Manchester City qualified for the knockout stages of the Champions League after a 5-2 victory over CSKA Moscow with Alvaro Negredo scoring hat-trick and Sergio Aguero helping himself to two more.
After just four minutes Aguero opened the scoring, placing a penalty high into the net after Zoran Tosic had brought David Silva. On 20 minutes, Samir Nasri played the ball into Aguero’s feet just inside the box. With his back to goal, the Argentine spun his marker and fired a low drive into the corner to double City’s lead.
It wasn’t just his goals that were helping City, but his industry too. Winning a tackle on the halfway line, he swapped passes with Negredo, and his low cross for the Spaniard was tapped in at the back post.
Just before half-time, Seydou Doumbia pulled a goal back for CSKA, collecting a through ball and rounding Costel Pantilimon to score.
In the second half, it took just six minutes for Negredo to double his tally for the match. Toure fed the ball to Nasri, who was able to lay the ball off for the Spanish striker to score.
With 20 minutes to go, Gael Clichy needlessly gave away a penalty after fouling Doumbia, who converted the resulting spot-kick, but no comeback materialised. In injury time, the excellent Negredo headed home to score his third.
PRE-MATCH: Joe Hart remains on the bench, and Vincent Kompany has yet to recover from his injury, so City may struggle at the back.
4' - AGUERO GOAL: Aguero scores from the spot after Tosic brings down Silva inside the box.
20' - AGUERO GOAL: Receiving the ball with his back to goal, Aguero spins his marker and drives the ball low into the far corner.
30' - NEGREDO GOAL: Aguero turns provider, setting up Negredo to tap in at the back post.
45+1’ DOUMBIA GOAL: Doumbia collects a through ball and rounds Pantilimon to pull a goal back for CSKA.
51' - NEGREDO GOAL: Toure chips the ball to Nasri, who lays it off for Negredo to get his second.
71' - DOUMBIA GOAL: Gael Clichy pulls down Doumbia, and the striker is back up to convert the penalty.
90+2' - NEGREDO GOAL: The striker completes his hat-trick, heading in his third.
This the first time Manchester City have qualified for the group stages of the Champions League.
With his two goals tonight, Sergio Aguero became Manchester City’s top scorer in European football.
This was only the second time City won two consecutive Champions League games.
CSKA Moscow have still not won a European away game in England.
TALKING POINT: Has Manuel Pellegrini solved Manchester City’s stage fright? Despite the dodgy defending that saw them concede two soft goals, City did so from a position of strength. With Vincent Kompany and Joe Hart, possibly, to return, the prospects of City in Europe look far brighter than they did under Roberto Mancini.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Alvaro Negredo (Manchester City): Although Aguero also impressed, amongst others, Negredo’s hat-trick confirmed that City are no longer cowed in Europe, and can rely on him to lead the line.
Manchester City: Pantilimon 6, Zabaleta 6, Demichelis 6, Nastasic 6, Clichy 6, Nasri 8, Fernandinho 7, Toure 7, Silva 7, Aguero 8, Negredo 9. Subs: Kolarov 6, Milner 6, Dzeko 6.
CSKA Moscow: Akinfeev 6, Ignashevich 6, Berezutski 6, Nababkin 6, Schennikov 5, Wernbloom 5, Honda 6, Tosic 5, Milanov 5, Musa 6, Doumbia 6. Subs: Elm 5, Vitinho 6, Zuber 6.
THE MATCH IN A TWEET
- Sports & Recreation
- Sergio Aguero
- Manchester City
- Alvaro Negredo