MAN CITY 4, FC PORTO 0
(City win 6-1 on aggregate)
Sergio Aguero took only 19 seconds to start Manchester City’s rout of holders FC Porto as they sealed their passage to the last 16 of the Europa League
City’s Argentinian striker scored the quickest goal of the season in the competition as the Portuguese visitors to the Etihad Stadium were vanquished.
In a remarkable finish City, 2-1 ahead from the opening leg, scored three further goals in the final 14 minutes from substitute Edin Dzeko, David Silva and David Pizarro to complete a comfortable 6-1 aggregate scoreline.
City manager Roberto Mancini was delighted with a win which books a last-16 place against either Legia Warsaw or Sporting Lisbon.
He said: “I am happy to have reached the next stage because Porto are one of the top teams in Europe and it was not easy to beat them.
“It was important to score early as Porto played well. We had chances to score other goals (before the three late strikes) but when you don’t score you can have problems.”
Mancini added that he intends to try and win the Europa League but says it won’t be easy against the likes of Manchester United, Valencia and Schalke saying the presence of those teams makes it like the Champions League.
Fans were still streaming into the ground for the highly inconvenient five o’clock kick off when Aguero netted his 20th goal of the season.
An errant pass from Niciolas Otamendi was intercepted by Nigel de Jong with Yaya Toure releasing Aguero who dashed clear before slotting the ball low past Brazilian keeper Helton.
City were now in a commanding position and this was reflected in a display which lacked the urgency had they been behind and chasing the game.
They ought still to have built on their advantage in the opening half when Helton blocked at the feet of Yaya while Aguero burst clear again and rounded the keeper before seeing his chip hit the crossbar.
Porto had some great chances, but lacked a cutting edge as City keeper Joe Hart saved well from Sivestre Verala, Hulk had a penalty appeal rejected after a shove by Joleon Lescott.
Brazilian striker Hulk had a free kick deflected by Lescott for a corner while Otamendi blazed over when he ought to have hit the target.
The second half followed a similar thread as Porto continued to carve out openings, but they lacked a ruthless edge as Lucho Gonzales shot just wide and James Rodriguez deemed offside as Porto eventually found a route to goal.
City doubled their advantage on the night in the 76th minute when Aguero turned provider following a weaving run before releasing Dzeko who slotted home his 17th goal of the season.
Porto were reduced to 10 men when Rolando was sent off immediately after the goal for dissent, his second yellow card of the match which was followed by a complete capitulation.
Substitute Pizarro square the ball from the right for Silva, completely free and unmarked six yards out, to score the easiest of finishes.
Porto’s back line was breached again with four minutes left when Dzeko layed off a pass to Pizarro and the on-loan AS Roma midfield man slotted home his first goal for City.