Football News

Player ratings as Man City edge Sevilla on penalties to win first European trophy of the season

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 22:10, 16 August 2023

This season’s first piece of European silverware was up for grabs in Greece as Manchester City and Sevilla contested the UEFA Super Cup.

Pep Guardiola’s men are the defending European champions while José Luis Mendilibar’s side won their club’s seventh Europa League crown last term.

Played in the Piraeus heat it was Sevilla who got themselves in front through a Youssef En-Nesyri bullet header before Cole Palmer levelled proceedings.

With no extra time, the contest swiftly moved to a dreaded shootout which saw the Champions League winners coming out on top winning 5-4. Nemanja Gudelj missing his spotkick.

Here’s how the players rated at the Karaiskakis Stadium:

Manchester City

Ederson – 7 – A game of two halves for the Brazilian sweeper-keeper. Had to pick the ball out while enjoying large swathes of the first half doing pretty much nothing. He was continuously forced into action following the break and came up big on more than one occasion.

Kyle Walker – 6 – Wearing the captain’s armband this evening, which could become a regular sight, and Walker’s experience shone especially when he made a vital touch in preventing a Sevilla chance on the hour mark.

Manuel Akanji – 5.5 – Filling in for John Stones but as good as the Swiss centre-back is he’s yet to master this role particular role the Barnsley Beckenbauer has made his own.

Josko Gvardiol – 5 – Following an 11-minute cameo against Burnley last time out, the Croat started here and will be kicking himself that his reaction to En-Nesyri’s run — which led to Sevilla’s opening goal — was too slow. He didn’t put a foot wrong in the remainder of the game.

Nathan Ake – 5 – Could have put City in front but played a role in Sevilla’s deadlock-breaking goal as he couldn’t spot En-Nesyri in time. Could have redeemed himself with a late header, but his effort went over.

Rodri – 7 – Another faultless performance as City’s deep-lying midfielder. Rodri again retained and recycled possession effortlessly. He even provided the cross for Palmer’s equaliser. 

Mateo Kovacic – 5.5 – Often surrounded by Sevilla jerseys once in possession, Kovacic is capable of playing out of danger but is lacking the zig that Ilkay Gündoğan offered this Guardiola team.

Phil Foden – 6 – Kevin De Bruyne’s absence opens the door for Phil Foden to carry those creative duties. Moments of ingenuity this evening were too few and far between.

Cole Palmer – 7.5 – The multifunctional talent made his 13th start under Pep Guardiola and justified his manager’s decision by equalising for the English champions with a smart header. With his confidence rising the youngster could have single-handily decided this contest.

Jack Grealish – 6.5 – Much better showing from last time out against Burnley, the England winger completed more take-ons (4) than anyone starting this game.

Erling Haaland – 4 – Another rare quiet outing for the Norwegian monster who barely had a sniff on goal.

Substitutes:

Julian Alvarez (for Palmer 85) – N/A – A late sub.


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Sevilla

Yassine Bounou – 7 – Recently linked with a move to Real Madrid, which never materialised, and the Moroccan shot-stopper displayed why he’s so highly thought of.

Jesus Navas – 6.5 – Rolling back the years, Navas relished the opportunity to face Grealish, and he often came out on top. The veteran Spaianard still possesses a sharp brain as he completed a game-high four interceptions.

Loïc Badé – 5.5 – First man to enter referee Francois Letexier’s book after Haaland gave him the slip.

Nemanja Gudelj – 6 – Gave his body for the team when he took a Foden shot straight in the face. It was more similar energy in the final stages of the game when City were in the ascendency.

Marcos Acuña – 6 – Missed last season’s Europa League final through suspension, but made up for it with a simple and effective cross for En-Nesyri to head Sevilla in front.

Joan Jordán – 6 – A surprise inclusion given Djibril Sow came on Fernando in Sevilla’s loss to Valencia last time out. To his credit, Jordan didn’t let his manager down with a credible performance in midfield.

Ivan Rakitić – 5.5 – Another experienced member of this Sevilla team. Rakitić may no longer be the exhilarating midfielder but he’s still a capable hand.

Oliver Torres – 4.5 – Deployed as Sevilla’s deep-lying forward, essentially backing up En-Nesyri, but the 28-year-old was more defensive-minded having attempted no fewer than four tackles.

Lucas Ocampos – 6 – Fortunate to get away with a booking after hacking down a marauding Grealish on the stroke of half-time. Came alive in the second half when he regularly found himself getting behind City’s defence.

Érik Lamela – 5.5 – The former Tottenham man had a speculative effort on goal, aside from that he seldom gave City’s backline a tough evening, also shown a yellow after recklessly challenging Ake.

Youssef En-Nesyri – 7.5 – The man for the big moments last season. Put the Europa League holders ahead with a stunning close-range header after dominating Gvardiol and Ake in the air. He should have doubled Sevilla’s lead early into the second half.

Substitutes:

Juanlu Sánchez (for Torres 71) – 3 – Went into the book for a late challenge on Gvardiol.

Gonzalo Montiel (for Navas 83) – N/A – A late sub.

Rafa Mir (for En-Nesyri 90+2) – N/A – A late sub.

Suso (for Lamela 90+2) – N/A – A late sub.

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