Manchester City 7-0 Schalke (Agg: 10-2): City cruise into Champions League quarters

Manchester City cruised into the Champions League quarter-finals as an emphatic 7-0 second-leg victory over Schalke saw them progress 10-2 on aggregate. Sergio Aguero atoned for missing an early sitter with two first-half goals – the first of which was a Panenka penalty – before Leroy Sane put the tie beyond his former club with City’s third before the interval.

 

Sane then turned provider, setting up Raheem Sterling for a clinical fourth – his sixth goal in his last three appearances – Bernardo Silva for a fifth and Phil Foden for a sixth – his first goal in European football. Gabriel Jesus completed the rout with City’s seventh to cap a perfect night for Pep Guardiola’s side, who await their fate in Friday’s quarter-final and semi-final draw. Schalke were positive in the opening exchanges without threatening City, who should have taken the lead inside 14 minutes. Kyle Walker’s defence-splitting pass released Sterling who put a goal on a plate for Aguero, but he clipped the outside of the post from three years. Aguero made amends on 35 minutes with an audacious chipped penalty after Jeffrey Bruma was adjudged to have impeded Bernardo Silva in the area. One quickly became two as Ilkay Gundogan’s lofted pass released Sterling again, who picked out Aguero in the area and he wriggled clear of three Schalke defenders before firing through Ralf Fahrmann’s legs. The floodgates opened three minutes before the break. Oleksandr Zinchenko’s superb pass played Sane into acres of space and the German clinically added a third to leave Schalke needing four goals. VAR correctly denied Sane a second on 56 minutes, but City had their fourth seconds later as the German this time evaded the offside trap and crossed for Sterling, who found the back of the net with a devastating first-time finish. With Schalke out on their feet it was only a matter of time before City pulled further away, Bernardo Silva getting in on the act on 71 minutes, stroking home from Sane’s cutback.

Foden came off the bench and took just 14 minutes to get on the scoresheet, taking Sane’s through pass in his stride before rounding the goalkeeper. And Jesus put the icing on the cake, beating Fahrmann at his near post to seal City’s procession to the quarter-finals.
 
“If there is a concern it’s that Aguero is being pushed to his limit. He has now played 999 minutes of football since January 20. That’s a 52-day period in which he has had to play 13 times and been pressed into midweek action six times. It’s been a big ask.”
 
Sane holds a special place in the hearts of everyone associated with Schalke but they won’t want to see him anytime soon after such a devastating attacking display. He registered a goal and three assists, and it could have been had it not been for the odd VAR call. With Sane in such unplayable form, it begs the question how he’s not utilised by Guardiola on a more consistent basis.

 

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