Champions League Round Of 16 – First Leg, Estadio Jose Alvalade – Sporting CP 0, Manchester City 5 (Mahrez 7′, Silva 17′, 44′, Foden 32′, Sterling 58′)
Manchester City dominated Sporting CP in Lisbon as they put five past the Portuguese outfit to plant one foot in the Champions League quarter-finals.
City dominated the first half and broke the deadlock through Riyad Mahrez. The assistant referee had signalled for offside after the Algerian finished off a silky City move from close-range, but the goal was given after an agonising VAR check overturned the decision.
City’s lead was doubled through an exquisite Bernardo Silva finish ten minutes later. The former Benfica star drilled a half-volley beyond Antonio Adan via the crossbar after Sporting failed to clear a corner.
Foden grabbed City’s third, marking his 150th appearance for the club with a goal as he tucked away Mahrez’s cross at the near-post.
Silva scored his second of the night to extend City’s lead to four goals on the stroke of half-time. Joao Cancelo dropped a ball into Raheem Sterling making a clever run in behind the Sporting defence, and Sterling cut it back for the arriving Silva to fire the ball beyond Adan.
The Portuguese midfielder had the ball in the back of the net for the third time five minutes into the second half after heading in a De Bruyne cross at the back post, but it was ruled out for offside.
Pep Guardiola’s side managed to find their fifth through Sterling, who bent a brilliant curling effort into the top right corner from 25 yards out.
The hosts had no reply to the Premier League leaders’ commanding display, as City held on for the clean sheet.
TALKING POINT – NO STOPPING CITY IN THIS MOOD
Man City all but qualified for the Champions League quarter-finals with an emphatic display in Portugal, blowing Sporting Lisbon away. It was one of the first games in the competition since the away goal rule was abolished, which raised concerns that away teams would sit back and defend the 0-0 draw to take home for the second leg. There was no suggestion of that at the Estadio Jose Alvalade tonight. City thrashed Sporting, and hardly seemed to get out of second gear in large parts of the match. It was too easy for them, and everyone will be wanting to avoid them in the next round.
MAN OF THE MATCH – BERNADO SILVA (MAN CITY)
Bernado Silva returned to Portugal and his former rivals’ ground from his Benfica days, and put in a magnificent display. He bagged himself a brace, and set up Raheem Sterling’s goal as he played a big part in City’s biggest ever away triumph in Europe.
His first goal was a thing of beauty, too. He met a weak clearance from a corner which dropped from a decent height, and connected beautifully to hammer the ball beyond the Sporting keeper via the crossbar. If there was ever a goal to display his brilliance, this was it. He almost had a hat trick, but his back post header five minutes into the second half was ruled offside.
SPORTING CP: Adan 3, Inacio 4, Coates 5, Reis 4, Porro 6, Palhinha 6, Nunes 5, Esgaio 6, Sarabia 4, Paulinho 4, Pote 4
Subs: Feddal 4, Tabata 4, Slimani 5, Neto N/A, Ugarte 5
MAN CITY: Ederson 6, Stones 7, Dias 8, Laporte 8, Cancelo 6, Rodri 7, De Bruyne 7, Bernardo 9, Mahrez 8, Foden 8, Sterling 7
Subs: Gundogan 7, Zinchenko 6, Fernandinho 6, Delap N/A
7’ – CITY HAVE THE BALL IN THE NET, BUT IT’S OFFSIDE: Mahrez turns the ball in from close range after a silky City move, but the assistant referee has his flag up. It’s being checked by VAR.
9 – GOAL! SPORTING CP 0-1 MAN CITY (MAHREZ): After an agonising VAR check, the referee’s decision is overturned and City take the lead!
17’ – GOAL! SPORTING CP 0-2 MAN CITY (SILVA): That’s special from the former Benfica man! The corner is only half cleared as far as Bernardo Silva 12 yards from goal, who drills a half volley into the top corner off the crossbar.
32’ – GOAL! SPORTING CP 0-3 MAN CITY (FODEN): He gets his goal on his 150th City appearance! Mahrez does excellently down the right hand side to get a low cross in towards Foden at the front post, who tucks the ball away from close-range. City are flying!
44’ – GOAL! SPORTING 0-4 MAN CITY (SILVA): That rubs salt into the Sporting fans’ wounds. Cancelo drops a ball into Sterling who made a clever run in behind, and cut the ball back for Silva arriving in the box who tucked the ball away at the near post.
50’ – GOAL! SPORTING 0-5 MAN CITY (SILVA): Silva heads in De Bruyne’s cross at the back post, but there are suggestions the Portuguese is offside. It’s being checked.
52’ – GOAL DISALLOWED: VAR confirms Silva had drifted offside.
58’ – GOAL! SPORTING 0-5 MAN CITY (STERLING): That could be the goal of the night! Sterling bends an effort into the top corner from 25 yards out to extend City’s lead to five.