Manchester City dominated Fluminense on Friday to secure its first FIFA Club World Cup title. Pep Guardiola, however, is used to winning the competition. The victory was the manager’s fourth triumph at the Club World Cup. He previously collected two titles with Barcelona and another with Bayern Munich.

The matchup involved the two favorites to lift the trophy at the start of the tournament. City qualified for the competition by collecting its first-ever UEFA Champions League title at the end of the previous season. Fluminense, on the other hand, triumphed at the 2023 Copa Libertadores back in November to advance to the Club World Cup. Much like its opponents on the night, it was its first South American championship.

City scores quickest-ever goal in the competition’s history

The European champions took an extremely early lead on the night after scoring in just 40 seconds. It was the fastest goal in the history of the Club World Cup. Central defender Nathan Ake initiated the move by striking the post with a gorgeous curling shot from long range.

With the Fluminense goalkeeper, Fabio, still on the ground after making a diving attempt, Julian Alvarez capitalized on the open goal. The Argentine forward chested the ball down and into the back of the net from a few yards out. Although the City attacker surely looked offside, replays showed that the star was played on by an opposing defender.

The Brazilians were awarded a penalty in the 16th minute after Ederson tripped German Cano inside the box. However, the City keeper was saved by the assistant referee, as the Fluminense attacker was narrowly offside. Semi-automated offside technology quickly confirmed that the on-field call was correct.

City then doubled their lead in the 27th minute thanks to an own goal by Nino. Phil Foden grabbed possession in a dangerous position going forward. The winger tried to square a pass to Alvarez in the middle of the box, but the ball ricocheted off of the Fluminense captain and into the goal. Fabio could not do anything to keep the ball out of his net.

Both teams had good chances to score before the halftime break. However, Ederson and Fabio both made fantastic saves to deny their counterparts in the final stages of the half. The Fluminense keeper stopped a quality shot by Jack Grealish from distance just minutes before the halftime whistle.

Pep’s crew scores two more goals but sweats a key injury

City continued to press on to try to add to their lead in the early stages of the second half. In fact, Fabio made three significant saves in the first eight minutes of the period. The first two blocks came on back-to-back shots just moments after the break. John Stones then sent a header wide of the post from a corner kick in the 62nd minute as well.

Although they had a commanding lead, City fans received a worry when Rodri went down with an apparent injury. Fluminense substitute Alexsander Gomes earned a booking for a late challenge on the midfielder’s foot. Rodri remained on the pitch for a few minutes before making way for Manuel Akanji.

Nevertheless, the English side added a third goal in the 72nd minute. Mateo Kovacic won possession deep into enemy territory. The midfielder fed Alvarez out on the flank, who then sent a square cross to Phil Foden inside the middle of the box. The Argentine placed his pass perfectly on the Englishman’s sliding foot. Foden just had to get a touch on the ball to score the goal.

Alvarez finished off the match with another strike just two minutes from the full-time whistle. The Argentine made a clever move to open up a small gap in the Fluminense defense. He then emphatically sent the ball into the bottom corner of the net to give his club a convincing 4-0 victory.