Viktoria Plzen 0, Manchester City 3
Manchester City celebrated Manuel Pellegrini’s 60th birthday yesterday with a first victory in the Champions League since their 2011/12 campaign as they romped to a 3-0 win against Viktoria Plzen in the Czech Republic.
It was a first away win for the Chilean who was cheered by City’s hard working performance at the home of reputedly Europe’s biggest pub. Early chances by Jesus Navas and Yaya Toure went begging but City looked a lot more comfortable against modest looking opposition and the chances kept coming.
Edin Dzeko’s first point blank half header looked goalbound but was saved by Matus Kozacik while Sergio Aguero hit the woodwork as City continued to apply the early pressure.
Vincent Kompany made his first appearance back in City’s defence since the first weekend of the season following injury but initially seemed a little rusty, with a poor backpass forcing Joe Hart off his line to clear.
Three goals in ten second half minutes allowed City calm their nerves and ease into this year’s adventure.
If Aguero looked strong in the first half he proved it in the second half, beating Lukas Hejda to the ball just three minutes after the restart. The Argentine striker squared the ball for his strike partner Edin Dzeko to trap and calmly sidefoot past Kozacik.
Toure scored the second five minutes later with a trade-mark charge deep into the Plzen half which ended with another sweetly struck curling goal from 25 yards out.
Aguero’s turn and shot after Samir Nasri’s assist for City’s third was just reward for his work on the night as Plzen’s defence crumbled under the onslaught.
Joe Hart was able to keep another clean sheet after a late chance from a left wing corner by the home side was hit against the post by Tomas Horava as Plzen sought a consolation goal.