Sporting Lisbon 0, Manchester City 5 (UEFA Champions League Round of 16, 1st Leg)
Manchester City demolished hosts Sporting Lisbon with a four goal first half salvo with Bernardo Silva scoring twice in a 5-0 rout.Embed from Getty Images
Five goals in Lisbon tonight meant City smashed more records – becoming 14th and fastest club to reach 200 goals in the Champions League – in just 97 games.
It was also the 43rd time that City had scored five times in a game under boss Pep Guardiola although the City manager later tried to play the big win down claiming that clinical finishing was the difference as he claimed City could play better.
He said: “The result was a dream, but the performance we can do better.”
Even though they matched their record away in the Champions League the margin of victory for City would have been even higher had Bernardo Silva completed his hat trick shortly after half time but he was adjudged to be offside when he squeezed his header past Adan.
Riyad Mahrez started the rout with a neat finish after Kevin de Bruyne reacted first to a save by Adan from Phil Foden to nick the ball back to the Algerian who did the rest.
Poor defending cost Sporting again after 17 minutes when he pounced on a poor clearance from Rodri’s header and sent it spinning back with interest where it cannoned in off the underside of the crossbar.
Phil Foden got in the act when Mahrez’ cross wasn’t dealt with and the England starlet finished from close range with just 35 minutes on the clock after committing Adan with a shimmy.
Silva got his second of the night just before half time when Sterling found him from the left and the Portuguese doubled his tally for the night with a deflected effort after receiving Joao Cancelo’s cutback.
And shortly after half time Silva thought he had notched up his second City hat trick with a back post header after Kevin de Bruyne picked him out with a chipped ball into the box.
VAR correctly called him offside a while later though.
Even without the hat trick, former Benfica star Silva got some recognition after being jeered by the Sporting fans when he was taken off 5 minutes from time to be replaced by Liam Delap.
The game was long over by then – Sterling had made sure of the win with a 58th minute exquisite curling strike from range into the top corner after Silva set him him following some poor distribution by Adan.
The rest of the game – and indeed probably the tie – was given over to some squad rotation and minutes given to keep City’s players fresh as they notched up their first clean sheet in the Champions League of the season.
There is a second leg formality to come and even without away goals in the knockout only the most optimistic of Sporting fans would assume their team can pull off the greatest of comebacks at the Etihad.
MATCH STATS – Sporting Lisbon 0, Manchester City 5 (UEFA Champions League Round of 16, 1st Leg)
Man City: Ederson, Stones (Zinchenko 61), Dias, Laporte (Ake 85), Cancelo, Rodri (Fernandinho 73), De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva (Delap 85), Mahrez, Foden (Gundogan 61), Sterling
Man City subs not used: Carson, Slicker, Kayky, Mbete, McAtee, Lavia
Booking: Gundogan 61
Goals: Mahrez 7; Bernardo Silva 17, 44; Foden 32; Sterling 58