Touré drives home Manchester City's advantage
Wednesday, February 24, 2016
Dynamo Kyiv 1-3 Manchester City
Yaya Touré struck a fine late effort as the English side closed in on a first ever UEFA Champions League quarter-final appearance.
Article top media content
- Yaya Touré strikes late to leave City on brink of first ever quarter-final
- Sergio Agüero scores 16th goal in his last 17 UEFA Champions League starts
- English team end run of three successive defeats in all competitions
- Dynamo playing in the knockout stage for first time in 17 years
- Second leg to take place at City of Manchester Stadium on 15 March
Manchester City's dream of playing in the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals is ever more vivid after Yaya Touré's fine late goal rounded off a 3-1 round of 16 first-leg win.
With snow falling, Dynamo Kyiv were caught cold as City quickly wrested the initiative. Sergio Agüero reflected the dominance on the scoreboard on 15 minutes and, when David Silva doubled the lead before half-time, the hosts were up against it. They improved, and Vitaliy Buyalskiy's effort forced the door ajar before Touré slammed it shut.
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The first half, though, was all City. Returning to action after 11 weeks off, Dynamo awoke from winter hibernation with heavy legs – by the time they were up and running they trailed 2-0. Agüero struck first, lashing in after Touré's knockdown from Silva's corner found him inexplicably unmarked.
Five minutes before the interval City were cruising when Agüero brought down a long pass and held off the defence before back-heeling into Raheem Sterling's stride. Sterling's cross gave Silva a tap-in. Moments later Agüero squandered a great chance to put the contest to bed when he screwed wide.
It was, perhaps, the shot in the arm Dynamo needed. Serhiy Rebrov's team were a renewed force after the restart. Buyalskiy halved the deficit before the hour, driving in a deflected shot after Nicolás Otamendi could only head clear to the edge of the box. The game opened up.
Joe Hart saved well to deny Buyalskiy a second, then Touré nodded wide with the goal at his mercy. With full time approaching he made amends after a slick Ciy move, looping the ball into the top-right corner.
Key player: Sergio Agüero (Manchester City)
The English outfit are a different proposition with the Argentinian in their lineup – his 16 goals in his last 17 UEFA Champions League starts stand comparison with the best. He took this one well, showed terrific awareness in the build-up to Silva's strike and was lively throughout.
Midfield trio lay the foundations
Manuel Pellegrini has used Touré, Fernandinho and Fernando in combination sparingly this season – this was just the tenth time they have all started together. Four of those occasions have come in UEFA Champions League away matches, where the high pressing game has served them well. Once again in Kyiv, the trio's stranglehold in midfield laid the platform for a strong City showing.
Yarmolenko catches the eye
Perhaps the one bright note for Dynamo was the performance of Yarmolenko, further underlining his burgeoning reputation with a lively display. He was a constant thorn in City's left side, the only surprise being that when the hosts did score he was not involved. Yarmolenko reportedly turned down a big-money move to China earlier this month – you can see why Dynamo are so delighted.