The Blues storm-trooped their way to the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League last night, lining up potential ties against Stretford’s finest and North London’s New Bottlers.
City were in no mood to keep this tie in the balance as they demolished FC Schalke 04 7-0 to make an aggregate score of 10-2.
Three thousand noisy Germans made the trip to the Etihad clearly in the hope of a miracle, but their ardour was soon dampened as City got into their stride from the start. The amazing thing is it took them 35 minutes to break the German Resistance, despite Aguero going close, but when Bernardo stepped inside and was hauled down in the box, up stepped Sergigol himself to open the scoring. With everyone, including goaltender Fahrmann expecting Aguero to go to the keeper’s left, the Argentinian waited for the dive and chipped home Panenka-style.
Three minutes later it was 2-0. Aguero again persevered and finally stroked the ball home and ahead of half-time Leroy Sane, featuring against his former club, blasted in a cross-shot to put the tie beyond Schalke.
In the second half, a selection of crafted goals from Sterling, Bernardo Foden and de Jesus left us with an unlikely scoreline of 7-0. Great to see Foden and de Jesus among the goals.
VAR threatened to steal the show as the referee went there what, 4 times? Three were allowed and one was offside. We started to get the impression that the French Referee wasn’t actually going to make any decisions himself.
The quadruple may still be on because in this form and in this style City will not be anybody’s pushover. The biggest dangers come from the English teams as, Juventus apart, I don’t see any threat from the European ones. The dream draw would be Porto, with Stretford pulling Juve, Liverpool maybe Barcelona and Spuds getting Ajax. But we all know there is no way the Faceless Hotballers of Nyon are going to leave a possible Manchester -Stretford Derby arriving in the Spanish Capital while the Spice Girls are playing at the Etihad.
City must be the only team in Europe who in the light of a 7-0 win, paraded six different scorers and it is a clear tribute to the way Guardiola insists that football is played at his Club. In addition, he was able to withdraw David Silva, Aguero and Laporte once the job was done.
Once again Bernardo was excellent and Gundogan relished in his new lease of life. Zinchenko continued his recent run of great form and will make it difficult when Mendy tries to reinstate himself if indeed he ever does.
So, ahead of our trip to Swansea at the weekend, we await the outcome of the draw. This one gives us the pathway to Madrid with the semi-final draw being made at the same time.