John Stones scored twice as Manchester City got their Champions League group campaign under way with a commanding win over Dutch side Feyenoord in Rotterdam. Stones registered City’s fastest ever goal in the competition with a header after two minutes as Pep Guardiola’s men made a perfect start.Sergio Aguero doubled the lead after 10 minutes, latching on to Kyle Walker’s cross and volleying into the roof of the net to claim his 23rd goal in 41 Champions League games for the club.
Gabriel Jesus netted on his Champions League debut as City went 3-0 up after 25 minutes, the Brazilian calmly slotting into an empty net after Benjamin Mendy’s shot had been palmed out by Brad Jones. Feyenoord improved after the break but City still had too much for them, Stones adding his second with another header from a corner to wrap up a one-sided win for the Premier League side.In the other game in Group F, Shakhtar Donetsk beat Napoli 2-1 in Ukraine. Relive Wednesday’s Champions League matchesFootball Daily: ‘Kane the most complete centre forward for some time’
Fast-starting City exploit Feyenoord frailties
Before the game, Guardiola said City had “to win respect in Europe” after making it past the last 16 just once in seven Champions League campaigns, and failing to win any of their last six away games in the competition while conceding 14 goals. City will not earn that respect on nights such as this, easing to big wins against limited opposition, but they did what they had to do with efficiency and style.They were also aided by poor defending by Feyenoord, back in the Champions League for the first since the 2002-03 season, with Stone’s opener trickling in after defender Tonny Vilhena made a comically inept attempt to clear off the line.Aguero’s fine finish was much more about City’s crisp and clean passing play, but Feyenoord’s defensive shortcomings where there for all to see for Jesus’ strike – the home players stood still as the Brazilian fired home, mistakenly believing he was offside – and Stones’ second.Feyenoord, managed by former Barcelona and Arsenal defender Giovanni Van Bronckhorst, went into the match on a run of four straight wins at the start of the new Eredivisie season but could pose no threat to the visitors as they slumped to the club’s heaviest ever home defeat in European competition.Just 28% possession and one shot on target betrayed the hosts’ lack of invention, and Van Bronckhorst’s switch to a back four from a three in the second half perhaps spared them an even bigger defeat. Will City’s ‘huge effort’ prove money well spent?
Bookmakers have installed City as favourites for the Premier League title and also the most likely of the five English teams in the Champions League this season to win it. Those odds, coupled with a record £215m spend in the summer, the biggest by any club in any transfer window, has increased expectations. Summer signings Walker (£45m), Bernardo Silva (£43m), Ederson (£35m) and Mendy (£52m) all featured in the match, with Guardiola acknowledging the role they will play in Europe. “We have made a huge effort to buy players to make that step forward in Europe, like all the big teams have done,” said Guardiola, who has reached the semi-finals in seven of his eight Champions League campaigns as a manager but has not made the final since 2011. “It’s important to see if we can continue to go away from home now and play with an attacking mentality.”Man of the match – John Stones (Manchester City)
‘We weren’t ready for them’ – manager quotesManchester City manager Pep Guardiola: “There is no doubt about John Stones’ quality. His two goals were so important. “He knows where he has to improve, defending the duels, but he’s so young and he is able to achieve.”When he does, he will become an exceptional central defender.”Feyenoord boss Giovanni van Bronkhorst: “I said they are a very good team, with a lot of qualities and speed – everything to be a top team. We weren’t ready for them.”We started not good. If you concede in the first two minutes and the second after nine minutes – that was a big blow. We couldn’t get into the game.”Maybe we were a bit anxious, nervous – the first time for a lot of players at this level. You could see the difference and the difference was too big.”City register overdue clean sheet – match statsFeyenoord have won only two of their last 16 Champions League games (D6 L8).Feyenoord have lost four games on the bounce in the Champions League for the first time in the club’s history.Manchester City have won away from home in the Champions League for the first time in their last seven attempts (D3 L3).City have kept their first clean sheet in the Champions League since September 2016 (eight games).John Stones’ goal after 1:35 is the fastest scored by Manchester City in the Champions League.Stones is also the first Man City defender to net a brace in the Champions League.Gabriel