Manchester City secured their place in the last 16 of the Champions League with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Young Boys. Erling Haaland was the star of the show, scoring twice to help his team maintain their perfect record in Group G. With 12 points from four games, City are sitting comfortably at the top of the group. On the other hand, Young Boys are struggling at the bottom with just one point and were further hindered by a red card shown to Sandro Lauper in the 53rd minute. Despite the win, Pep Guardiola emphasized that the job is not yet done and that finishing first in the group is crucial for the advantage of playing the second leg at home in the last 16. Guardiola praised his team’s performance and the two fantastic goals they scored.
Haaland’s impressive performance in this match further solidified his status as one of the top strikers in the world. With his two goals, he now has a total of 39 Champions League goals from just 34 appearances. He is on track to break the record for the fewest appearances to reach 40 goals, currently held by Ruud van Nistelrooy with 45 games. However, there were concerns about Haaland’s availability for the match due to an ankle injury he sustained in the previous game against Bournemouth. Fortunately for City, he was able to play and make a significant impact on the game.
Unfortunately, City also suffered a setback with the loss of John Stones. The defender, who recently returned from a hip injury, was substituted at halftime due to a muscle issue. Guardiola expressed his disappointment and stated that Stones will be out for a while, which is bad news for the team. Despite this setback, City dominated the game from the start and put pressure on Young Boys. Haaland opened the scoring with a penalty in the 23rd minute, confidently sending the goalkeeper the wrong way. Just before halftime, Phil Foden doubled City’s lead with a well-placed shot after a pass from Jack Grealish. Haaland then sealed the victory with a stunning left-footed rocket from outside the box in the 51st minute. He was substituted a few minutes later to a standing ovation from the home crowd.
City could have scored more goals as they had several near misses, including a shot from Rico Lewis that was cleared off the line by Loris Benito. Young Boys’ manager, Raphael Wicky, acknowledged the difficulty of playing against City and praised their performance. City’s unbeaten run in the Champions League now extends to 17 games since their loss to Real Madrid in the semi-finals in May 2022.
Jack Grealish, who provided the assist for Foden’s goal, spoke highly of Guardiola and the team’s unity. He described Guardiola as the best manager in the world and emphasized the importance of having a strong team both on and off the pitch. City’s next two group stage matches are against RB Leipzig on November 28 and Red Star Belgrade on December 13.
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