Champions League

De Bruyne rocket fires City

2017-09-26 23:14
Raheem Sterling (AP)

Manchester - Kevin de Bruyne's superb strike and a late Raheem Sterling goal maintained Manchester City's impressive form in a 2-0 Champions League win over Shakhtar Donetsk on Tuesday.

De Bruyne struck in the 49th minute with a magnificent 20-yard strike into the top right-hand corner of the Shakhtar goal after David Silva's run had ended with the Spaniard teeing up the opening.

It was the Belgian's first goal of City's free-scoring season - a reflection of his new, deeper role under Pep Guardiola - but certainly a goal worth waiting for given its quality.

Although City striker Sergio Aguero failed with a penalty, Sterling's 89th minute finish from 12 yards, after a sprint and cross from fellow substitute Bernardo Silva, spared his team-mate's blushes and wrapped up the points at Eastlands.

Aguero could have doubled the lead, and equalled City's club record of 177 goals currently held by Eric Brook in the 1930s, after Leroy Sane was brought down by Ivan Ordets after 71 minutes.

But Aguero hit his spot kick too close to goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov who dived smartly to his right to keep out the effort.

"The first half we had a few problems as we didn't make enough passes in a row," Guardiola said.

"The second half was much, much better. A lot of credit to my players for today.

"Even in that situation, at 1-0, we were stable."

A game which featured eight Brazilians - five of them from Shakhtar - and just three English players predictably provided plenty of entertainment and admirable football, even if goals were hard to come by.

Both sides had good opportunities to break the first half deadlock, Shakhtar's best falling to the Brazilian Fred on 11 minutes as he appeared on the end of a flowing move to ghost clean through on goal, only for countryman Fernandinho to make a superb covering tackle.

There was also a firm strike from Marlos who forced City goalkeeper Ederson into the game's first meaningful save as he dived sharply to his right.

But most of the other promising moments came from the hosts, looking unstoppable in a recent five-game spell which had seen them score 22 goals.

De Bruyne, one of many of the crop of City stars in a rich vein of form, unexpectedly missed the target, shooting wide after a Gabriel Jesus pass had slipped him through.

And Sane first tested Pyatov with a low shot from the edge of the area then worked his way skilfully through a couple of unconvincing challenges before rolling a shot inches wide of the far upright.

As the half ended, it might have appeared that City's record of never having experienced a goalless draw in the 37 Champions League group stage fixtures was under threat.

But it took just three minutes of the second half for De Bruyne to ensure the streak would continue, a development that opened up the contest even further.

Sane soon tested Pyatov with a darting run and near-post shot and it looked as if Aguero was destined to edge a goal closer the record, when Silva's breathtaking chip forward offered up a volley which the Argentinian struck directly at the keeper.

There might have been more glory for De Bruyne, after another penetrating run down the left from Sane, but this time defender Ismaily managed to block his long-range effort.

De Bruyne almost turned provider after 69 minutes with an enterprising run down the right and perfect cross which substitute Sterling side-footed wide on the volley.

Aguero and Sane, twice, came close in the closing stages although the hosts also had to survive a strong penalty appeal from Shakhtar after the ball appeared to strike John Stones' arm.

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Tuesday, 31 October 2017
Celtic v Bayern Munchen, Celtic Park 21:45
Sporting CP v Juventus, Estadio Jose Alvalade 21:45
Atletico Madrid v Qarabag, Estadio Wanda Metropolitano 21:45
Manchester United v Benfica, Old Trafford 21:45
PSG v Anderlecht, Parc des Princes 21:45
Basel v CSKA Moskva, St. Jakob-Park 21:45
Olympiakos Piraeus v Barcelona, Stadio Georgios Karaiskaki 21:45
Roma v Chelsea, Stadio Olimpico 21:45
Wednesday, 01 November 2017
Besiktas v Monaco, Vodafone Stadyumu 19:00
Liverpool v Maribor, Anfield 21:45
Porto v RB Leipzig, Estadio Do Dragao 21:45
Sevilla v Spartak Moskva, Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan 21:45
Shakhtar Donetsk v Feyenoord, Oblasny SportKomplex Metalist 21:45
Borussia Dortmund v APOEL, Signal-Iduna-Park 21:45
Napoli v Manchester City, Stadio San Paolo 21:45
Tottenham Hotspur v Real Madrid, Wembley Stadium 21:45
Tuesday, 21 November 2017
Spartak Moskva v Maribor, Otkrytiye Arena 19:00
Besiktas v Porto, Vodafone Stadyumu 19:00
Sevilla v Liverpool, Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan 21:45
Manchester City v Feyenoord, Etihad Stadium 21:45
APOEL v Real Madrid, Neo GSP 21:45
Borussia Dortmund v Tottenham Hotspur, Signal-Iduna-Park 21:45
Monaco v RB Leipzig, Stade Louis II. 21:45
Napoli v Shakhtar Donetsk, Stadio San Paolo 21:45
Wednesday, 22 November 2017
Qarabag v Chelsea, Bakı Olimpiya Stadionu 19:00
CSKA Moskva v Benfica, VEB Arena 19:00
Juventus v Barcelona, Allianz Stadium 21:45
Sporting CP v Olympiakos Piraeus, Estadio Jose Alvalade 21:45
Atletico Madrid v Roma, Estadio Wanda Metropolitano 21:45
PSG v Celtic, Parc des Princes 21:45
Basel v Manchester United, St. Jakob-Park 21:45
Anderlecht v Bayern Munchen, Stade Constant Vanden Stock 21:45
Tuesday, 05 December 2017
Bayern Munchen v PSG, Allianz-Arena 21:45
Barcelona v Sporting CP, Camp Nou 21:45
Celtic v Anderlecht, Celtic Park 21:45
Benfica v Basel, Estadio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica (da Luz) 21:45
Manchester United v CSKA Moskva, Old Trafford 21:45
Olympiakos Piraeus v Juventus, Stadio Georgios Karaiskaki 21:45
Roma v Qarabag, Stadio Olimpico 21:45
Chelsea v Atletico Madrid, Stamford Bridge 21:45
Wednesday, 06 December 2017
Liverpool v Spartak Moskva, Anfield 21:45
Porto v Monaco, Estadio Do Dragao 21:45
Real Madrid v Borussia Dortmund, Estadio Santiago Bernabeu 21:45
Maribor v Sevilla, Ljudski vrt 21:45
Shakhtar Donetsk v Manchester City, Oblasny SportKomplex Metalist 21:45
RB Leipzig v Besiktas, Red Bull Arena 21:45
Feyenoord v Napoli, Stadion Feijenoord 21:45
Tottenham Hotspur v APOEL, Wembley Stadium 21:45
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