Match Report

City secure UEFA Super Cup after Palmer header sets up penalty shoot-out drama

City secure UEFA Super Cup after Palmer header sets up penalty shoot-out drama
UEFA Super Cup
UEFA Super Cup
Wed 16 Aug
Cole Palmer 

Youssef En-Nesyri 
Man City win 5-4 on penalties
View highlights
A dramatic penalty shoot-out with Sevilla ended in a 5-4 victory to secure City the prize of the 2023 UEFA Super Cup in Athens.

A tense, hard fought encounter in the Greek capital had ended with honours even at 1-1 after 90 minutes with man of the match Cole Palmer’s second half penalty cancelling out a first half opener from Youssef En-Nesryi.

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Both sides could have won the game in normal time with Ederson making several key saves to deny En-Nesyri and Nathan Ake twice seeing goal bound headers blocked.

That set the scene for a nerve shredding spot-kick shoot out.

And after five successful City penalties, Sevilla’s Nemanja Gudelj missed his fifth effort as it cannoned off the bar to secure a first piece of silverware in the 2023/24 season for Pep Guardiola’s side.

What happened

Though it was 10pm Athens time when the action got underway, it was still a hot, humid night in the Greek capital where temperatures had stayed above the 30 degree mark for the majority of a sun drenched day.

Along with the army of travelling supporters from Manchester and Seville, there was a huge turnout from local Athenian supporters too – many sporting City colours – which made for a vibrant atmosphere at Olympiakos’ atmospheric Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium.

And the off-field heat was matched on it as both teams made a vibrant opening to an eagerly-awaited clash.

With summer signing Josko Gvardiol making his first City start and deployed at left back, it was the Champions League and Treble winners who carved out the initial pressure.

ACTION MAN: Jack Grealish powers forward
ACTION MAN: Jack Grealish powers forward

Cole Palmer was first to threaten, firing in a sixth minute low shot from 20 yards. The drive was on target but safely gathered by Sevilla keeper Yassine Bounou.

Sixty seconds later Palmer then turned creator as he switched to left edge of the box before whipping in a superb cross from a short corner which was met by Nathan Ake’s powerful close-range header.

Somehow Bounou flung himself to his right to brilliantly palm the effort to safety.

Jack Grealish was the next to test the Sevilla keeper’s reflexes on 17 minutes, the England winger prowling forward before drifting in and letting fly from just outside the box.

Bounou was again equal to the task however.

And out of nowhere it was Sevilla who made the opening breakthrough on 26 minutes.

Marcos Acuna was the architect, the Argentine World Cup winner powering down the right flank before delivering a superb teasing cross.

There was still work to do but Sevilla’s Youssef En-Nesryi rose above Nathan Ake and Gvardiol to arrow a powerful header past Ederson into the corner of the net.

It was harsh on City but served to illustrate what makes the Spaniards such dangerous opponents.

POWER PLAY: Josko Gvardiol seeks to get City motoring
POWER PLAY: Josko Gvardiol seeks to get City motoring

And Sevilla nearly doubled their advantage just on the half hour as Erik Lamela arced in a rising shot from the right edge of the box which thankfully just cleared the target.

Dominating possession and territory, City sought to summon up a quick response with Rodri seeing a header just clear the target from a corner before Akanji saw a powerful goalbound effort blocked in the box.

A delicious slide rule Rodri pass to Foden almost opened up the Sevilla backline before another inviting Grealish cross just evaded the onrushing Erling Haaland and Meto Kovacic.

City sought to up the ante as the second half got under way but we were indebted to a wonderful save from Ederson on 49 which prevented En-Nesryi from doubling his and Sevilla’s tally.

Ocampos evaded a Kyle Walker challenge to lead a Sevilla breakaway up the left flank before crossing invitingly for En-Nesyri. Ederson though stuck out a crucial leg to block to Moroccan’s close-range shot.

There was an added urgency and tempo to the game with space opening up at either end and it needed a crucial touch from Walker to prevent danger man En-Nesyri reaching the end of another swift Sevilla counter.

But City’s persistance finally garnered a just reward on 63 minutes when Palmer added to a superb individual display by heading City level from a superb Rodri cross.

It was no less than City – and Palmer especially – deserved with the youngster showing great awareness and technique to run in at the blind side before guiding his header home past Bounou.

CENTRE OF ATTENTION: Manuel Akanji fends off the Sevilla front-line
CENTRE OF ATTENTION: Manuel Akanji fends off the Sevilla front-line

Almost immediately however, Ederson had to be alert once again to deny En-Nesyri.

