Manchester City secured their place in the knock-out stages of the Champions League with an emphatic 3-0 victory over BSC Young Boys on Tuesday night.
It was an expected opening to the game with the home side dominating early proceedings, as the blues carved out the first real chance of the night when Jack Grealish tee’d up Rico Lewis inside the area, but his effort was cleared off the line heroically.
A rare mistake in possession from Jack Grealish allowed the away side to impose themselves in the game for a brief moment, as Cedric Itten was granted a run one-against-one with Ruben Dias, who effortlessly defended the situation.
Just one minute later and Sandro Lauper brought down Matheus Nunes in the BSC Young Boys penalty area, giving the blues a chance from the spot. Inevitably, Erling Haaland finished in typically composed fashion, giving the home side a lead midway through the first half.
Once again Haaland found himself in a great area, as Kyle Walker fizzed a ball across the six yard box into the path of the striker, who couldn’t adjust his feet in time to divert the effort into the goal, instead causing it to ricochet into the arms of a grateful goalkeeper.
A period of Manchester City dominance followed the chance, as City continued to control the game, before eventually adding a second goal courtesy of a world class piece of play, finished by Phil Foden.
On the stroke of half time, the home side zipped the ball around, as Jack Grealish then found the feet of Foden, who controlled the ball in style, taking it past his man before slotting the ball past the goalkeeper, doubling the lead for the blues.
The home side made a change at half-time, as John Stones (injured) was replaced by Nathan Ake following the interval, as the Dutchman slotted into the midfield role vacated by the England international after his departure.
That didn’t halt the momentum of the blues, as it took just five minutes into the second half Erling Haaland found himself on the edge of the area, before lashing the ball unstoppably into the top right corner, proving his fitness in the most emphatic style.
A minute after the goal, the away side began to lose their heads, as BSC Young Boys midfielder Lauper, who conceded the penalty in the first half, went crashing through Nathan Ake recklessly, earning a deserved second yellow card.
City continued to create chances, this time with Rico Lewis down the right side, who pulled one back to Jack Grealish on the edge of the area, whose tame effort was comfortably saved in the end.
Following the goals Manchester City found themselves in a comfortable position, ensuring they could make changes on the hour mark, as Oscar Bobb and Kalvin Phillips replaced Erling Haaland and Kyle Walker respectively.
The game petered out after the changes as the home side controlled the ball and zapped the energy out of the opposition, toying with the opposition without being threatened whatsoever.
Jeremy Doku replaced Mateo Kovacic after 80 minutes, before instantly creating a chance, crossing one low across the box which couldn’t be diverted by Matheus Nunes at the far post.
There was a sense of acceptance as three minutes was shown on the fourth official’s board, with both sides happy for the scores to remain the same, which is exactly what happened, as the sky blues earned their fourth consecutive group stage victory of the season, earning qualification to the knockout stages of the Champions League.
With that being said, here’s how we rated the performances of the players following the 3-0 victory over BSC Young Boys tonight!
Ederson – 7
Spare a thought for Ederson tonight, who spent 90 minutes twiddling his thumbs as his defence snuffed out any danger whatsoever. Zero shots from BSC Young Boys.
Kyle Walker – 7
A standard afternoon for the captain who was a late replacement for Manuel Akanji due to a back problem. Walker was replaced after 60 minutes by Kalvin Phillips.
John Stones – 6.5
A comfortable 45 minutes for Stones, who largely occupied a midfield role before being replaced by Nathan Ake at the break. Stones was later revealed to have sustained a muscular problem.
Ruben Dias – 8.5
Despite the lack of threat from the opposition, it was a brutal challenge for them to be up against Dias, who nullified every single attack with aplomb. Another outstanding display from the City number 3.
Josko Gvardiol – 7.5
Gvardiol has had an instant impact since arriving from RB Leipzig, as the Croatian defender shown his capabilities at the highest level once again on Tuesday night.
Mateo Kovacic – 8
It was a redeeming display by Kovacic following his torrid time against Arsenal. Kovacic ran the midfield against Young Boys, playing some intricate passes to open up the defence on numerous occassions.
Matheus Nunes – 6
Not quite the night Nunes would’ve hoped for, who couldn’t seem to find his feet in the game, with a couple of sloppy errors in possession.
Rico Lewis – 7.5
It was a silky performance from Lewis who could’ve found himself on the scoresheet after just five minutes. Showcasing his versatility once again, Lewis is banging on the door of a consistent run of starts in this side.
Phil Foden – 8.5 (MOTM)
Scorer of City’s second, it was an outstanding display from Phil Foden, who took his chance immaculately and dominated the pitch. A very mature display from the City star man.
Erling Haaland – 8.5
60 minutes and two goals for Erling Haaland, who passed a fitness test in typical Haaland fashion, by doing what he does best. Haaland was replaced on the hour by Oscar Bobb.
Jack Grealish – 7.5
Grealish had to have a good performance after Jeremy Doku’s five goal contributions on Saturday, and he did just that. A constant threat down the City left all night.
Nathan Ake – 7
Ake replaced John Stones at half-time of the match and slotted in seamlessly. A comfortable evening for the Dutchman.
Kalvin Phillips – 6.5
Phillips was hardly involved since replacing Kyle Walker on the hour mark, which is ultimately a testiment to the dominance of the home side on the night.
Oscar Bobb – 6.5
A decent showing from Oscar Bobb after coming on, who shown glimpses of quality with some tidy footwork.
Jeremy Doku – 7
Immediately shown his threat, creating a couple of chances two minutes after entering the field.
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