Manchester City underlined their status as Champions League favorites with a 5-0 thrashing of Sporting Lisbon to effectively book their place in the quarter-finals. – EtaSports

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Manchester City underlined their status as Champions League favorites with a 5-0 thrashing of Sporting Lisbon to effectively book their place in the quarter-finals.

City, runners-up last season, beat Sporting with a rampant first-half display at the Jose Alvalade Stadium as they became the first team in the competition’s history to lead by four goals in the first half of a Champions League knockout match.

The defeat began when Riyad Mahrez turned Kevin De Bruyne’s pass (7), with VAR overturning the initial decision to rule out a goal for offside after lengthy checks.

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Bernardo Silva, one of four players in the City side who previously played for Sporting’s arch-rivals Benfica, then doubled their lead with a stunning half-volley finish that hit the net from under the bar after a corner (17).

The hosts, in the last 16 of the Champions League for the second time in their history, could not cope with City’s pace and movement and the penalty continued when poor defense allowed Phil Foden to fire home from Mahrez’s low cross (32).

Player rating

Sports: Adan (5), Esgaio (5), Coates (5), Inacio (5), Porro (5), Reis (4), Palhinha (5), Matheus (5), Goncalves (5), Sarabia (6 ), Paulino (5)

Subs: Tabata (6), Ugarte (6), Neto (6), Slimani (6)

Man City: Ederson (7), Stones (8), Dias (7), Laporte (7), Cancelo (7), Rodrigo (7), De Bruyne (8), Bernardo (9), Mahrez (8), Foden (8), Sterling (9)

Subs: Gundogan (6), Zinchenko (6), Fernandinho (6), Ake (6), Eight (6)

Man of the match: Bernardo Silva

Silva kemudian mencetak gol keduanya saat Sporting membiarkannya tanpa penjagaan untuk melepaskan tembakan melewati kiper Antonio Adan yang terkepung dengan bantuan tendangan setelah Sterling lay-off (44).

Hat-trick Silva digagalkan oleh VAR hanya beberapa menit setelah turun minum ketika dia menanduk umpan silang diagonal De Bruyne dari jarak dekat, hanya untuk tayangan ulang menunjukkan dia berada dalam posisi offside.

Namun, City tidak menyerah, dengan Sterling menambahkan gol kelima yang menakjubkan tidak lama kemudian ketika ia memotong ke dalam dan melepaskan tendangan melengkung ke sudut atas dari luar kotak (58).

Raheem Sterling celebrates with Bernardo Silva after scoring Manchester City’s fifth

Only then did Pep Guardiola take the opportunity to rest some of his players, with Foden, John Stones and Rodri making way for Ilkay Gundogan, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Fernandinho. There were also late cameos from Nathan Ake and Liam Delap.

By that point, the contest had been reduced to a training exercise, with Sporting unable to even muster a shot on target over the course of the 90 minutes as the visitors continued to seek openings.

And so Manchester City’s quest for Champions League glory continues. On this evidence they will take some stopping.
Pep: We were clinical… but we can do better

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“Today we were so clinical,” Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola told BT Sport. “Every time we arrive in the first 20 minutes, we score.

“We saw in the first five, six or seven minutes how dangerous they were. The difference between the sides is not 5-0. But up front we were so clinical.

“They attack with a lot of players and we punished them on the counter-attacks.”

Riyad Mahrez put Man City ahead in the early stages

He added: “The players they know me. They know that we can do better. There were a few players who still didn’t read well what we have to do in terms of build-up. We can do better.

“It is just a game and a fantastic result. We need one more game to be in the quarter-finals. We will now focus on the Premier League.”

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