Manchester City had the last laugh.
Manchester City played Sevilla to a 1-1 draw in the 2023-24 UEFA Super Cup at the Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium in Piraeus, Greece, at 4 a.m. ET on Sunday, but the game was turned on its head after penalties.
City had a big void ahead of the Super Cup. They were without one of their key players, Kevin De Bruyne. Der Bruyne suffered a hamstring injury in last season’s Champions League final and recovered during preseason to get some game time as a substitute in the Community Shield. However, the game ended 1-1 and went to penalties, where he missed the first kick to give Arsenal the title.
It wasn’t perfect, but he started the opening round of the 2023-24 Premier League season against Burnley. However, a recurrence of the injury forced him to leave the field. In his official press conference, Guardiola said of De Bruyne’s condition, “It’s a very serious injury. We have to decide if he needs surgery. The decision will be made in the next few days. He will not be able to play for the next three to four months,” he said.
“It will be difficult to replace him for an extended period of time. It’s almost impossible to find a midfielder with similar skills and game to him. We have to fill the void with a different style of player with different skills. We have talented players in our squad. I’m sure our players will take advantage of this opportunity.”
Local speculation has him out until 2023 or even out for the season. “Manchester City have been left despondent by the news of De Bruyne’s long-term injury,” said The Guardian. They are now focusing on finding a replacement. They will be looking for a midfielder who can fill the void left by De Bruyne during the summer transfer window. Manchester City are urgently looking to sign a midfielder in the transfer market. The most likely target at this point is West Ham’s Lucas Paqueta.” Paqueta was actually linked with a move to Manchester City this summer. A personal agreement was finalized, but the transfer fee fell through. Manchester City wanted £88 million for the player, while West Ham wanted more than £90 million.
Holland’s shoulders were heavy. Elling Holland was the star of the show against Burnley last time out. The monster lived up to his nickname and dominated the Burnley defense. Holland opened the scoring in the fourth minute of the first half. Kevin De Bruyne’s cross from the right was headed into the center by Rodri. Holland took advantage of the gap in the opposing defense and found the back of the net.
In the 36th minute, he added a fantastic goal. Kyle Walker played the ball to Julian Alvarez in the center of the box. When Alvarez couldn’t find a shooting angle, he passed to Holland on the sideline. Holland fired a direct left-footed curling shot into the corner beyond the reach of James Trafford. With two goals in the first half alone, Holland was subbed off in the 34th minute of the second half and played 79 minutes on the day.
It was a performance worthy of the Premier League’s top scorer last season. In his first season at City, there was no adjustment period. He had a monster season, scoring 36 goals in 35 appearances. City won the historic ‘treble’ thanks to Holland’s performance.
Heading into this season, however, things were looking up. Holland played in four matches, including the Community Shield before the season started. However, his only goal came in the first preseason game against Yokohama Marinos (Japan). Holland scored twice against Yokohama, but they were outclassed by City.
In subsequent games, he was isolated, most notably in the Community Shield, where he struggled against the Arsenal defense and was held scoreless. Some wondered if he was jinxing his sophomore year.
But the worries were unfounded. He exploded from the first game of the season. Holland was Holland. Football stats site Footmob gave Holland an 8.8 rating for his two goals on the day. He was second on the team behind Rodri, who had one goal and one assist and was rated 8.9.
Of course, it’s been a dominant season for Holland in 2022-23. He scored a whopping 36 goals in his first season in the Premier League with Manchester City. Harry Kane chased him diligently, but his 30 goals left him six goals behind.
The squad also saw some changes. Guendouane left for Barcelona, and Riyad Mahrez switched sides. More recently, The Athletic reported that Manchester City had accepted a bid from Saudi Arabian professional league side Al-Nasr for Laporte. Laporte is reportedly open to a move to Saudi Arabia.
Laporte, a former Spain international, is a star player who joined Manchester City in 2018 for a transfer fee of €65 million. Since joining City, he has won five English Premier League titles, including last season’s treble, as well as the Big Ears, FA Cup, and Carabao Cup. He has 12 goals and four assists in 180 games for City.
