Manchester City begin their quest to add a fifth trophy to their cabinet in 2023 when they face Urawa Red Diamonds in the FIFA Club World Cup semifinal.
Pep Guardiola’s team swept to the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League treble last season and added the UEFA Super Cup with a penalty shootout win over Sevilla in August.
J1 League outfit and AFC Champions League holders Urawa Reds booked their place in the semifinal with a 1-0 win over CONCACAF Champions Cup winners Club Leon.
The victors will take on Copa Libertadores kings Fluminense in Friday’s final in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
The Sporting News is following Urawa Reds vs. Man City live, providing score updates and commentary as it happens.
Urawa Reds vs Man City live score
|Hoibraten (OG) ’45
Urawa Reds (4-2-3-1, right to left): 1. Shusaku Nishikawa — 14. Takahiro Sekine, 28. Alexander Scholz, 5. Marius Hoibraten, 15. Takahiro Akimoto — 3. Atsuki Ito, 19. Ken Iwao — 21. Tomoaki Okubo, 25. Katio Yasui, 8. Yoshio Koizumi — 11. Jose Kante.
Man City (4-3-3 right to left): 31. Ederson — 2. Kyle Walker, 5. John Stones, 25. Manuel Akanji, 6. Nathan Ake — 27. Matheus Nunes, 16. Rodri, 8. Mateo Kovacic — 47. Phil Foden, 20. Bernardo Silva, 10. Jack Grealish.
Urawa Reds vs Man City live updates and commentary
Halftime: Well, that was a bit of a dirge but all was going to plan for Urawa until Hoibraten erred on the stroke of the interval. You’d imagine we’ll see the likes of Julian Alvarez, Oscar Bobb and Micah Hamilton soon, with City lacking cutting edge.
45th minute+1: Urawa respond with a foray forward to win a corner. City deal with it, Kante halts Grealish’s attempted counter somewhat agriculturally and gets a talking to from te referee.
45th minute: GOOOOAAAAAALLLLLL!!!! Marius Hoibraten (OG)!!!
Oh no, what have you done? Urawa have put in a determined defensive effort and are within touching distance of halftime as Nunes burst down the right. It’s a well-hit low cross, but there’s no pressure on Hoibraten. City aren’t playing with a centre-forward, remember. Dear old Marius clearly forgets and he slides in and buries the ball past Nishikawa and into his own net.
44th minute: Grealish dabs the ball over a sliding Sekine but he runs out of room and it’s a goal kick.
41st minute: A nice sharp one-two between Kovacic and Rodri but Urawa manage to shut the door on the Croatia international. Hoibraten with the crucial challenge.
38th minute: Akanji chips a pass to no one in particular out for a goal kick. Guardiola applauds, presumably for the ambition as opposed to the God-awful execution. The crowd cheer as Erling Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne appear on the big screen. To say City could do with their injured duo’s cutting edge would be an understatement.
38th minute: Grealish skips around the outside of Sekine to win City’s latest corner. They take it short, Kovacic is involved. Here’s Foden with a rasping shot. It’s a nice height and Nishikawa pushes to safety.
31st minute: Nunes bustles down the right channel and bursts through a challenge. The ball sits up nicely and Nishikawa does well to turn behind a left-footed effort that was travelling.
30th minute: Foden whips in cross from Grealish’s pass. Nunes gets the glancing header all wrong. That was a better chance than he made it look.
29th minute: Grealish swings in the corner from the left and Nishikawa is almost caught out with an “Olimpico” punching clear from under his crossbar at the back post.
28th minute: Foden and Silva switch positions and the latter tees up the former but his shot is into traffic. Now Foden again. A bit more urgency about City with the England an through the middle. Rodri lines up another low drive and it’s deflected behind.
25th minute: Yasui gets the jump on Akanji around halfway, the City defender pulls him back and that’s an obvious first yellow card of the evening.
24th minute: Nishikawa makes a good claim but then thunders the ball downfield straight to the City centre-backs. His team could really have done with a breather there. Although City have created little of note, chasing the ball around is tiring work in these conditions.
19th minute: Grealish chips one in behind for Silva but Nishikawa is alert to the danger. Those two could do with the rest of the City attack joining in at some point.
16th minute: Grealish again. This time he rolls a pass back to Silva who clips a shot over from the edge of the box.
14th minute: A bit of space for Grealish, who is hanging out very wide on the left. He sizes up Sekine, exchanges passes with Silva but the Urawa right-back blocks his shot.
10th minute: More larking about from Ederson that Kante almost capitalises upon. City picking up from where they left off against Crystal Palace at the weekend defensively.
9th minute: Stones sells Ederson a bit short with a backpass and the City goalkeeper is forced into a challenge on Kante. He gets there first and gets some of the striker for good measure. That was dicey.
8th minute: Rodri is responsible for City being here after scoring the winner in the Champions League final against Internazionale. He lines up a shot from all of 30 yards that whistles wide. Caught that sweetly.
6th minute: Kovacic has been getting beyond Silva a fair bit during the opening stages and the Croatia midfielder looks to retrieve a long ball over the top. Nishikawa is there to gather.
1st minute: We’re off. The early indications are that Silva will be City’s central attacker with Foden and Grealish either side.
