February 13, 2018

Manchester City outclass Basel in Switzerland


Manchester City showed their Champions League credentials in the first leg of their last-16 clash against Basel on Tuesday night after a blistering opening 23 minutes killed the tie before it even had a chance to get going.

Three goals from Ilkay Gundogan, Bernardo Silva and Sergio Aguero put the away side in command before half time, as they continued where they left off after mauling Leicester at the weekend, before Gundogan bagged his second with a sublime curling effort after half-time.

The twenty-time Swiss champions had no answer to City as once again they dominated possession in midfield and cut their way through the defence with ease.

It was surprising then that their first goal came from a set piece - a Kevin de Bruyne corner headed home at the near post by Gundogan. It will have frustrated their hosts, who had limited the ‘Citizens’ up until now, only to concede the most simple of goals.

Four minutes later, Raheem Sterling wass played in down the right but his cross was headed just over Sergio Aguero. It fell to Bernardo Silva who chested it down and volleyed at goal. ‘Keeper Vaclik got a hand to it but could only watch as it fell into the far corner.

Aguero got in on the act five minutes later, picking up a loose ball on the edge of the box and sending the ball into the corner of the net with a low effort. From this point over, the tie was over as a contest and the only real question was how many City could rack up.

It remained three at half time, with the English side content to pass the ball around midfield, while Basel could only muster the odd counter attack.

The goal of the game came after 53 minutes, Gundogan picking his spot from the edge of the box and curling an effort into the top corner with the keeper stood still. He missed the chance to complete his hat-trick from four yards out after Vaklic pulled off a spectacular reflex save.

Leroy Sane made an early return to first team which will be encouraging for City fans who had feared the worst when he went off injured in their FA Cup tie against Cardiff.

City can now rest players in Manchester for the second leg, whilst they concentrate in competing on other fronts. For Basel their European season may be over, but the Swiss Super League returns this weekend after a seven-week winter break - perhaps they were still a bit rusty.

Manchester City showed their Champions League credentials in the first leg of their last-16 clash against Basel on Tuesday night after a blistering opening 23 minutes killed the tie before it even had a chance to get going.

Three goals from Ilkay Gundogan, Bernardo Silva and Sergio Aguero put the away side in command before half time, as they continued where they left off after mauling Leicester at the weekend, before Gundogan bagged his second with a sublime curling effort after half-time.

The twenty-time Swiss champions had no answer to City as once again they dominated possession in midfield and cut their way through the defence with ease.

It was surprising then that their first goal came from a set piece - a Kevin de Bruyne corner headed home at the near post by Gundogan. It will have frustrated their hosts, who had limited the ‘Citizens’ up until now, only to concede the most simple of goals.

Four minutes later, Raheem Sterling wass played in down the right but his cross was headed just over Sergio Aguero. It fell to Bernardo Silva who chested it down and volleyed at goal. ‘Keeper Vaclik got a hand to it but could only watch as it fell into the far corner.

Aguero got in on the act five minutes later, picking up a loose ball on the edge of the box and sending the ball into the corner of the net with a low effort. From this point over, the tie was over as a contest and the only real question was how many City could rack up.

It remained three at half time, with the English side content to pass the ball around midfield, while Basel could only muster the odd counter attack.

The goal of the game came after 53 minutes, Gundogan picking his spot from the edge of the box and curling an effort into the top corner with the keeper stood still. He missed the chance to complete his hat-trick from four yards out after Vaklic pulled off a spectacular reflex save.

Leroy Sane made an early return to first team which will be encouraging for City fans who had feared the worst when he went off injured in their FA Cup tie against Cardiff.

City can now rest players in Manchester for the second leg, whilst they concentrate in competing on other fronts. For Basel their European season may be over, but the Swiss Super League returns this weekend after a seven-week winter break - perhaps they were still a bit rusty.