On Tuesday, February 15th, 2022 Manchester City was outstanding in their Champions League match that even the fans of the opposing side could not do anything else but applaud the effort by Manchester City.
When Phil Foden put in a side – footed goal score for the 3rd – goal of Manchester City’s 4 – 1st -half tallies in their 5 to 0 victory over Sporting in the last 16 round of Champions League. It was a great and dominant performance from inside the Estádio José Alvalade Stadium.
Some of the home side fans also clapped as they witnessed and recognized one of the most brilliant displays of European football ever seen at this stage of the world’s top club competition (Champions League).
Adding insult to injury there were 4 – players that previously played for Sporting’s intense Lisbon rival in Benfica, and one of them included Bernardo Silva, who scored 2 – goals the first of which was an unbelievable half – volley that soared in off of the underside of the crossbar which mesmerized the crowd.
Riyad Mahrez opened the flood gates during the 7th – minute on a point – blank volley that was only officially scored following a long and tedious video review.
Silva then scored in the 17th – minute as well as the 44th – minute on each side of Foden’s well – executed team goal during the 32nd – minute as Manchester City went into the half – time break with a 4 to 0 lead.
Raheem Sterling emphatically curled in the 5th – goal score for Manchester City during the 58th – minute, and Pep Guardiola’s club began to plan their appearance in the Champions League quarterfinals, even with the 2nd – leg of this match up still coming 3 – weeks from now.
For Sporting’s football club and their fans, it was that desperate and sinking sensation sitting in their stomachs once again in the last 16 of the Champions League where the team has not been since way back during the 2008 – 2009 European football season.
On that past occasion, the Portuguese club was heavily embarrassed 12 to 1 on aggregate by the Bavarian football powerhouse, Bayern Munich, after losing 5 to nil in the 1st – leg at home and 7 to 1 in the 2nd – leg away.
The ass – kicking by Manchester City last Tuesday must have had a similar feel.
As for the English football club, there are much tougher competitions coming in the Champions League, but these types of games are why so many take Manchester City as the favorite to win the Champions League for the 1st – time this season.
This was Manchester City’s 9th – consecutive appearance in the knockout stage of the Champions League, and their squad entered on the tail of a shocking run that had seen them lose only 1 of their last 20 – matches throughout all competitions.
The mismatch in this contest was extremely obvious from the moment Mahrez guided in a weak volley with his right boot. The ball just so happened to fall to Kevin De Bruyne, and he assisted Mahrez for the smooth finish, only for VAR to review if De Bruyne was offside when Foden took his shot, although he was not.
The 2nd – goal score of this game was the ultimate highlight of Tuesday’s match as Bernardo showing supreme confidence to attempt a shot on the half – volley after Rodri headed on a deep corner – kick from Mahrez. Some way somehow, he got his foot over the ball and landed it strongly in off of the crossbar.
Then when Foden easily translated Mahrez’s right – wing cross – kick it sparked applause from both all of the fans in stadium regardless of which side they supported. It was quickly a case of damage control for Sporting who could not get anything going against Manchester City last Tuesday.
Bernardo’s 2nd – goal that he scored in this match up was off of a deflection that just so happened to spin into the net right past the wrong – footed Adán and the attacking midfielder was only denied his hat trick by VAR, due to them spotting that he was barely offside prior to heading in De Bruyne’s cross – kick just 3 – minutes into the 2nd – half of the game.
Sterling managed to cut inside from the left in order to curl in a sweet shot that hit the top corner of the net for what ultimately proved to be the fifth and final goal score of this dominating win for Manchester City.
“The players know me — they know the way we work. They can do better,” the head coach of Manchester City, Pep Guardiola, proclaimed. “I am incredibly happy, don’t misunderstand me, but we can do better.”
“Today we were so clinical,” Guardiola goes on to say, “Every time we arrived in the first 30 minutes, we scored. The difference between the teams is not 0 – 5, but we finished so well.”
“There is still a job to do in Manchester,” Manchester City’s attacking midfielder / winger, Bernardo Silva, expressed. “We cannot relax.”
The Associated Press News Services. “City ruthless in 5 – 0 win over Sporting in Champions League”. The Associated Press. February 15, 2022.