Manchester City 0-0 Sporting (agg: 5-0): Guardiola's side through despite stalemate
Wednesday, March 9, 2022
Manchester City drew a rare home blank against Sporting but had already done more than enough to reach the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals.
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Manchester City are through to a fifth straight UEFA Champions League quarter-final after a 0-0 draw with Sporting CP confirmed a 5-0 aggregate triumph.
38' Adán thwarts Sterling's attempted chip
47' Jesus goal ruled out by VAR for offside
76' Sub Carson off his line to deny Paulinho
Match in brief: City finish the job
With one foot already in the last eight, City lacked their customary fluency for much of the first half and it was not until Phil Foden's cute pass played in Raheem Sterling that Antonio Adán was required in earnest.
Gabriel Jesus looked to have broken the deadlock soon after half-time but his effort was ruled out for offside.
Sporting had half-chances of their own before Paulinho snuck through for perhaps the best of the game – he was thwarted, however, by substitute keeper Scott Carson, who had come off the bench for only his second ever Champions League appearance. Sporting's late replacement, 16-year-old Rodrigo Ribeiro, was not yet born when Carson made his own competition debut in April 2005.
Sterling hit the side-netting late on.
PlayStation® Player of the Match: Fernandinho (Man. City)
"He was really good in the middle of the pitch – a proper leader commanding the team, with and without the ball."
UEFA Technical Observer panel
Matthew Howarth, Man. City reporter
This was always likely to be a straightforward evening for City, and so it proved despite their failure to score in a game for the first time since October. Sporting rarely looked capable of winning on the night – let alone threatening to forge an unlikely route back into the tie – but the visitors at least managed to restore a modicum of pride after their heavy first-leg defeat.
Carlos Machado, Sporting reporter
Rúben Amorim said that Sporting wanted to show their true selves in this game, and they succeeded. In the opening period they suffered at times, but in the second half Sporting were a different team: confident, bold and creative. More importantly, this is confirmation of the club's growth on the biggest stage. The personality shown by the team points to a bright future.
Pep Guardiola, Man. City manager: "The last decade, step by step, the club grew and for many years we were there in the Champions League and qualifying for the last 16. Now, again, we're in the quarter-final and among the best eight teams in Europe."
Fernandinho, Player of the Match: “We had chances to score and moved the ball well. We would have liked to win, of course, but we’re happy to be through and look forward to the quarter-finals.”
Rúben Amorim, Sporting coach: "We played a hard game. In the second half we improved. I'm satisfied [enough], it's always positive not to lose away to a powerful opponent like this."
Owen Hargreaves, BT Sport
Manchester City and Liverpool are the two teams everybody is aspiring to. The only thing missing for City is that Champions League trophy.
- The last time City failed to score in a home Champions League game was the semi-final first leg against Real Madrid in April 2016.
- City reserve keeper Scott Carson came off the bench to make his second ever Champions League appearance; his first was for Liverpool in the 2004/05 quarter-finals.
- Fernandinho became the 44th player to make 100 Champions League appearances.
- Conrad Egan-Riley and James McAtee, both 19, and 18-year-old Luke Mbete all made their Champions League debuts for City.
Fantasy star performers
Aymeric Laporte – 8
Oleksandr Zinchenko – 8
Pedro Porro – 7
Man. City: Ederson (Carson 73); Egan-Riley, Stones, Laporte (Mbete 84), Zinchenko; Gündoğan, Fernandinho, Bernardo Silva (Mahrez 46); Foden (McAtee 46), Jesus, Sterling
Sporting: Adán; Gonçalo Inácio, Coates, Luís Neto (Feddal 89); Pedro Porro (Ricardo Esgaio 78), Bruno Tabata, Ugarte, Matheus Reis; Sarabia (Edwards 58), Paulinho (Nuno Santos 78), Slimani (Rodrigo Ribeiro 89)