Manchester City seal last 16 spot with six changes and a win over Young Boys

Manchester City

Manchester City confirmed their qualification to the knockout stages of the Champions League with a 3-1 victory over Young Boys at the Etihad Stadium. Pep Guardiola made six changes to his starting line-up from the weekend’s 6-1 thrashing of Bournemouth, but his side still had enough quality and firepower to overcome the Swiss champions.

Manchester City

Haaland is on target again as City dominates the first half

City wasted no time in asserting their dominance over Young Boys, who had never won an away game in the Champions League. The hosts took the lead in the 12th minute when Erling Haaland scored his 10th goal in the competition this season, tapping in from close range after a brilliant cross by Jack Grealish. The Norwegian striker, who had recovered from a slight ankle injury, was a constant threat to the Young Boys’ defense with his pace and movement.

City doubled their advantage in the 28th minute when Phil Foden curled a superb shot into the top corner from the edge of the box, after a clever pass by Matheus Nunes. The young midfielder, who was one of the six changes made by Guardiola, impressed with his energy and creativity in the middle of the park. Foden celebrated his goal by pointing to the sky in tribute to his grandfather, who passed away recently.

Young Boys had little to offer in attack, as they struggled to cope with City’s high press and fluid passing. Their only chance of the first half came in the 40th minute when Meschack Elia forced a save from Ederson with a low shot from a tight angle.

Young Boys pull one back but City restores the two-goal cushion

The visitors came out with more intent in the second half and managed to reduce the deficit in the 52nd minute. Jean-Pierre Nsame converted a penalty after Josko Gvardiol brought down Cedric Itten in the box. The Croatian defender, who replaced Nathan Ake at left-back, was booked for the foul.

However, City responded quickly and restored their two-goal lead in the 57th minute. Ruben Dias, who captained the side in the absence of Kevin De Bruyne, headed in from a corner by Foden. The Portuguese center-back, who was another change from the weekend, showed his leadership and aerial prowess with his first goal of the season.

City controlled the game for the rest of the match and could have added more goals to their tally. Haaland hit the post with a powerful shot in the 65th minute, while Grealish and Foden also went close with their attempts. Young Boys tried to create some chances of their own, but Ederson was alert to deny Itten and Elia.

City secure top spot and set a new record

The final whistle confirmed City’s fourth consecutive win in Group G, and their place in the last 16 of the Champions League. They also secured the top spot in the group, as they have a nine-point lead over second-placed RB Leipzig, who lost 2-1 to Manchester United. City have won their first four group games for a third time, and became only the fourth holders of the trophy to do so, after Bayern Munich and Real Madrid.

City also set a new record for the most consecutive wins in the Champions League, with 14. They surpassed the previous mark of 13, which was held by Bayern Munich. City has scored 36 goals and conceded only four in this run, which started in October 2022.

Guardiola will be pleased with his side’s performance and the contributions of his fringe players, who showed their depth and quality. City will look to maintain their momentum and unbeaten run in all competitions, as they face Liverpool in a crucial Premier League clash on Sunday.

By Kane Wilson

Kane Wilson, founder of this news website, is a seasoned news editor renowned for his analytical skills and meticulous approach to storytelling. His journey in journalism began as a local reporter, and he quickly climbed the ranks due to his talent for unearthing compelling stories. Kane completed his Master’s degree in Media Studies from Northwestern University and spent several years in broadcast journalism prior to co-founding this platform. His dedication to delivering unbiased news and ability to present complex issues in an easily digestible format make him an influential voice in the industry.

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