Man City 4 – 1 Club Brugge


Manchester City took a big step towards the last-16 of the Champions League by claiming a second successive victory over Belgian champions Club Brugge, winning 4-1 at the Etihad on Wednesday night.

Phil Foden’s opener (15) was immediately cancelled out by John Stones’ bizarre own goal (17), but Riyad Mahrez’s header restored City’s lead (54).

Substitute Raheem Sterling (72) and Gabriel Jesus in stoppage time secured the victory as City made it nine straight Champions League home wins.

Dominik Szoboszlai’s 92nd-minute penalty earned RB Leipzig a dramatic 2-2 draw with Paris Saint-Germain meaning the French club dropped to second place below City. Brugge remain in third on four points from as many games.

Last season’s runners-up need a single point from their remaining two group games to seal their progress in the competition, with City hosting PSG later this month in what is likely to decide who tops the group.

Riyad Mahrez puts Man City back in front
Riyad Mahrez puts Man City back in front

Player ratings

Man City: Ederson (6), Walker (7), Stones (6), Laporte (6), Joao Cancelo (8), Gundogan (7), Rodri (7), Bernardo Silva (7), Mahrez (7), Foden (7), Grealish (6).

Subs: Sterling (7), Gabriel Jesus (7), Zinchenko (6), De Bruyne (6), Palmer (6).

Club Brugge: Mignolet (7), Mechele (7), Hendry (7), N’Soki (6), Sobol (6), Mata (7), Rits (6), Vanaken (6), Vormer (6), De Ketelaere (8), Lang (6).

Subs: Ricca (5), Sowah (n/a), van der Brempt (5), Dost (5), Mbamba (5).

Man of the match: Joao Cancelo.

How City returned to winning ways

Pep Guardiola’s men won 5-1 at the Jan Breydel Stadium to overtake Brugge in Group A a fortnight ago and a repeat success puts City in a strong position.

The hosts made a strong start and claimed the lead with 15 minutes gone but Brugge equalised almost immediately.

In a dramatic passage of play, Joao Cancelo first hit the post for City with a neat effort. City kept play alive and Cancelo provided the cross for Phil Foden to tap in the opener.

Man City team news

Kevin De Bruyne was among the substitutes as Manchester City hosted Belgian side Club Brugge in Champions League Group A.

The Belgium playmaker was given a rousing reception when the sides met at Jan Breydel Stadium a fortnight ago – a match City won 5-1 – but this time dropped to the bench as Pep Guardiola made three changes at the Etihad Stadium.

Ruben Dias and Gabriel Jesus also made way following the loss to Crystal Palace at the weekend while John Stones, Ilkay Gundogan and Riyad Mahrez came in.

Just two minutes and two seconds later, Brugge hit back. Hans Vanaken forced a fine save from Ederson but when the ball was crossed back in by Charles de Ketelaere, Bernardo Silva’s attempted clearance struck John Stones and rebounded into his own goal.

Brugge coach Philippe Clement, who had a spell in the Premier League with Coventry in the late 1990s when City were a third-tier side, insisted his side were not on a “school trip” having collected a healthy four points from their previous three group games – and 20-year-old De Ketelaere showed glimpses of his immense promise throughout the first half.

Brugge's Noa Lang holds the ball after the instant reply
Brugge’s Noa Lang holds the ball after the instant reply

Clement was hoping to secure the club’s first victory against English opponents in European competition since February 1995 having failed to win any of their previous 13 matches, and it was De Ketelaere whose turn and shot drew a smart save from Ederson shortly before the break.

City had won their previous eight Champions League home games and were unbeaten in their last 15 at the Etihad, but they looked short on energy and lacked penetration from the midway point of the first half – not something you could often level at Guardiola’s side.

Indeed, City’s lack of intensity in defence with Ruben Dias on the bench enabled the Belgians to carve out three shots on target compared to City’s solitary attempt in spite of their 70 per cent possession.

Jack Grealish had Clinton Mata for company throughout the opening half but within two minutes of the second period, he drifted inside to cause damage as he was found centrally by Kyle Walker before he in turn slipped through Mahrez but Simon Mignolet rushed out to make a fine save with his feet.

Mahrez has a shot as Simon Mignolet closes him down
Mahrez has a shot as Simon Mignolet closes him down

But Mahrez was not to be denied as he would restore City’s lead with his sixth Champions League goal against Brugge. De Ketelaere might have scored himself when he brilliantly brought down the ball inside the box but fired wide, and from the restart, it was Mahrez who raced clear down the right.

After his cross was recycled by Cancelo, the full-back provided his second assist of the night as his cross was headed home by the unmarked Mahrez – and this time, City never looked like relinquishing control.

Sterling was introduced for the frustrated Grealish, and it was Foden who was involved in City’s third as he slipped through Ilkay Gundogan for a low cross that was converted by Sterling for only his second goal of the season inside the six-yard box.

