Man City make statement with five-star show while Kylian Mbappe passes Real Madrid audition – Champions League hits and misses
Manchester City thrashed Sporting Lisbon 5-0, while Kylian Mbappe scored the winning goal for Paris Saint-Germain.
Man City make a CL statement
Manchester City were expected to face a difficult test. Sporting pipped Borussia Dortmund to the last-16 spot in the group stage. They had only lost once at Jose Alvalade in five months.
But Pep Guardiola’s side made it look easy. The desperate hosts could only watch in despair as Bernardo Silva scored two goals and Riyad Mahrez and Phil Foden eaach scored one. Widening chasm
Raheem Sterling’s magnificent strike curled into the top corner after the break made it the joint-biggest win by any side in the history of the Champions League knockout rounds.
Last season’s 1-0 loss to Chelsea in Porto ended their first Champions League final appearance in sadness. This season’s hangover has been minimal. They appear more motivated than ever.
It was Sterling’s sixth goal against Sporting that took City’s tally to 200 in the competition. They are the 14th team to do so, but none in less time (97).
On Tuesday, Sterling scored his 200th goal in the tournament, as City beat Sporting 1-0. None have done so in fewer games than them (97).
The stats reflect City’s progress in the competition, but is this the year they finally mature and win the prize they crave? Recent research suggests they have reason to be optimistic. The City machine runs.
Mbappe passes his Real audition
It was a perfect Real Madrid debut for Kylian Mbappe, whose PSG contract expires at the end of June.
Parisians want their France international to stay in Paris, while Real want him to be their next Galactico.
After his match-winning performance, Real president Florentino Perez will definitely do everything in his power to convince Mbappe to go to Madrid this summer.
This is exactly the type of player Real need to rejuvenate their ageing side.
If the World Cup champion helps Barcelona knock Madrid out of Europe next month, don’t be surprised to see him in Real’s white next season.
City’s strength lies in the collective
Bernardo Silva doubled his tally in his hometown. Riyad Mahrez scored his sixth Champions League goal this season. Raheem Sterling added to his hat-trick against Norwich with the night’s greatest goal.
The 5-0 thumping of Sporting reminded Manchester City that their true power is collective.
They stifled Sporting, denying them a single shot on goal, and threatening from every angle when they blasted through them at the other end.
Their 15 shots on goal were divided among 12 players over the 90 minutes. Except for goalkeeper Ederson, every starter had a shot. Even Oleksandr Zinchenko, the substitute, tried his luck.
Sporting couldn’t handle Sterling’s candour. There was nothing they could do to stop Silva or Mahrez. Others were bothering them while those players weren’t. It’s City’s way. Their joint genius may carry them far.
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