Jesus is the fourth player to score on his Champions League debut for Man City (also Balotelli, Kolarov & Nolito).Sergio Aguero has scored 18 goals in his last 22 appearances in all competitions for Manchester City.The last time Feyenoord hosted a Champions League fixture they also conceded at least three goals and that too was against an English side – a 3-2 defeat vs Newcastle in the 2002/03 campaign.What’s next?City face an away trip to Watford in the Premier League on Saturday (15:00 BST) and will be back in Champions League action at home to Shaktar Donetsk on 26 September, while Feyenoord travel to Napoli on the same night (both 19:45).Line-upsMatch StatsLive TextLine-upsFeyenoord25Jones4St. JusteBooked at 38mins33BotteghinBooked at 66mins6van der Heijden18Nelom21AmrabatSubstituted forLarssonat 78’minutes8El Ahmadi10VilhenaBooked at 40mins19BerghuisSubstituted forToornstraat 45’minutes29KramerBooked at 40minsSubstituted forVenteat 72’minutes7BoëtiusSubstitutes11Larsson17Diks20Tapia22Bijlow28Toornstra34Vente41GeertruidaMan City31Ederson2Walker5Stones30Otamendi22Mendy25FernandinhoSubstituted forSanéat 72’minutes20Bernardo Silva17De BruyneBooked at 15mins21SilvaSubstituted forDelphat 67’minutes10AgüeroSubstituted forSterlingat 60’minutes33JesusSubstitutes1Bravo3Danilo7Sterling8Gündogan15Mangala18Delph19SanéReferee:Szymon MarciniakAttendance:43,500Match StatsHome TeamFeyenoordAway TeamMan CityPossessionHome28%Away72%ShotsHome8Away11Shots on TargetHome1Away8CornersHome3Away7FoulsHome14Away9Live TextPosted at Match ends, Feyenoord 0, Manchester City 4.Full TimePosted at 90’+3′ Second Half ends, Feyenoord 0, Manchester City 4.Posted at 89′ Bernardo Silva (Manchester City) wins a free kick on the left wing.Posted at 89′ Foul by Jeremiah St. Juste (Feyenoord).Posted at 87′ Foul by Bernardo Silva (Manchester City).Posted at 87′ Miquel Nelom (Feyenoord) wins a free kick in the defensive half.Posted at 86′ Hand ball by Miquel Nelom (Feyenoord).Posted at 84′ Attempt blocked. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Benjamin Mendy.Posted at 84′ Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Miquel Nelom.Posted at 83′ Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Jeremiah St. Juste.Posted at 80′ Fabian Delph (Manchester City) wins a free kick on the right wing.Posted at 80′ Foul by Sam Larsson (Feyenoord).SubstitutionPosted at 78′ Substitution, Feyenoord. Sam Larsson replaces Sofyan Amrabat because of an injury.Posted at 76′ Attempt missed. Jens Toornstra (Feyenoord) right footed shot from outside the box is too high from a direct free kick.Posted at 76′ Foul by Raheem Sterling (Manchester City).Posted at 76′ Jean-Paul Boëtius (Feyenoord) wins a free kick in the attacking half.Posted at 75′ Attempt missed. Karim El Ahmadi (Feyenoord) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Dylan Vente.SubstitutionPosted at 72′ Substitution, Manchester City. Leroy Sané replaces Fernandinho.SubstitutionPosted at 72′ Substitution, Feyenoord. Dylan Vente replaces Michiel Kramer.Posted at 70′ Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.Posted at 70′ Foul by Karim El Ahmadi (Feyenoord).Posted at 69′ Hand ball by Jan-Arie van der Heijden (Feyenoord).SubstitutionPosted at 67′ Substitution, Manchester City. Fabian Delph replaces David Silva.BookingPosted at 66′ Eric Botteghin (Feyenoord) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.Posted at 66′ Bernardo Silva (Manchester City) wins a free kick on the right wing.Posted at 66′ Foul by Eric Botteghin (Feyenoord).Posted at 65′ Attempt saved. Bernardo Silva (Manchester City) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.Posted at 65′ Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Brad Jones.Posted at 64′ Attempt blocked. Jens Toornstra (Feyenoord) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Sofyan Amrabat.Goal!Posted at 63′ Goal! Feyenoord 0, Manchester City 4. John Stones (Manchester City) header from very close range to the high centre of the goal. Assisted by Kevin De Bruyne with a cross following a corner.Posted at 62′ Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Eric Botteghin.Posted at 61′ Attempt blocked. Tonny Vilhena (Feyenoord) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.Posted at 60′ Foul by Kyle Walker (Manchester City).Posted at 60′ Tonny Vilhena (Feyenoord) wins a free kick on the left wing.SubstitutionPosted at 60′ Substitution, Manchester City. Raheem Sterling replaces Sergio Agüero.Posted at 59′ Offside, Manchester City. David Silva tries a through ball, but Gabriel Jesus is caught offside.Posted at 56′ Corner, Feyenoord. Conceded by John Stones.Posted at 52′ Foul by Sergio Agüero (Manchester City).Posted at 52′ Jan-Arie van der Heijden (Feyenoord) wins a free kick in the defensive half.Posted at 49′ Bernardo Silva (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.Show more updatesgoal
Source: BBC Featured