Here are the City player ratings as Manchester City booked their place in the FIFA Club World Cup final with a 3-nil win over Urawa Red Diamonds. The European champions dominated the AFC Champions League winners and in truth rarely had to get out of second gear. The only negative on the night was the news that Erling Haaland, Kevin De Bruyne and Jeremy Doku won’t take any part in the tournament due to injury.
It was clear from the outset that the J-League side were determined to sit in deep and look to hit City on the counter. They defended for their lives in the first half but were undone by a superb piece of play from Matheus Nunes. The Portuguese midfielder made a surging run and his cross was diverted into his own goal by Urawa defender Marius Holbraten to give the treble winners a deserved lead in the 46th minute. The 1-nil lead City held at half-time was more than fair on the balance of play in the first half and in truth it should’ve been more.
Pep Guardiola’s side then quickly put the game to bed after half-time. Kyle Walker played through Mateo Kovacic in the 52nd minute with a sumptuous through ball and the Croatian midfielder expertly beat the Urawa keeper to make it 2-nil. Bernardo Silva then ended the contest 7 minutes later as Matheus Nunes saw a powerful effort saved by Shusaku Nishikawa and Bernardo fired in the rebound with the aid of a deflection to make it 3-nil.
City had chances to make it a bigger scoreline by full-time, but they booked their ticket for Friday’s final with ease. They will face Fluminense on Friday for the chance to add the FIFA Club World Cup to their trophy haul for 2023.
City player ratings:
Ederson-6/10: Didn’t have a lot to do but made one good save late in the second half.
Kyle Walker-6.5/10: Set up City’s second goal with a wonderful ball for Mateo Kovacic. Gave possession away on a few occasions in a mixed performance from the City captain.
John Stones-7.5/10: Looked back to his best since his return from injury. Was good at the back and class in possession in a good display from the England international.
Manuel Akanji-7/10: A professional performance from Akanji. Gave the City defence a sense of claim it has lacked in recent games.
Nathan Ake-7.5/10: Is just a Rolls Royce of a footballer. Rarely makes a mistake and does his work with minimal fuss.
Rodri-7.5/10: Dictated the game and was always a threat on the edge of the box. Is the heart and soul of Pep Guardiola’s side and it showed here.
Mateo Kovacic-7.5/10: Scored his first goal for the club with a wonderful finish. Is starting to return to his best form after injuries struck.
Matheus Nunes-8/10: City’s man-of-the-match. His drive from midfield set up the opening goal and he was a constant threat throughout. Superb performance.
Bernardo Silva-7.5/10: Grabbed a goal and put himself about in a typical Bernardo performance. Was a constant threat to the Urawa defence.
Jack Grealish-6.5/10: Toiled away on the left wing but was a frustrating performance from Grealish. Still did his job but his final product was just off on the night.
Phil Foden-7/10: Was quality on the ball whether it be out on the right or through the middle. Just oozes class whenever he’s on the ball.
Oscar Bobb-6.5/10: Some dazzling touches after coming on. Will be a special player once he matures.
Julian Alvarez-6/10: A busy performance off the bench. Does appear to need a goal.
Jokso Gvardiol-6/10: One great piece of play after coming on and could have shot instead of squaring the ball.
Kalvin Phillips-N/A: Not on long enough to mark.
Sergio Gomez-N/A: Not on long enough to mark.