Manchester City fell to the Champions League quarter-finals when Wednesday’s second game against Sporting CP proved entirely academic, a 0-0 draw that sealed a 5-0 aggregate victory.
With Portugal’s huge first leg advantage, City narrowly escaped and there was no need.
Gabriel Jesus’ goal was disallowed for offside and Riyad Mahrez had a shot blocked as City went close for a late goal.
Even seldom-seen reserve keeper Scott Carson broke away in the final 17 minutes, made a fine save to deflect Paulinho and took a big hit for his effort.
Last season’s runners-up are the favorites and many will win the trophy this year and it was as formal as the Champions League knockout ties.
Wisely, Pep Guardiola rested derby wreckers Kevin De Bruyne, booked, and Mahrez, both on the bench. It was not a night to take risks, however, unlike City, it was in the 24th minute before they registered a first shot on goal Phil Foden’s shot was deflected 20 yards by Antonio Adam.
Raheem Sterling was frustrated watching the goalkeeper after Foden found his England team-mate with a difficult pass, while City, who were leading 4-0 in the first leg at half-time, kicked in for the whites in the first 45 minutes.
Teenager CJ Egan-Riley was clean on the right back on his Champions League debut, while Oleksandr Zinchenko played on the opposite flank and received a big roar before the game, the crowd firmly behind the Ukrainian amid the horrific events that are unfolding. in your home country. .
Hocus-pocus substitute Mahrez created an opening for Jesus in the 47th minute to fire from a tight angle to the left of goal. It was a joyful celebration but a VAR check revealed the Brazilian was offside.
In 2008-09, the only previous season in the Champions League era in which Sporting reached the knockout stages, they lost 5-0 at home to Bayern before suffering a 7-1 loss. in Munich.
At least that humiliation was spared them this time around, with City taking the lead instead of the carotid. Sporting’s first shot came in the 57th minute, with Ederson easily winning Bruno Tabata’s shot.
Opportunities came and went as Sporting tipped, heading for John Stones, arguably the best in stoppage time, while Sterling went wide on the final swing.
Which means? Easy to do for the city
The Etihad Stadium was packed for it, with most expecting another crushing triumph. Sporting provided spirited support despite their desperate position, and the chants of two rowdy groups of supporters were more entertaining than much of the opening run down the pitch.
Still, these are nights the city should enjoy. The pressure rarely goes away in the Champions League qualifiers. Let the drama be carried away by others: Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain were fed up, while Guardiola’s blue machine continued to spin quietly. A quiet night, but a good night tonight, for the city as you see it.
CJ Academy graduate passes test
Thrown into the back, Egan-Riley proved to be a capable opponent for Sporting’s left-wing threat. He won four of five games and completed 58 of 60 assists. His inclusion was confirmation of his qualities from Guardiola, as the Spaniard could have used Fernandinho in central defense and pushed Stones to the right.
The youth team was only the seventh teenager to feature for City in the Champions League, and Guardiola gave them every opportunity. James McAtee was then eighth, replacing Foden, and Luke Mbete was ninth in the dying moments. At the other end of the scale, local captain Fernandinho made his 100th Champions League appearance aged 36 years and 309 days.
Formality, but City lose the match record
A five-goal deficit had never been recovered in the Champions League, with Barcelona holding the record for the biggest comeback after overcoming a 4-0 deficit against Paris Saint-Germain on March 8, 2017.
Five years and a day later, there was no sign that it would be the day of the final reaction, as Sporting have not won any of their last seven away games against English opponents since winning 3-2 over Middlesbrough in the last game. 16 of the 2004-05 UEFA Cup.
Key facts about Opta
– Manchester City have now reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League in each of the last five seasons, the only English side to do so each time over this period.
– Sporting CP are winless in their last eight away games against English opposition in European competition (D3 L5), with their last such victory coming against Middlesbrough in the 2004-05 UEFA Cup (3-2).
– City goalkeeper Scott Carson came on to make his second appearance in the Champions League, 16 years and 338 days after his debut for Liverpool versus Juventus in April 2005 when he was 19 years old. This is the largest gap between appearances in the competition’s history.
– Aged 19 years and 66 days, CJ Egan-Riley became the second-youngest English player to start in the Champions League for Manchester City, after Phil Foden, who made his first start aged 17 years and 192 days back in December 2017 against Shakhtar Donetsk.
City are not back on duty until they face Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Monday evening, in the Premier League. Sporting also must wait until Monday for their next game, a Primeria Liga battle with Moreirense.