Mahrez's header restored City's lead
Mahrez’s header restored City’s lead

Brugge were beaten, but Guardiola showed no signs of wanting to ease off as Jesus and Kevin De Bruyne were introduced, with the pair combining for the Brazilian to force a smart save from the overworked Mignolet.

Jesus would not be denied his 18th Champions League goal, however, as from another Cancelo pass his shot across goal found the bottom corner to put the seal on another European victory at the Etihad.

What the manager said…

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola told BT Sport: “Thoroughly deserved, we dropped a bit after we conceded the goal. The second half was really good, they defended so deep, it was not easy. A good game, it was important to take six points from Brugge after the defeat in Paris.

“I am so satisfied. Every game is tough, the team played really good, the spirit is fantastic.”

Analysis: City rediscover their mojo

Man City made a typically fast start against Club Brugge
Man City made a typically fast start against Club Brugge

Sky Sports’ Ben Grounds:

“Guardiola could be satisfied in the end, but it was hard work for a while against Club Brugge. By half-time, Manchester City had been frustrated and pegged back after Stones’ calamitous own goal cancelled out Foden’s opener.

“De Ketelaere is being watched by Europe’s top clubs, and at the Etihad he passed his audition with flying colours, but in the end City’s collective superiority told.

“It was a slow start but City’s goalscoring machine then sprung into life with three unanswered goals meaning they pulled away in the end.

“Kyle Walker spoke in the build-up to this Group A game which places Guardiola’s side within a point of qualification that City needed to their morale back up with the team “singing off the same hymn sheet” following a dip in form.

“The Carabao Cup penalty shootout exit and surprise home defeat to Crystal Palace were both banished ahead of the Manchester derby, and Guardiola will be pleased that his players came through unscathed heading into Saturday lunchtime showdown, live on Sky Sports.

Ederson reacts after John Stones' own goal
Ederson reacts after John Stones’ own goal

“City weren’t at their best, perhaps at 50 or 60 per cent, and while the defensive vulnerability that led to three Brugge shots on target in the opening period will give Manchester United confidence, this was without Ruben Dias who will return at the weekend.

“‘The manager wasn’t happy at half-time and you have to take his advice,’ Foden said. ‘He changed things and we were much better in the second half. Once we got our rhythm the chances started opening up.’

“It was a much more rounded performance after the break, and City have now scored 15 goals after four Champions League matches this season, the most by an English side at this stage of a campaign since Arsenal scored 15 in four games in 2010/11. They can head to Old Trafford having rediscovered their mojo.”

Man of the match: Phil Foden

Phil Foden celebrates after scoring the opening goal
Phil Foden celebrates after scoring the opening goal

Foden scored his seventh Champions League goal for Manchester City – only Wayne Rooney (nine) has scored more goals aged 21 or younger among English players than Foden’s tally of seven.

Foden told BT Sport: “I thought we were sloppy in the first half and let them get back into the game. We got in at half-time and spoke about what was going wrong.

“We changed it in the second half and played better. We looked a bit heavy. The manager wasn’t happy [at half-time]. You have to take his advice. We changed a couple of things and were better in possession and hurt them a lot more.

“Once we get the rhythm, we play our lovely football. I’m delighted with the second half. I’m really happy for them [Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling]. It’s important for attacking players to score.

“I’m scoring a lot of goals. I’m just enjoying it. It was a really important win today and puts us in a good position.”

Magic Mahrez – Opta stats

Kyle Walker controls the ball at the Etihad
Kyle Walker controls the ball at the Etihad
  • Club Brugge have lost all four of their UEFA Champions League matches against English opponents by an aggregate score of 14-3 – Riyad Mahrez has scored in every single game against them (two games for Leicester, two games for Man City).
  • In 32 UEFA Champions League starts for Leicester and Man City, Riyad Mahrez has been directly involved in 26 goals (14 goals, 12 assists), netting six of those 14 goals against Club Brugge. He has scored more goals against the Belgians than any other player in the Champions League.
  • Manchester City have won their last nine home UEFA Champions League matches – the only English side to have a longer home winning run in the competition is Manchester United between September 2006 and April 2008 (12 in a row).
  • João Cancelo registered three assists in this match, the third time a Manchester City player has assisted three times in a UEFA Champions League match after Leroy Sane (vs Schalke in March 2019) and Kevin De Bruyne (vs Spurs in April 2019).
  • John Stones became the first Manchester City player to score an own goal in the UEFA Champions League since Raheem Sterling in September 2016 against Celtic.

What’s next?

Saturday 6th November 11:30am

Kick off 12:30pm

Manchester City travel to Old Trafford on Saturday to face their fierce rivals Manchester United, live on Sky Sports Premier League and Main Event from 11.30pm; kick-off is at 12.30pm.

Guardiola’s side return to Champions League action on Wednesday November 24 when they host Paris Saint-Germain at the Etihad; kick-off 8pm.


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