5 minutes prior to kickoff: Here come the teams. City in their white and maroon change strip. Uwara Reds dressed as you’d expect.
20 minutes prior to kickoff: Here’s a pertinent bit of trivia. Which manager dealt Pep Guardiola his first Champions League defeat? Barcelona lost Wisla Krakow in the second leg of a third-round qualifier, from which the Blaugrana progressed overall. Maciej Skorża, current Urawa Red Diamonds coach, was in charge of the Polish side that day.
40 minutes prior to kickoff: Pep Guardiola is attempting to win the Club World Cup for a fourth time and become the first man in history to do so with three separate clubs, having done so twice at Barcelona and once in his first season at Bayern Munich. He told biographer Marti Perarnau for his book Pep Confidential that he views Barca’s 4-0 win over Santos in the 2011 final as the all-time peak of that side. In that game, Guardiola picked Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Cesc Fabregas and Thiago Alcantara in the same team with Lionel Messi as a false nine. Perhaps City can produce something similar for the purists tonight?
1 hour prior to kickoff: This is the City XI and, with Erling Haaland still not fit and Julian Alvarez on the bench, Guardiola is going back to the future in the Club World Cup with a false nine set up. We’ll tell you what we mean in a moment. Jack Grealish, Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva make up a front three that is likely to be very fluid.
Our #ClubWC line-up!
XI | Ederson, Walker (C), Stones, Akanji, Ake, Rodrigo, Kovacic, Nunes, Bernardo, Grealish, Foden
— Manchester City (@ManCity) December 19, 2023
1 hr 5 mins prior to kickoff: Here’s the confirmed Urawa team. Semifinal hero Alex Schalk has to be content with a place on the bench. Takahiro Akimoto, Takahiro Sekine and Tomoaki Okubo all sustained knocks against Club Leon but have been passed fit to start.
— 浦和レッズオフィシャル (@REDSOFFICIAL) December 19, 2023
1 hr 20 mins prior to kickoff: Kevin De Bruyne’s appearance during Manchester City’s open training session on Monday prompted plenty of excitement. The Belgium playmaker has not played since the opening 20 minutes of the Premier League season after undergoing hamstring injury. He might even be named among the substitutes this evening, given he’s part of the official squad list City handed in to FIFA. However, don’t expect him to feature. De Bruyne is not due back in action until the new year and it is widely assumed he is with his teammates in Saudi Arabia to step up his rehabilitation. I guess if there’s a penalty shootout he might come on.
1 hr 40 mins prior to kickoff: Fluminense rode their luck at times during yesterday’s semifinal but Jhon Arias’ 71st-minute penalty and a last-minute strike from Libertadores final hero John Kennedy secured a 2-0 win over Al Ahly. The Egyptian giants will remarkably contest their fourth consecutive third-place playoff in this tournament. Urawa and City will battle to avoid facing them.
2 hours prior to kickoff: Hello and welcome to The Sporting News’ live coverage of the FIFA Club World Cup semifinal between Urawa Red Diamonds and Manchester City.
📲 Match updates
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— Manchester City (@ManCity) December 19, 2023
Urawa Reds vs Man City lineups, team news
Guardiola will be determined to secure another title, despite the potential for a mid-season distraction for his squad, and he named a strong starting team in this clash. It features a favoured old tactic, with Phil Foden or Bernardo Silva set to operate as a false nine.
Star striker Erling Haaland is making positive steps in his recovery from a foot injury and could start for the defending European champions, although the game comes too soon for him, as well as Jeremy Doku (thigh). Kevin De Bruyne has travelled to Saudi Arabia but is not expected to feature in the tournament as he continues his rehabilitation from hamstring surgery.
Man City predicted lineup (4-2-3-1, right to left): 31. Ederson — 2. Kyle Walker, 5. John Stones, 25. Manuel Akanji, 6. Nathan Ake — 27. Matheus Nunes, 16. Rodri, 8. Mateo Kovacic — 47. Phil Foden, 20. Bernardo Silva, 10. Jack Grealish.
The Diamonds, commonly known as Urawa Reds, will be confident after their 1-0 win over Mexican side Club Leon in the previous round. Takahiro Akimoto, Takahiro Sekine and Tomoaki Okubo picked up knocks in the previous round but are all fit to start. Dutch winger Alex Schalk was their matchwinner but has to be content with a place on the bench once more.
Urawa Reds predicted lineup (4-2-3-1, right to left): 1. Shusaku Nishikawa — 14. Takahiro Sekine, 28. Alexander Scholz, 5. Marius Hoibraten, 15. Takahiro Akimoto — 3. Atsuki Ito, 19. Ken Iwao — 21. Tomoaki Okubo, 25. Katio Yasui, 8. Yoshio Koizumi — 11. Jose Kante Martinez.
Man City vs Urawa Reds live stream, TV channel
Here’s how to watch this Premier League match across selected areas of the world’s major regions:
|FIFA+, FIFA YouTube
FIFA+, FIFA YouTube
|TNT Sports 2
|discovery+, FIFA+, FIFA YouTube
|FIFA+, FIFA YouTube
|FIFA+, FIFA YouTube
USA/Canada/Australia: This game is available via FIFA+ and FIFA’s YouTube channel.
UK: This match is available for live broadcast on TNT Sports with streaming options on discovery+.