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regular-article-logo Thursday, 18 April 2024

Club World Cup has given Manchester City chance to reset, says Rodri

We have to give our best to try to win everything because it will be history, the midfielder says

AP/PTI Jeddah Published 21.12.23, 08:34 AM
Representational image.

Representational image. File picture

The Club World Cup has given Manchester City a break from their recent poor form in the English Premier League and the players are determined to put in the hard work and turn results around, midfielder Rodri said.

City have won only one of their last six league games and have dropped to fourth, five points behind leaders Arsenal, but the treble winners have booked their spot in the Club World Cup final with Tuesday’s 3-0 victory over Urawa Red Diamonds.

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European champions City, who also won the Uefa Super Cup this year, have missed the influence of injured Belgian playmaker Kevin De Bruyne while a foot problem has denied them the services of goal machine Erling Haaland recently.

While manager Pep Guardiola said De Bruyne, who has made only one league appearance this season due to a hamstring injury, has returned to training, but Haaland remains out.

The duo will miss Friday’s final against Brazilian side Fluminense.

“We have to give our best to try to win everything because it will be history. It would be an amazing run if we end with five titles,” Rodri said.

“(The last few games) left a very bad feeling in the changing room for us, so I think it was good for us to stop a little bit and then come here to the (Club) World Cup.

“When you’re in that moment you’re in this mixture of feeling that you have failed and dropping points. It’s a time when you can’t speak much, you have to be quiet, work as hard as you can and results will come out.”

After it took Man City until first-half stoppage time to score from an own goal by defender Marius Hoibraten, Mateo Kovacic and Bernardo Silva struck with shots in a seven-minute spell early in the second half.

“It’s the only title that the club don’t have,” City manager Pep Guardiola said.

“The players know how important this game is for all of us at the club.”

A winning Club World Cup debut followed City closing out a perfect six-win streak in their Champions League group this month.

City needed some help to score first Friday when Hoibraten diverted goalward a pass across the goalmouth by Matheus Nunes that was unlikely to find another of the six midfield players in the starting lineup.

With Haaland unavailable, Guardiola also opted to leave Argentina forward Julian Alvarez on the bench.

The biggest cheers during a lacklustre first half came when the faces of City stars Haaland and De Bruyne sitting in the main stand were broadcast on the screens placed high at each end of the King Abdullah Sports City Stadium.

Otherwise the noise from a 40,127 crowd inside a far-from-full stadium was raised by about 400 red-and-black clad Urawa fans packed behind one goal.

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