Manchester City went wild in a 5-0 thrashing away to Portuguese Sporting, with Bernardo Silva scoring twice as Pep Guardiola’s side nearly sealed their place in the Champions League quarter-finals Tuesday.
The English champions were simply unstoppable as they tore through their stunned hosts at the Jose Alvalade Stadium and the tie was almost over by half-time. Riyad Mahrez opened the scoring after seven minutes with a goal initially ruled out but cleared after a VAR check, before Silva nearly broke the net with a superb half-volley after 17 minutes to open his account.
Mahrez then set up Phil Foden for a tap-in and Silva made it 4-0 just before half-time after being picked off by Raheem Sterling, with the Sporting defense all at sea. There was no respite after the break and former Benfica player Silva saw a hat-trick ruled out for offside before Sterling netted it 5-0 with a superb curler before the hour mark.
Unstoppable? Manchester City have scored five or more goals for the third time this season…
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) February 15, 2022
City could have added more to their tally on a night in which they made a huge statement in their bid to do better than last season when they lost to Chelsea in the final. “It’s a very good performance,” Silva said. “Honestly, I think in the first half we weren’t good enough to lead 4-0. » I am Portuguese, I come from the other side of town. My mother is Sporting, my father is Benfica. It was special to score here in my hometown. We still have work to do in Manchester. hosts were no match for the city juggernaut. Kevin De Bruyne looked offside as he set Mahrez up for the opener, and City didn’t even celebrate as the linesman’s decision looked clear, only for VAR to rule the goal should stand.
The strike was the Algerian’s 10th in his last 11 Champions League appearances, and soon it was two as Silva hammered the underside of the crossbar. The Sporting defender – playing in his first Champions League round of 16 draw in 13 years – left much to be desired as Foden headed home third, undisputed, before Silva’s second, via deflection, failed cause more frustration on the terraces of Jose Alvalade. It was a question of how many more City would get in the second half and Sterling scored the goal of the night, curling into the net from 25 yards out for his 150th career club goal.
The goal also saw City become the 14th team to score 200 Champions League goals – with more sure to come as they continue to kick into high gear, both at home and abroad. “I don’t think the team was nervous, it’s just Manchester City are the best in the world, and they killed us every time they entered our box,” said Sporting coach Ruben love. “The quality of the players and the manager made the difference.”