Champions League

Sporting CP 0-5 Man City: Player ratings as Cityzens thrash Portuguese champions

Grey Whitebloom
Bernardo Silva celebrates one of his goals in Manchester City's Champions League rout against Sporting CP
Bernardo Silva celebrates one of his goals in Manchester City's Champions League rout against Sporting CP / Zed Jameson/MB Media/GettyImages
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The champions of Portugal were on the end of a rout inflicted by their English counter-parts as Sporting CP were humbled by Manchester City with a 5-0 lesson at home in the Champions League on Tuesday evening.

A boiling atmosphere at the Jose Alvalade Stadium was brought to a tentative hush inside the opening ten minutes as the VAR spent an age checking each frame of Riyad Mahrez's (briefly) disallowed strike. Kevin De Bruyne was eventually adjudged to have been onside, teeing up the Algerian following a silky piece of patented City build up from Bernardo Silva and Raheem Sterling.

Suffocating their hosts with mounting possession and territory, Silva doubled City's lead via a set piece in the 17th-minute as one of the four former Benfica players in the visiting lineup spanked a sumptuous half-volley in off the underside of the crossbar.

Sporting regained some composure, posing enough problems to have Pep Guardiola's neck veins throbbing while demanding more from his players - though they only conceded one shot in that period.

Yet, shortly after the half-hour mark Mahrez eased his manager's concerns, tickling a low cross that somehow scuttled under three defenders for Phil Foden to tap in.

With City's dominance underlined by every effortless pass, pulling apart the hosts' 5-2-3, Sporting minds must have wandered back to their only previous Champions League round of 16 tie - a 12-1 aggregate humiliation against Bayern Munich in 2009.

Bernardo made in-roads on that tally with his second of the night on the cusp of half-time, providing the finishing touch to another devastating combination between Joao Cancelo and Sterling. No team in Champions League history had ever previously led an away game in the knockout rounds by such a gaping margin.

Ruben Amorim's side were granted a minor reprieve as Silva was denied a hat-trick for an armpit offside shortly after the interval. But the vocal travelling fans were treated to a fifth inside an hour, watching on as Sterling stuffed his 150th club goal into the top corner.

Between a growing number of frustrated, firm tackles from the beleaguered hosts, City serenely saw out the contest, putting one foot into the quarter-finals while earning their first Champions League clean sheet of the season.


Man City player ratings vs Sporting CP

1. Goalkeeper & defenders

Aymeric Laporte
Aymeric Laporte returned to the team after being rested on the weekend / Soccrates Images/GettyImages

Ederson (GK) - 7/10 - Nonchalant as ever in possession without a shot on target to face.

John Stones (RB) - 6/10 - Awkward at times when dragged out wide in a one-on-one but not overly troubled.

Ruben Dias (CB) - 7/10 - With every touch greeted by a cacophony of hisses and whistles, the former Benfica player carried out his rare interventions without any hint of dip in his concentration.

Aymeric Laporte (CB) - 7/10 - Aggressive and often effective when engaging his opponent one-on-one.

Joao Cancelo (LB) - 8/10 - Unfazed by repeatedly failing to play the killer pass, his perseverance paid off with a defence-splitting pass for City's fourth goal.

2. Midfielders

Rodri (CM) - 7/10 - The handful of stray passes he committed were only noticeable given how rarely City as a whole gave away the ball. Treated to a touchline refresher-course by Guardiola when he was brought off.

Bernardo Silva (CM) - 8/10 - The author of an outrageous goal was crucial off the ball as well, dropping between Laporte and Cancelo to block off the channel Sporting's frequent game-changer - Pedro Goncalves - looked to target.

Kevin De Bruyne (AM) - 8/10 - Gliding across the turf, perennially out of reach of any flailing leg in green and white.

3. Forwards

Riyad Mahrez (RW) - 8/10 - Extending his status as City's top scorer across all competitions with a dexterous and industrious display.

Phil Foden (ST) - 8/10 - It may have been from a handful of yards, but there was an impudent second of hesitation Foden was composed enough to conduct for his goal. Departed with a 100% pass completion rate for what little that's worth.

Raheem Sterling (LW) - 8/10 - Sprinting towards his own goal to help defend with as much enthusiasm as he scurried forward, the work rate of City's forwards stopped countless Sporting attacks before they even began.

4. Substitutes

Ilkay Gundogan (CM) - 6/10 - Provided one of the few moments where a City player was a stride behind a Sporting man (rather than the countless occasions vice versa) to earn a yellow card that was greeted with a goal-worthy cheer.

Oleksandr Zinchenko (LB) - 6/10

Fernandinho (CM) - 6/10

Liam Delap (ST) - N/A

Nathan Ake (CB) - N/A

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