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Manchester City Advances to FIFA Club World Cup Final with Convincing Win

Manchester City made history by securing their spot in the final of the FIFA Club World Cup (CWC) for the first time. In a dominant display, they defeated Urawa Red Diamonds 3-0 in Jeddah, finally breaking their eight-match streak without a clean sheet in all competitions.

Despite the absence of their star striker Erling Haaland, Pep Guardiola made a bold decision to start the match without a recognized striker. This lack of a focal point initially posed a challenge for the European champions, as they struggled to create clear-cut chances despite their dominance in possession and territory.

Matheus Nunes was the first to threaten the Urawa goal, with his close-range volley being expertly tipped over the bar by goalkeeper Shusaku Nishikawa. Nishikawa then denied Phil Foden’s long-range effort by pushing it around the post.

However, just before halftime, Urawa Reds made a costly error. Nunes found space on the right and delivered a dangerous low cross, which unfortunately deflected off Marius Høibråten and into his own net. It was a cruel blow for Urawa after their spirited defensive display.

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With the deadlock broken, Manchester City came out strong in the second half. Within six minutes, they doubled their lead thanks to an exquisite through ball from Kyle Walker that sent Mateo Kovačić through on goal. The Croatian international kept his composure and rifled the ball home, scoring his first goal for the club.

The floodgates were now threatening to open, and Urawa had Nunes to thank for missing a point-blank header from Jack Grealish’s pinpoint cross. It was a golden opportunity wasted.

Manchester City continued to dominate, and their third goal came with a stroke of luck. Bernardo Silva’s shot took a deflection, leaving the Urawa goalkeeper with no chance to save it.

Despite late substitutions disrupting the flow of Guardiola’s side, the job was more than done. Manchester City secured their place in the final, where they will face Fluminense on Friday. The team has the chance to win their fifth trophy of 2023, while Guardiola could lift the CWC for the fourth time, achieving this feat with a third different side.

The final promises to be an exciting clash between Manchester City and the Copa Libertadores champions. As the anticipation builds, football fans around the world eagerly await the outcome of this historic tournament.

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