After doing so with Bayern Munich (2013) and Barcelona (2009, 2011), Guardiola became the first manager to win the Super Cup with three different teams, joining Carlo Ancelotti as the only managers to have won it four times.
On Wednesday, Manchester City celebrated its debut in the UEFA Super Cup by defeating Sevilla 5-4 in a penalty shootout to add yet another trophy to its impressive collection under manager Pep Guardiola.
In the Stadio Georgios Karaiskakis, City won after a 1-1 tie in regulation time and nine successful penalty kicks in the shootout. Nemanja Gudelj’s attempt against the crossbar was the game-winning shot.
It was the 15th trophy won by City under Guardiola’s leadership since his rule began in 2016, and it made up for the Community Shield loss to Arsenal in a penalty shootout ten days earlier.
“The manager made it so clear to us before the game how much he wants to win this trophy,” City midfielder Jack Grealish said of the annual showdown between the Champions League (City) and Europa League (Sevilla) champions from the previous season.
“You always want to win, but that made us want to win even more. This team has never succeeded. It’s a wonderful sensation. In the 25th minute of a game played in oppressive heat and humidity in Athens, Sevilla took the lead thanks to a spectacular header from Youssef En-Nesyri.
The European champions controlled the second half as City equalized through a header from winger Cole Palmer in the 63rd minute. Star scorer Erling Haaland played the entire game despite a crucial Premier League encounter against Newcastle on Saturday.
After winning the Super Cup with Bayern Munich (2013) and Barcelona (2009, 2011), Guardiola became the first manager to do it with three separate teams, joining Carlo Ancelotti as the only managers to achieve that feat.
On the stage in the middle of the field, Kyle Walker raised the trophy as his City teammates chanted “Champion!” and held up ticker tape. The club’s first-ever Premier League, FA Cup, and Champions League treble last season has made it a common sight.
This season might be more difficult for Guardiola and City as the game may have highlighted the team’s need for more inventiveness and goal threat in the wake of the summer losses of Riyad Mahrez and Ilkay Gundogan as well as the injury that could keep Kevin De Bruyne out for up to four months.
Palmer, a 21-year-old product of City’s academy who has emerged as the team’s most dangerous player and added a goal from Rodri’s cross to his Community Shield strike, might be one solution. Given that Mahrez has relocated to Saudi Arabia, he should play on the right wing more often this year.
Palmer is amazing, and he has great players to learn from and the best manager in the entire world, according to Walker. He must continue on, keep his feet on the ground as he has been, and continue to score goals. He will be alright if he keeps getting better.
Sevilla periodically caused City problems when they broke forward, and from one such attempt, En-Nesyri, who was making his first start for City, sneaked between Nathan Ake and Josko Gvardiol and leaped high to head in a cross from the left side from Marcos Acua.
In the second half, either side of Palmer’s goal, City goalkeeper Ederson Moraes made two stops from En-Nesyri, preventing the need for a save in the shootout.
Lucas Ocampos, Rafa Mir, Ivan Rakitic, and Gonzalo Montiel scored goals for Sevilla, while Haaland, Julian Alvarez, Mateo Kovacic, Grealish, and Walker scored goals for City.
Sevilla, which won the Europa League for a record-breaking seventh time last season, has only triumphed once in seven Super Cup appearances. That was when it first came out, in 2006.
Erik Lamela of Sevilla remarked, “It’s incredibly difficult for us, but I’m proud of my teammates. The team performed admirably; against a very, very excellent squad, we ran a lot.