Despite early difficulties at the King Abdullah Sports City stadium in Jeddah, Manchester City cruised to a 3-0 victory over Japan’s Urawa Red Diamonds, setting up a Club World Cup final against Brazilian team Fluminense.
The European champions were frustrated by a well-organised Japanese side during the opening half but took the lead with an own goal by Marius Hoibraten in stoppage time on Tuesday night’s second semifinal.
After joining City from Chelsea, Mateo Kovacic scored his first goal in the 52nd minute to make it 2-0. A few minutes later, Bernardo Silva’s deflected shot gave City the advantage they needed to dominate the remainder of the match.
Pep Guardiola’s City is attempting to become the fourth English club to win the title, following Manchester United, Liverpool, and Chelsea. Prior to this, the team had only won three of their previous eight games across all competitions.
Guardiola, who has two championships with Barcelona and one with Bayern Munich, stated, “The players know how important it is for the club.”
It takes amazing feats, like winning the Champions League, to make it to this final. This may be the only time we play this in our lifetime.
“We will attempt to win the title; finishing the circle is not necessary.”
City have suffered some domestic wobbles of late and have slipped off the pace in the Premier League in their quest for a fourth successive title.