Manchester City’s inaugural appearance in the UEFA Super Cup saw them secure a 5-4 win in a penalty shootout against Sevilla in Athens. This adds another significant trophy to their already large collection under manager Pep Guardiola.
Following a 1-1 draw during regular time and successful conversions of nine penalty kicks in the shootout, Nemanja Gudelj’s attempt struck the crossbar, sealing City’s triumph within the Stadio Georgios Karaiskakis. The win marked City’s 15th trophy under Guardiola’s stewardship since his tenure began in 2016. It also compensates the recent penalty shootout loss to Arsenal in the Community Shield.
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) August 17, 2023
Sevilla gained an early advantage when Youssef En-Nesyri headed in a goal in the 25th minute. However, City responded with winger Cole Palmer’s header in the 63rd minute, a period during which the European champions dominated the proceedings. Star striker Erling Haaland remained on the pitch throughout the game despite an upcoming high-stakes Premier League fixture against Newcastle.
Guardiola achieved a remarkable feat by becoming the second manager, after Carlo Ancelotti, to win the Super Cup four times. Furthermore, he became the first to secure this accolade with three different teams. He previously accomplished this with Bayern Munich in 2013 and Barcelona in 2009 and 2011. Manchester City has the historic achievement of clinching the Premier League-FA Cup-Champions League treble in the previous season.
However, the new season could pose greater challenges for Guardiola and the team, as this match underscored their need for increased creativity and goal-scoring threat. The departures of Ilkay Gundogan and Riyad Mahrez in the offseason, coupled with Kevin De Bruyne’s injury potentially sidelining him for four months highlighted these concerns during the game.
Cole Palmer, a 21-year-old academy player showcased promise as City’s most potent player. He capitalised on Rodri’s cross to score a crucial goal, which was his second after the Community Shield. As Mahrez’s departure opens opportunities on the right wing, Palmer is expected to receive more game time and contribute significantly.
Cole sparking the comeback! 💥 pic.twitter.com/Nza6vls1gB
— Manchester City (@ManCity) August 17, 2023
Although Sevilla occasionally posed a threat on the counterattack, it was En-Nesyri who converted Marcos Acuna’s cross to head past City’s defence. He found a way between Nathan Ake and Josko Gvardiol.
In the second half, City goalkeeper Ederson Moraes made two crucial saves against En-Nesyri, flanking Palmer’s goal. The penalty shootout saw successful conversions from Haaland, Julian Alvarez, Mateo Kovacic, Grealish, and Walker for City, while Sevilla’s Ocampos, Rafa Mir, Ivan Rakitic, and Gonzalo Montiel found the net.
For Sevilla, which secured its seventh Europa League title last season, the Super Cup remains a challenge. The Spanish side have won only once in their seven appearances. This victory was during their debut back in 2006.