Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola sets sights on Club World Cup


Manchester City followed their treble by winning the UEFA Super Cup.

Pep Guardiola is targeting the Club World Cup to complete the squad after Manchester City overcame a sloppy start to beat Sevilla on penalties to lift the UEFA Super Cup.

Two months after becoming the second English club in history to win the treble, the UEFA Champions League holders faced the record Europa League winners in Greece.

Sevilla took the lead through Youssef En-Nesyri’s high header and had plenty of chances to extend their lead before City hit back through Cole Palmer’s curler.

The Super Cup ended 1-1 after 90 minutes, with Guardiola’s men triumphing 5-4 on penalties after Nemanja Gudelj’s last-gasp spot-kick went over the bar.

It was the first time City had won the competition and the Spaniard is determined to add the Club World Cup to his cabinet in December.

“Obviously we are not in the best, best moment, I would say,” Guardiola said after winning his fourth Super Cup as a coach.

“But knowing the players a little bit and the mentality of the staff behind the scenes, I felt like we were going to give it a shot.

“We are really pleased to have one title already this season. Really pleased for the club – we didn’t have this title and now we have it.

“We’re just one away from coming full circle and getting this club to win all the titles we can have.” It’s happening in December when we go to Saudi Arabia to play in the (club) world championship there.

“I’d say really, really happy. A close game like the (Champions League) final against Inter, a close game we lost in the last minute against Arsenal (in the Community Shield). Football in these stages, at that moment, at that period is a coin (flip).

It was an energy-sapping night for City in hot and humid Piraeus, where the match kicked off at 10pm local time and finished in the early hours of Thursday morning.

It’s a quick turnaround after a tough test, leading Guardiola to take a dig at the Premier League for scheduling another game against Newcastle on Saturday night.

“Of course tomorrow will be even happier than today,” he said, adding that City is due to fly back to the North West on Thursday.

“Recover, not a drop of alcohol today.” Recover as much as you can because once again from Greece, thank you very much to the Premier League for letting us play on Saturday. And not on Sunday and Monday. Thank you very much.”

City’s star man was man of the match Palmer, who scored a smart header in Greece after his superb finish in the eventual Community Shield loss to Arsenal.

The 21-year-old has been the subject of speculation this summer, with Guardiola ruling out a loan move for the home-grown talent.

“The view I had when he arrived is that he wanted to leave, but now I don’t know what’s going to happen,” he said.

“I don’t think it will be borrowed. Will stay or is going to sell but I don’t think the loan will happen.

“He has character. It’s not easy to play against defenders like (Marcos) Acuna, who is a top defender.

“It’s not easy, it’s a final. He’s a young player playing at these stages. It’s not easy for these guys. He played really, really well and scored a fantastic goal.”

As for Sevilla, the heart of the shootout represented a sixth consecutive Super Cup loss.

Head coach Jose Luis Mendilibar said: “It is very difficult to make a good plan against a team as good as City. I really wish we played higher up the pitch and put them under more pressure.

“When we had chances to score the second goal, we didn’t take them. But I really believe we played a good game and probably created more chances than them.”

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