that was unlikely to find another of the six midfield players in the starting lineup.

With Erling Haaland still ruled out by a foot injury, Guardiola also opted to leave Argentina forward Julian Álvarez on the bench.

The biggest cheers during a lackluster first half came when the faces of City stars Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne sitting in the main stand were broadcast on the screens placed high at each end of the King Abdullah Sports City Stadium.

On Friday, another Europe vs South America final — the 13th in 19 editions — will decide the last Club World Cup title in the current format that began in 2005.

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