Manchester City Score Four Beautiful Goals In Their 4-0 Demolition Of Basel
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Would you believe me if I told you Manchester City hammered an opponent with an assist from Kevin De Bruyne, a goal from Sergio Aguero and 75 percent possession? Yes, Aguero got his 29th goal of the season, De Bruyne his 19th assist and City out-passed Basel 779-211 at St Jakob-Park en route to a routine 4-0 Champions League Round of 16 first leg victory.
The March 7 return leg at the Etihad Stadium is now something of a formality, allowing City to fully focus on a difficult upcoming period with an FA Cup match against Wigan, the League Cup final against Arsenal and Premier League matches against both the Gunners and Chelsea before Basel arrive in Manchester to be put out of their misery.
To the goals! And all four of them were quite nice, although Basel goalkeeper Tomas Vaclik wasn’t the hero his side needed.
After a track meet opening (City’s European rivals can take a bit of solace from this — the Citizens weren’t without their shaky moments at the back), Basel succumbed to a corner kick.
De Bruyne’s delivery found Ilkay Gundogan, who beat his marker and directed a lovely header inside the near post.
Surprise surprise, Kevin De Bruyne picks up the assist on this great Gundogan header!That's De Bruyne's 19th in all competitions this season https://t.co/ASFU8Uj8oj
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) February 13, 2018
Four minutes later, in the match’s 18th minute, Bernardo Silva doubled City’s advantage when his volley beat the keeper and the underside of the crossbar to reach the back of the net.
Man City is cruising now thanks to Bernardo Silva's first UCL goal of the season! https://t.co/TJybUQzbWd
Basel’s nine minutes of utter hell were complete in the 23rd when Sergio Aguero planted a long-range shot inside the post with the keeper screened and stationary. The end.
Basel probably shouldn't have given Aguero this much space to shoot... https://t.co/GqWg6tv6rq
But City weren’t done there. Gundogan grabbed his second and the club’s fourth with a curling effort from 20 yards out.
Gundogan gets his second of the night on this BEAUTIFUL curler! https://t.co/ME6Jvkf1Pl
Remarkably, Leroy Sane was then introduced for Sterling in the 57th minute. The German was initially ruled out for seven weeks after sustaining ankle ligament damage in the FA Cup, but he’s back after only 14 days.
With a total squad value of $70.2 million (or roughly one Benjamin Mendy), Basel were never going to trouble the might of City, but Pep Guardiola will be pleased that his side stylishly took care of business in only 53 minutes.