Manchester City ended an incredible year by winning their fifth trophy of 2023 on Friday, defeating Brazilian team Fluminense 4-0.
Julian Alvarez scored the fastest goal ever in a Club World Cup final.
This year, Pep Guardiola’s club had already won the FA Cup, Premier League, Champions League, and UEFA Super Cup. However, they were missing injured striker Erling Haaland from the international competition.
Forty seconds after kickoff, Alvarez had the visiting City supporters roaring.
Nathan Ake’s long shot was well-pushed off the post by goalkeeper Fabio, but Alvarez was there to the rebound, going down on his hands and knees to chest it in.
In the 27th minute, Nino scored an own goal by diverting a Phil Foden effort into the net.
In the 72nd minute, Foden scored the game’s winning goal after sliding to poke in a powerful cross from Alvarez across the box.
With a strike from just inside the box to complete his brace in the 88th, Alvarez delighted City supporters by breaking into “Blue Moon.”
Guardiola became the first manager in history to lead three separate teams to Club World Cup victories after leading Barcelona to the title in 2009 and 2011, then Bayern Munich in 2013.
This week, Guardiola emphasised to his team the significance of “closing the circle” on the team’s trophies and accomplishing a “once-in-a-lifetime” objective.
I got the message. Fluminense, who play the traditional Brazilian short-passing possession style, were never able to get going by City.
The best opportunity for the Brazilians would have been the penalty that referee Szymon Marciniak first gave after Ederson knocked down Paulo Henrique Ganso.
However, technology revealed he was mistaken.
Just before halftime, Jhon Arias met a corner with a thundering header that Ederson dove across the net to push away. Ederson, the City keeper, had little to do, but he produced a fantastic save.
The only negative aspect of City’s evening was Rodri’s apparent knee injury, which caused him to collapse onto the pitch after Alexsander grabbed him by the ankle.
Rodri clutched the back of his knee right away.
He went down again and fled the ground in agony, but he was able to return to the game for a short while after receiving treatment.
As the tournament’s best player, Rodri was given the Golden Ball and was able to cross the presentation stage to collect his prize.
Kyle Walker, the captain of City, won the silver ball.
An expanded 32-team format will be used in the 2025 tournament in the US.