Palmer though then delivered another audacious piece of skill cutting inside the Sevilla box on 69 minutes before forcing Bounou into another save.

Yet more superb work from Palmer almost fashioned an 80th minute opening for Haaland as City sought to convert our pressure.

And with injury time looming Bounou denied Ake once more after the Dutch defender stooped to meet Foden’s precise cross.

That set the scene for penalties.

And after Haaland, Alvarez, Kovacic, Grealish and skipper Walker had all scored Gudelj’s miss meant we were Super Cup champions.

PEP TALK: The boss urges City on
PEP TALK: The boss urges City on


CITY: Ederson, Walker (C), Akanji, Gvardiol, Ake, Rodrigo, Kovacic, Foden, Palmer (Alvarez 85), Grealish, Haaland

Subs: Ortega Moreno, Carson, Dias, Phillips, Stones, Laporte, Bobb, Gomez, Perrone, Lewis, McAtee

SEVILLA: Bounou, Ocampos, Gudelj, Bade, Jordán, Rakitić, En-Nesyri (Rafa Mir 90), Oliver Torres (Juanlu 71), Jesús Navas (Montiel 84), Lamela (Suso 90), Acuña

Subs: Dmitrović (GK), Gattoni, Pedrosa, Corona, Sow, Gómez, Kike Salas, Bueno

Goal king Cole

Another big occasion, another memorable moment for Cole Palmer.

After a brilliant strike against Arsenal in the Community Shield, Cole Palmer rounded off another excellent display with that excellent second half header.

Right from the word go Palmer was a thorn in the Spaniards with his skill, awareness and natural technique evident.

Hopefully the confidence of scoring goals in such high-profile goals will only see Cole go from strength to strength.

Make no mistake, this was a performance of the highest class.

Trophy hunters

Seeing the joy and jubilation on the face of Pep Guardiola and his players at full time said it all.

City are turning in serial winners and this latest piece of silverware had to be earned the hard way.

Lesser sides would have crumbled in the face of Sevilla's game plan.

But City stood stead fast and ultimately got the reward our efforts deserved.

What a team. What a club!

Pep’s reaction

“I’m proud. A lot. We knew it from moments earlier in the season and the quality of opponent,” Pep said afterwards.

“We were lucky because Eddy like in the final moments of the Champions League final saved us in the right moments.

“In general, the game was really good, we played better in the last 30 minutes of the second half.

“One week ago we lost to penalties (in the Community Shield) today we won it.

“Sevilla have experienced internationals an exceptional keeper, full backs quality up front, they play so direct and play the ball quick up front and they are really good at doing this.

“But in general, after conceding the goal we played well and for the last 30 minutes in particular.

“It was like the final against Inter a tight game, in that period football is like a coin."

LEVEL BEST: Cole Palmer heads City level.
LEVEL BEST: Cole Palmer heads City level.


"It was unbelievable. The manager made it so clear to us before the game how much he wants this trophy.

"You want to win everything anyway but that gave us more of an urge. it was a brilliant feeling.

"Over the last 10 or 15 years this club has been so successful, they've won so many Premier Leagues, FA Cups, Carabao Cups. We've been waiting for this. To add another one to the collection. This is what I came here to do.

"It was so hot and humid. They made it hard for us, fair play, they're a good team."

What it means

The UEFA Super Cup represents our first piece silverware of the 2023/24 campaign – and the 15th major trophy accumulated under the leadership of manager Pep Guardiola.

It’s also a third major European crown to add to our list of honours, following our Champions League triumph from June and European Cup Winners Cup success back in 1970.

The latest trophy also adds to the Club’s Treble of last season in the form of the Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup.

And there’s the possibility of another trophy before 2023 is out with City also looking forward to the challenge of taking part in the FIFA Club World Cup in Saudi Arabia in December.

All in all, a magnificent way to get the under new season truly up and running!

GET IN: Cole can't contain his delight
GET IN: Cole can't contain his delight

What’s next

It’s back to the Premier League for Pep and the players on Saturday, August 19 as we get set for our first home game of the 2023/24 campaign when we play host to Newcastle United.

Eddie Howe’s side were one of the standout teams of last season, eventually finishing in fourth position to seal their place in this term’s Champions League.

And the Magpies made a hugely impressive start to the new season last weekend when overpowering Aston Villa 5-1 at St James’ Park.

With City also off to a flyer after beating Burnley 3-0 at Turf Moor, it promises to be one of the most entertaining and challenging games in the early part of the season.

Kick-off at the Etihad is slated for 20.00 (UK) with the match being screened live in the UK on TNT Sports.
Cannot wait!


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