Manchester City have all but sealed their place in the Champions League quarter-finals after a 5-0 demolition of Sporting Lisbon in Portugal in the first leg of their last-16 tie.
City claimed the lead in the seventh minute through Riyad Mahrez. The Algerian turned the ball in from a De Bruyne pass after Phil Foden’s shot was saved by Antonio Adan.
The goal was initially disallowed for offside but was later given following a lengthy VAR review.
Pep Guardiola’s men doubled their lead 10 minutes later with a superb strike from Bernardo Silva. The Portuguese – one of four former Benfica players in the City side – fired into the roof of the net on the half-volley after a Mahrez corner.
City took a commanding grip on the tie with a third goal just after the half-hour. Foden skipped past a defender to finish calmly from six yards after the hosts failed to close down Mahrez and allowed the winger to fire in a low cross.
The visitors were absolutely rampant and added a fourth before the interval. Raheem Sterling broke down the left to race onto a long ball and tee up Silva, whose deflected effort deceived Adan.
Sterling made his mark on the game, and in some style, when he curled home a magnificent fifth in the 58th minute.
City then played keep ball to make sure they take a huge lead into the second leg at the Etihad in two weeks’ time.
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Man City (4-3-3)
Ederson: A virtual passenger throughout and hardly had a worthwhile save to make as City completely dominated. 6/10
John Stones: Lined up in an unfamiliar right-back role but almost doubled City’s lead with a header in an explosive start from the Premier League leaders. Got forward to support City’s attacks well before being taken off with the score at 5-0! 7
Ruben Dias: Made a couple of crucial interceptions in the first half as Sporting threatened, but an easy night for the City skipper. 7
Aymeric Laporte: Able to watch his teammates in front of him put on a masterclass and was rarely tested throughout. Subbed very late on. 6
Joao Cancelo: A constant outlet on the left, playing very high at times,…