Thirteen days ago, Manchester City suffered a heart-wrenching defeat in a tie-breaker against Arsenal in the Community Shield. Earlier on the same day, the team had triumphed over Sevilla in a tie-breaker during the UEFA Super Cup. Consequently, the Citizens, making their inaugural appearance in the Super Cup, were elated by clinching the title.
On Wednesday night in Athens, Manchester City emerged victorious in the UEFA Super Cup tie-breaker, prevailing 5-4. The regular-time match had ended in a 1-1 draw.
This title showdown occurs between the winners of the Champions League and the Europa League at the start of the season. Manchester City secured their victory in this event for the first time. Conversely, Sevilla had to content themselves with being the runners-up for the sixth time. The Spanish side had previously secured the title in 2006 for the first time.
As a manager, Pep Guardiola has participated in the Super Cup on four occasions, clinching the title each time. In this exhilarating triumph, Guardiola not only secured all conceivable titles as the Citizens’ coach but also equaled the record set by Carlo Ancelotti. Guardiola has now won the UEFA Super Cup four times, becoming the second coach to do so after Ancelotti. The Spanish coach previously secured this title in 2009 and 2011 as the manager of Barcelona and in 2013 while in charge of Bayern Munich.
However, the match itself was intensely competitive right from the outset. Sevilla, seven-time winners of the Europa League, took the lead in the first half courtesy of Youssef N-Nasiri’s goal. In the 25th minute, the Moroccan forward leaped into the penalty box to head the ball into the net from Marcos Acuna’s delivery from the left flank.
City’s young winger, Cole Palmer, leveled the scoreline in the second half. In the 63rd minute, the promising English forward expertly headed the ball into the net from Rodri’s cross. Following this, City secured victory through the tie-breaker.
City’s Arling Haaland, Julian Alvarez, Mateo Kovacic, Jack Grealish, and Kyle Walker all successfully converted their shots in the shootout.
Sevilla’s Lucas Ocampos, Rafa Mir, Ivan Rakitic, and Gonzalo Montiel all found the net in their first four attempts. However, Nemanja Godel’s fifth shot struck the crossbar, securing victory for City.
In addition to their triumph, The Citizen received another piece of uplifting news: according to the updated club ranking by UEFA, Manchester City is now the top-ranked team in Europe. This marks a historic milestone for City and is the first time any English club has held this position in 12 years.
The UEFA club ranking, a significant advantage for clubs, plays a crucial role in the draw for the upcoming season. It even plays a direct role in determining funding from European football authorities. The ranking is based on teams’ performance in the Champions League, Europa League, and Conference League over the last five seasons, and it is updated after each round. While positions may shift throughout the season, the end-of-season rankings carry greater importance, and this is the first occasion where City has occupied the pinnacle of the end-of-season rankings.