Champions League

City's Pelligrini wants top spot

2015-11-04 12:22
Manuel Pellegrini (AFP)

Seville - Manchester City secured their place in the last 16 of the Champions League with two games to spare with a hugely impressive 3-1 win at Sevilla on Tuesday.

Early goals from Raheem Sterling and Fernandinho put the visitors in command.

Benoit Tremoulinas pulled a goal back for Sevilla, but Wilfried Bony restored City's two-goal cushion before half-time.

Borussia Moenchengladbach's 1-1 draw with Juventus in the other game in the group means City cannot now be caught by the Germans, or Sevilla due to their superior head-to-head record.

Victory takes City a point ahead of Juventus at the top of Group D with the two set to meet in Turin in three weeks' time.

"I am very happy because I think we played a complete game. We were good physically, technically and tactically," said City manager Manuel Pellegrini.

"We defended very well, we scored three goals and missed four or five clear chances to score more.

"It is important to be qualified two games before, but we want to qualify first in the group."

Kevin de Bruyne had fired a late winner when the sides met at the Etihad two weeks ago as Sevilla pushed City all the way.

De Bruyne was left out of Pellegrini's starting line-up in favour of Jesus Navas on his homecoming after making nearly 400 appearances for Sevilla.

Yet, even without the in-form Belgian and the injured Sergio Aguero and David Silva, City started at a whirlwind pace and were 2-0 up inside 11 minutes.

Sterling opened the scoring with his first European goal for City as he was played in by Fernandinho's fine through ball and slotted calmly into the far corner.

The pace of Sterling and Navas was causing Sevilla endless problems on the counter-attack and the visitors should have made more of an overlap when Sterling teed up Aleksandr Kolarov to fire an effort that Rico parried to safety.

 

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