City were led up front by Elling Holland, who took aim at the Sevilla goal. Jack Grealish, Phil Foden, and Cole Palmer provided firepower, while Rodri and Mateo Kovacic coordinated the attack and defense. The back four was Kyle Walker, Manuel Akanji, Nathan Ake, and Yoshko Gvardiol, with Ederson in goal.
Sevilla started with En Neciri up front. Erik Lamela, Oliver Torres, and Lucas Ocampos played in the second line, while Ivan Rakitic and Joan Jordaan protected the back four in the third. Marcos Acuña, Nemanja Gunday, Loic Bardet, and Jesus Navas were in defense, with Yacine Bunu in goal.
Sevilla pressed hard up front, harassing Manchester City’s buildup in the back. City quickly regrouped and looked to exploit Sevilla’s openings. In the seventh minute, Ake made a bold move forward and threatened the Sevilla goal with a header.
Manchester City focused on breaking down the Sevilla defensive block with a quick change of direction. Griliches got wide on the flank before cutting into the center and shooting, but he couldn’t get past Sevilla’s last line of defense, goalkeeper Bunu.
Sevilla spread out wide against Manchester City. The flankers rattled the space behind City with a series of strikes. In the 26th minute, a ball into the box was finished by Nesciri with a header to give Sevilla the lead.
Manchester City used Grillisi to rattle Sevilla. They pressed high up the line to put Sevilla under pressure. In the 32nd minute, Holland was fouled on a penetration and awarded a free kick. Phil Foden stepped up to take the shot but was blocked by the Sevilla defense. In the 36th minute, Akanji made a bold run into the Sevilla box and took a shot on goal. He then tried to find the back of the net with a header off a corner kick from Manchester City, but to no avail.
Sevilla scored the first goal of the game, but their two-man defense stifled the Manchester City attack as much as possible. Manchester City won a free kick when Rodri came up high in the area and kept the ball. After a short pass, he tried to set up a pattern to break down the Sevilla wall, but was again stopped by defensive organization. The same was true of Walker’s rebounded mid-range effort.
Sevilla denied him a chance by tackling Grealish on the break. Manchester City tried to attack down the flanks in first-half stoppage time, rattling Sevilla with short passes in the box, but they couldn’t find a way past Sevilla’s solid back line, which dropped down to defend. A threatening cross from Grillisi was met by a flurry of runs from Kovacic and Cole Palmer, but it didn’t find anyone’s feet.
Sevilla continued to threaten on the counter-attack in the second half. In the fourth minute of the second half, a solo effort broke down the Manchester City flank and found Nesciri. He was almost one-on-one with the keeper, but his shot was blocked by Ederson’s foot. Sevilla used En Neciri again to send chills down Manchester City’s spine. Eight minutes into the second half, he tried a direct free kick, but it was straight at Éderson.
Sevilla’s flanking attacking pattern was threatening. But a pounding Manchester City rattled the net. In the 18th minute of the second half, Cole Palmer broke free from behind the Sevilla central defense and scored with his head. It was a clever use of the Sevilla defense’s attention to Holland. Sevilla then utilized En Neciri to hit the Manchester City backline, only to be denied again by Ederson.
The game was back to square one, but the teams were evenly matched. Sevilla rattled Manchester City with a series of straightforward attacks. Manchester City, in turn, tried to rattle Sevilla around Holland and pull off the upset. When Sevilla tried a crossing pattern from the flank, even Jack Grealish joined the defense to stop the Sevilla attack. Pep Guardiola brought on Julian Alvarez to spark the attack. Sevilla responded to the Manchester City substitution with Rafa Mir and Suso.
In the end, neither team scored until late stoppage time. There was no extra time in the Supercup, but a penalty shootout to decide the winner. The first kicker, Holland, was successful. Sevilla responded with Ocampos. The second kicker was Alvarez, who succeeded with a kick aimed at the top of the box. Rafa Miró also rattled the net with a daring shot.
The third kicker was Kovacic, who beat Bunu with a low shot. Sevilla also scored when Rakitic beat Ederson. The fourth kicker was Grigorić, who calmly slotted home. Sevilla’s Monreal was also sharp from the spot. 안전놀이터
It was a tense battle between the kickers. The fifth kicker was Kyle Walker, wearing the captain’s armband. He was caught by the Bunu goalkeeper and roared with success. However, Sevilla’s final kick hit the post and gave Manchester City the win.