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Tuesday 12 November 2019

Magnificent seven for City

Manchester City's Phil Foden rounds Schalke goalkeeper Ralf Fahrmann to score his side's sixth goal of the game during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday March 12, 2019. See PA story SOCCER Man City. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire
Manchester City's Phil Foden rounds Schalke goalkeeper Ralf Fahrmann to score his side's sixth goal of the game during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday March 12, 2019. See PA story SOCCER Man City. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

Manchester City eased into the quarter-finals of the Champions League with a 7-0 thrashing of Bundesliga strugglers Schalke at the Etihad Stadium.

Sergio Aguero began the rout with two strikes late in the first half before the outstanding Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling put the last-16 tie beyond all doubt.

Bernardo Silva, Phil Foden and Gabriel Jesus added further gloss as Schalke collapsed to a humiliating 10-2 aggregate defeat that could spell the end for their manager Domenico Tedesco.

It was as comfortable as it gets for City with the only frustration for hosts – and, most notably, their fans – being the length of time some VAR decisions took.

There were no controversial replay decisions this time, unlike in Gelsenkirchen three weeks ago, but the lengthy delays for consultation highlighted the continuing teething problems of the system.

DOMINATED

Yet that was not a major issue for City, who dominated in a manner they were expected but failed to do in a first leg that proved surprisingly tense.

Toiling in the Bundesliga and with Tedesco reportedly on the brink of the sack, Schalke played like a side lacking confidence.

Even with City short at the back – Aymeric Laporte being their only specialist starting centre-half – the Germans were unable to cause problems.

City were allowed to play at their own pace, patiently waiting for further opportunities after Aguero hit the outside of the post from a Sterling cut-back early on.

They upped the tempo with three goals in the final 10 minutes of the first half.

Aguero made the breakthrough from the penalty spot, calmly chipping in Panenka-style after Bernardo Silva was adjudged to have been bundled over by Jeffrey Bruma.

Aguero doubled the lead moments later when he squeezed a shot through the legs of goalkeeper Ralf Fahrmann at the near post after a cheeky backheel from Sterling.

Sane, who struck with a ferocious free-kick in the first leg, then stunned his former club again by racing onto an Oleksandr Zinchenko pass and rifling home a low shot.

Supporters jeered as all three first-half goals required lengthy VAR reviews and there was frustration early in the second period when another Sane strike was disallowed.

Sane raced through and rounded Fahrmann to tuck home but a flag was then raised and VAR upheld the offside.

The next VAR decision went in City’s favour, however, as Sane clipped a delicate bouncing cross into the area for Sterling to thump into the net. The flag was initially raised but replays this time proved Sterling was onside.

Schalke were crumbling and their night got worse as Sane cut through them again and pulled back for Bernardo Silva to sidefoot in a shot off the post.

Foden came off the bench to add the sixth when he rounded the keeper from another exquisite pass and City were almost playing at walking pace when Jesus, another substitute, bagged the seventh six minutes from time.

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