By bringing his team back into the game, the young homegrown attacker demonstrated there is no need to sign a replacement for Riyad Mahrez.
Manchester City can retain every penny of Riyad Mahrez’s transfer money since Cole Palmer is the Algerian’s exact oven-ready replacement. On Wednesday night in Athens, City’s homegrown attacker saved Pep Guardiola’s team from certain defeat and put them on the road to winning the UEFA Super Cup at Sevilla’s cost.
Youssef En-Nesyri triumphed above Manuel Akanji to head the ball in from a cross by Marcos Acuna in the first half, shocking the triple champions. The Europa League champions thrive on the big moment and controlled the whole of the second half. Without Ederson, they would have increased their lead by twofold.
With just under 30 minutes remaining, Palmer headed in a cross from Rodri to tie the score, and Guardiola’s team appeared more likely to prevail in the full 90 minutes. Both teams scored their first four penalty kicks in the shootout, which was nerve-wracking because there was no winner at the end of regulation.
Nemanja Gudelj’s attempt, though, was blocked by the crossbar after Kyle Walker scored City’s fifth goal, giving the Citizens their fourth title of 2023 and Guardiola a record-tying fourth Super Cup.