After Cole Palmer stole the show, Manchester City defeated Sevilla on penalties in Athens to win their first trophy of the year.
Five days after they beat Burnley to kick off the new Premier League season, Pep Guardiola’s Treble winners faced Europa League champion Sevilla in Athens in sweltering heat.
Youssef En-Nesyri’s strong header gave Sevilla the lead just before halftime as they were happy to play on the counter-attack. Youngster Palmer then came to their aid with another excellent header in the second half.
After losing to Arsenal at Wembley in the Community Shield, City was able to build on that equalizer before winning on penalties. This is their first trophy of the year.
As the Champions League champions, City were strong favorites to win the game, but Kevin De Bruyne was missing due to a long-term injury.
Due to illness, Bernardo Silva was also absent, leaving just young Palmer and Erling Haaland to provide real sparks in the scorching heat of Greece.
When City returns to the Premier League on Saturday night at the Etihad, they will need to regroup in order to beat Eddie Howe’s Newcastle and extend their winning streak to two games in a row.
Haaland, Julian Alvarez, Mateo Kovacic, Jack Grealish, and Kyle Walker all scored in the shoot-out, and Nemanja Gudelj missed Sevilla’s chance to add to their victory over Roma in May after missing the fifth penalty.
The game finished past midnight local time but City fans were in fine voice as players wildly celebrated following their triumph, with Freed from Desire blasted out around the Karaiskakis Stadium.
Palmer spoke to TNT Sports after the match, saying that he even gave Haaland an instruction before nodding home the vital equalizer: “Yeah I think I just said my name and he ducked
When questioned about if he was performing at his peak, he responded, “No, not yet, as Kyle said, it’s still early in the season, and I just have to keep going from here.”
“This guy is terrific,” Walker had observed, “and he has great players to learn from and the best management in the world.
He must continue, keep his feet on the ground as he has been, and score goals. He’ll be okay if he keeps making progress.
“He simply needs to keep his feet on the ground and keep listening to me behind him,” he then jokingly said.
Yes, of course (I listen to him), I sit next to him in the loo’, Palmer retorted.
The 21-year-old joined Michael Owen for Liverpool in 2001 as the only player to ever score in the Community Shield and Super Cup finals during the same season.