Champions League

Super subs see Man City pass Dinamo Zagreb test

2019-10-02 06:43
Raheem Sterling
Raheem Sterling (Getty Images)

Manchester - Raheem Sterling and Phil Foden came off the bench to score the goals as Manchester City closed in on the last 16 of the Champions League by beating Dinamo Zagreb 2-0 at the Etihad Stadium.

City enjoyed 71 percent possession and had 19 attempts on goal, but had to wait until 24 minutes from time to make the breakthrough when Sterling rounded off an excellent team move.

The England international then teed up Foden to secure all three points with virtually the last kick of the game as Pep Guardiola's men took a stranglehold on Group C.

The English champions have maximum points from their opening two games with back-to-back matches against bottom-of-the-group Atalanta to come.

On the eve of the game, Guardiola called on the City fans to turn up on Champions League nights if his side are to turn their domestic dominance into finally conquering Europe this season.

The Etihad was not sold out, but there were still far more in attendance than at the shock defeat to Lyon in City's first Champions League home game of last season.

Those that came never got the goalfest they came for as the hosts peppered the Croatians' goal, but unusually lacked a clinical touch to make their superiority count.

Sergio Aguero had the first chance when a slack pass back freed the Argentine on goal, but Dominik Livakovic stood up well to block as City's all-time top goalscorer tried to round him.

Bernardo Silva was recalled to the starting line-up with Kevin de Bruyne sidelined by a groin injury and Sterling rested.

The Portuguese international could be facing a lengthy domestic ban as the English Football Association investigates a tweet he posted comparing a photo of team-mate and close friend Benjamin Mendy to a black cartoon character for alleged racism.

Bernardo scored the first hat-trick of his career in City's last home game, but was wayward with two great chances on his trusted left foot before being replaced for Sterling on the hour mark.

City should still have been well ahead by then as Aguero blazed over after doing the hard work in spinning onto Mendy's through ball.

Ilkay Gundogan then smashed against the bar and David Silva side-footed wide when it seemed easier to score.

Dinamo had romped to a 4-0 victory over Atalanta on matchday one, but barely ventured over the halfway line and their brave resistence was finally ended with a wonderfully worked team goal.

Rodrigo's pass opened up the Zagreb defence and Riyad Mahrez's low cross left Sterling with the simple task of forcing the ball over the line from point blank range.

That should have alleviated City's frustrations for the night, but Guardiola was shown a yellow card by Dutch referee Serdar Gouzubuyuk and cut an increasingly annoyed figure on the touchline as the hosts saw a number of penalty claims turned away.

There was little for the Catalan coach to be concerned about, though, as City were never in danger of conceding and finally made the game safe deep into stoppage time when Sterling led a counter-attack and teed up Foden to blast into the far corner.

 

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Fixtures
Tuesday, 26 November 2019
Lokomotiv Moscow v Bayer Leverkusen, Lokomotiv Stadium 19:55
Galatasaray v Club Brugge, Turk Telekom Arena 19:55
Juventus v Atletico Madrid, Allianz Stadium 22:00
Atalanta v Dinamo Zagreb, Atleti Azzurri d'Italia 22:00
Manchester City v Shakhtar Donetsk, Etihad Stadium 22:00
Real Madrid v Paris SG, Santiago Bernabeu 22:00
Red Star Belgrade v Bayern Munchen, Stadion Rajko Mitic 22:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Olympiacos, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium 22:00
Wednesday, 27 November 2019
Valencia v Chelsea, Mestalla 19:55
Zenit St. Petersburg v Lyon, Saint Petersburg Stadium 19:55
Liverpool v Napoli, Anfield 22:00
Barcelona v Borussia Dortmund, Camp Nou 22:00
Slavia Prague v Inter Milan, Eden Arena 22:00
Genk v Red Bull Salzburg, Luminus Arena 22:00
RB Leipzig v Benfica, Red Bull Arena 22:00
Lille v Ajax, Stade Pierre-Mauroy 22:00
Tuesday, 10 December 2019
Red Bull Salzburg v Liverpool, Red Bull Arena 19:55
Napoli v Genk, San Paolo 19:55
Ajax v Valencia, Amsterdam ArenA 22:00
Benfica v Zenit St. Petersburg, da Luz 22:00
Lyon v RB Leipzig, Groupama Stadium 22:00
Inter Milan v Barcelona, San Siro 22:00
Borussia Dortmund v Slavia Prague, Signal Iduna Park 22:00
Chelsea v Lille, Stamford Bridge 22:00
Wednesday, 11 December 2019
Dinamo Zagreb v Manchester City, Maksimir Stadium 19:55
Shakhtar Donetsk v Atalanta, Metalist Stadium 19:55
Bayern Munchen v Tottenham Hotspur, Allianz Arena 22:00
Bayer Leverkusen v Juventus, BayArena 22:00
Club Brugge v Real Madrid, Jan Breydel Stadion 22:00
Olympiacos v Red Star Belgrade, Karaiskakis Stadium 22:00
Paris SG v Galatasaray, Parc des Princes 22:00
Atletico Madrid v Lokomotiv Moscow, Wanda Metropolitano 22:00
Saturday, 30 May 2020
TBA v TBA, Ataturk Olympic Stadium 02:00
Logs
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