Manchester City seems to have secured Tuesday evening already a place in the quarterfinals of the tournament to the Champions League. The team of manager Josep Guardiola won the first confrontation with FC Basel with a big difference, so that the reunion in three weeks’ time in the Etihad Stadium is very much like a formality: 0-4. Ilkay Gündogan made two hits for the visitors; Bernardo Silva and Serio Agüero also scored.
The leader of the Premier League was in the first half ruled and master in St. Petersburg. Jacob Park. Raphaël Wicky’s team had only the first fourteen minutes more or less in response to the citizens’ game, which then struck mercilessly. After a corner by Kevin De Bruyne, Gundogan was stronger in the air than Fabian Frei and headed the opening hit behind Tomas Vacliv. The FC Basel goalkeeper didn’t look good a few minutes later when Bernardo Silva got the ball from De Bruyne after a change of direction. He could not turn the high level of commitment of Portuguese: 0-2.
After about twenty minutes of playing, the 0-3 already appeared on the scoreboard. After a duel by Fernandinho, Agüero picked up the ball and hunted the teachings of about twenty metres in the corner, while Vacliv remained nailed to the ground. The team of Guardiola tried to make a fourth hit for peace and quiet, but Vacliv saved on a stake of Rahema Sterling and an attempt by De Bruyne was a real hit. FC Basel came no further than an early opportunity for Dimitri Oberlin, whose lobe was rendered harmless by Nicolás Otamendi, and an attempt by Valentin Stocker. However, Ederson saved skilfully.
The second company was less than ten minutes old when Gündogan made his second of the evening. The German received the ball from Agüero and shot the leather with the right in the upper corner: 0-4. The generous intermediate stand was a good reason for Guardiola to change his team: Leroy Sané made his race as a replacement for Sterling, while David Silva took the place of De Bruyne.
In the remainder of the second half the match went up and down, with opportunities for both teams. A header from Oberlin went hand in hand, while Ederson turned a shot from Mohamed Elyounoussi. On the other side of the field Vacliv stood a quarter of an hour for time in the way of a hattrick by Gundogan. For Manchester City, however, the priority at that time was already to keep the zero and so on. Ricky van Wolfswinkel started on the bank and did not come within the lines.
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