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Player ratings as Cityzens cruise into Club World Cup final


Manchester City booked their place in the Club World Cup final with a routine 3-0 victory over Urawa Red Diamonds on Tuesday.

City had to work hard in the first half but poked themselves ahead shortly before the interval with an own goal, before Mateo Kovacic and Bernardo Silva struck early in the second to seal a comfortable win for the European champions.

Brazilian outfit Fluminense await City in Friday’s final.

How the game unfolded

City were predictably dominant early on but they were sloppy when it came to playing out from the back and goalkeeper Ederson had a handful of scares inside the opening ten minutes from some uncomfortable back-passes.

Urawa sat deep to try and frustrate their hosts and were wildly successful in the opening stages. City managed just one shot on target in the first half an hour, with Urawa goalkeeper Shusaku Nishikawa making a comfortable save.

The Urawa stopper was a little more active as the first half ticked on. Nishikawa made a nice save to send Rodri’s close-range strike over the bar before turning Phil Foden’s relatively comfortable shot around his post.

City’s hard work finally paid off on the strong of half-time when Matheus Nunes cross was turned into the back of the Urawa net by Marius Hoibraten.

It took just six minutes of the second half for City to add a second. Kovacic went racing through on to a pass from Kyle Walker and flashed his composure to fire into the back of the net.

Nunes missed the chance to head home a third soon after, but Silva made no such mistake as his half-volley deflected into the back of Nishikawa’s net.

Urawa did not give up hope and did half the occasional half-sight of City’s goal, but the European champions were simply too strong and held on for a comfortable win.

Matheus Nunes

Nunes was excellent / Khalid Alhaj/MB Media/GettyImages

GK: Ederson – 6/10 – Had some scares from some sloppy passes back to him but did enough to keep control on an otherwise quiet night.

CB: Kyle Walker – 6/10 – Largely struggled in attack but did make a beautiful pass to set up Kovacic.

CB: Manuel Akanji – 6/10 – Contributed some decent passes forwards as City tried to break through.

CB: Nathan Ake – 7/10 – Solid at the back and regularly involved in attack. Clearly not a natural attack-minded left-back but he still performed admirably.

RM: Phil Foden – 7/10 – Was a little isolated in this wide role but switched up to striker in the first half and started running the show.

CM: John Stones – 6/10 – Hardly caught the eye but didn’t really need to. Helped keep City ticking with some smart passing.

CM: Mateo Kovacic – 7/10 – Didn’t always have the biggest impact going forward but made the difference when it counted, smashing home his first City goal shortly after the break.

CM: Rodri – 8/10 – Played a box-to-box role and was a regular threat in attack, with his penchant for a long shot clearly on show.

LM: Jack Grealish – 5/10 – Had a lot of the ball without actually doing a whole lot. Called referee a “f**king idiot” after being challenged on his ball placement for a corner.

ST: Matheus Nunes – 8/10 – Allowed to roam between midfield and attack, Nunes was a major threat. His runs from deep were key and it was his cross that set up City’s opening goal.

ST: Bernardo Silva – 8/10 – Like Foden, made a noticeable improvement when asked to switch positions. Seemed more comfortable out wide.

Substitutes

SUB: Josko Gvardiol (64′ for Akanji) – 6/10

SUB: Julian Alvarez (64′ for Foden) – 6/10

SUB: Oscar Bobb (64′ for Silva) – 6/10

SUB: Kalvin Phillips (77′ for Rodri) – 6/10

SUB: Sergio Gomez (77′ for Stones) – 6/10

Subs not used: Stefan Ortega (GK), Scott Carson (GK), Max Alleyne, Rico Lewis, Mahamadou Susoho, Kalvin Phillips, Micah Hamilton

Manager

Pep Guardiola – 7/10 – The switch of Foden and Silva inspired this victory, although why Guardiola felt Rodri needed to stay on until the 77th minute is anyone’s guess.

Player of the match: Matheus Nunes (Man City)



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