Shakhtar Donetsk 0, Manchester City 3
Goals by Riyad Mahrez, Ilkay Gundogan, and Gabriel Jesus sealed a deserved win for dominant Manchester City at Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League.Embed from Getty Images
City also hit the woodwork twice and had a goal ruled out for offside as they cruised past Shakhtar to put their defeat at Norwich City at the weekend behind them.
Despite their utter dominance and plethora of shots on goal, only five out of 18 were on target but they were enough to sink their first Champions League opponents of the season.
As expected with John Stones and Aymeric Laporte injured, Fernandinho started at centre half as Nicolas Otamendi’s partner, with 18-year-old academy youngster Eric Garcia on the bench.
City boss Pep Guardiola made four changes in all, with Stones out, and Bernardo Silva, David Silva and Sergio Aguero dropped to the bench with Fernandinho, Kevin De Bruyne, Riyad Mahrez, and Gabriel Jesus starting the game.
Joining Stones in the treatment room was Phil Foden who was confirmed to have a stomach virus.
It was a game of few clear cut chances early on but City took control in the second quarter and took the lead with the first shot on target.
Riyad Mahrez tapped in the rebound after Gabriel Jesus unselfishly passed to Ilkay Gundogan whose shot came back off the post in the 24th minute.
Mahrez returned the favour, surging into the penalty area and setting up Gundogan in the 38th minute, the German made no mistake.
De Bruyne and Sterling went close as City looked to put the game beyond their hosts.
Shakhtar threatened only occasionally and had only one real chance of note.
Ederson saved impressively from Junior Moraes after Taison cut inside, nutmegged Rodri, and slid the ball into the Shakhtar frontman after Mahrez had scored.
And Moraes was off target after the break when he tried to chip Ederson but Fernandinho was on the line in any case.
It was all about City, though, and Guardiola’s side were utterly comfortable.
Sterling hit the woodwork from a narrow angle following a poor clearance by Krvstsov after Andriy Pyatov had saved from Gundogan.
Piyatov kept his side in the game by diving at the feet of Gundogan to win the ball while he breathed a sigh of relief after Nicolas Otamendi’s spectacular overhead kick goal was ruled out for an early offside by Sterling.
Gabriel Jesus finally finished off Shakhtar after a 3v1 counter attack 14 minutes from time. De Bruyne’s pass slid in the Brazilian who flicked he ball past Piyatov for his second goal of the season.
With the game safe, De Bruyne, Kyle Walker, and Rodri were replaced by Bernardo Silva, Joao Cancelo and Benjamin Mendy as City saw out the last few minutes to become the only English side to win their first Champions League game this season.
MATCH STATS – Shakhtar Donetsk 0, Manchester City 3
Shakhtar Donetsk: Pyatov, Bolbat, Krivtsov, Matvyenko, Ismaily, Alan Patrick (Marcos Antonio 74), Stepanenko, Marlos, Taison, Solomon (Konoplyanka 46), Junior Moraes (Dentinho 77)
Shakhtar Donetsk subs not used: Shevchenko, Butko, Kovalenko, Bondar
Man City: Ederson, Walker (Cancelo 81), Otamendi, Fernandinho, Zinchenko, Rodri (Mendy 83), Gundogan, De Bruyne (Bernardo Silva 77), Mahrez, Sterling, Jesus
Man City Subs not used: Bravo, Aguero, David Silva, Eric Garcia
Booked: Rodri 29 (foul on Ismaily)
Goals: Mahrez 24, Gundogan 28, Jesus 76