Manchester City concludes their Champions League at home against Sevilla this evening. Pep Guardiola’s side is set to finish first, whatever the outcome at the Etihad, but they will be hoping to finish with a win and keep their unbeaten record intact. So far, the city has won three games and drawn two, conceding only one goal. In the rematch, they triumphed 4-0 in Spain in early September. Whatever happens tonight, Sevilla will finish third in the group and return to the Europa League in the new year, a recently dominated competition, winning it four times in the last seven seasons.
Man City vs. Sevilla:
Rico Lewis became the youngest player to score on his debut, sparking a Manchester City comeback in a 3-1 win over Sevilla. After Rafa Mir had given Sevilla a surprising first-half lead, the 17-year-old right-back calmly tapped home the equalizer. In pursuit of a winner, the city brought Kevin De Bruyne from the bench. He delivered within three minutes, setting up Julian Alvarez with a magnificent assist – his 12th of the season. Alvarez then provided his second-night assist, setting up Riyad Mahrez to seal the game as City won Group G.
Pep Guardiola’s Play:
Guardiola resisted the temptation to bring Erling Haaland back into the fold after the goalscoring machine suffered from sickness and a foot injury. Still, he’s expected to be available for Saturday’s match against Fulham. City’s last two Champions League games ended in draws, and they failed to score in a lackluster first-half performance. Meanwhile, Sevilla posed the more significant attacking threat, and Mir had already had two shots on goal before scoring in 31 minutes. City’s defense was atrocious, as Mir was allowed to loop a header into the far corner in three yards of space from an Isco corner.
Sevilla’s Smart Play:
Despite the equalizer, City struggled to create space against Sevilla’s low block, prompting Guardiola to bring on De Bruyne from the bench. Alvarez had been making excellent runs in behind the Sevilla center-backs all evening, but no one had seen him until De Bruyne scooped up the ball on the halfway line and played a great ball in behind that he latched onto. The striker then around the goalkeeper and blasted into the roof of the net.
Man City‘s Play:
Before the interval, City had nine shots, but just one of them was on target. Guardiola changed his tactics at halftime, taking Jack Grealish off and inserting another central midfielder, Rodri, into the game. Guardiola stated that Grealish was “the best player”, but he was removed for tactical and fatigue reasons. This allowed City’s two full-backs to play as wingers rather than inverted midfielders, and Lewis – born in 2004 – scored the equalizer. After a successful high press, Alvarez sent a perfectly weighted ball through for Lewis, who kept his calm admirably for someone so young and scored with an excellent finish.
What To Expect Next?
Man City has three games left before the World Cup. On Saturday, they play Fulham in the Premier League at 3 p.m. They will play Chelsea in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday, November 9, live on Sky Sports at 8 p.m. Their penultimate encounter before the World Cup is against Brentford in the Premier League on Saturday, November 12, at 12.30 pm. Sevilla has two more La Liga games against Real Betis and Real Sociedad before facing Velarde in the Copa del Rey on Sunday, November 13.
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