Manchester City 1-0 Feyenoord: Pep Guardiola's side top Group F after Raheem Sterling hits winner
By Charlotte Marsh
Last Updated: 22/11/17 7:36am
Manchester City were confirmed as Group F winners after Raheem Sterling's late goal saw them beat Feyenoord 1-0 in the Champions League on Tuesday.
Heading into the game, City had to better the result of second-placed Shakhtar Donetsk to seal top spot and did so, with the Ukrainians losing 3-0 to Napoli and Pep Guardiola's side snatching a late victory at the Etihad Stadium.
After a number of close calls and near misses, Sterling chipped home over Feyenoord goalkeeper and former Liverpool team-mate Brad Jones in the 88th minute to maintain City's 100 per cent winning record in the competition this season.
Youngsters Phil Foden and Brahim Diaz came on as substitutes in the second half as Guardiola's side went four points clear at the top of Group F with one game to play.
Man City: Ederson (7), Walker (7), Mangala (7), Otamendi (7), Danilo (7), Gundogan (7), Toure (7), De Bruyne (7), B Silva (7), Sterling (8), Aguero (7).
Subs used: Jesus (6), Foden (6), Diaz (n/a).
Feyenoord: Jones (5), Van Beek (7), Haps (7), Diks (7), Tapia (6), Vilhena (7), Amrabat (6), Toornstra (6), Boetius (7), Larsson (6), Berghuis (6).
Subs used: Jorgensen (5), Nieuwkoop (5), Basacikoglu (5).
Man of the match: Raheem Sterling.
Unlike the reverse fixture in September, it was a quiet start to the game at the Etihad Stadium, with the opening 30 minutes mostly littered with slips from Jones. It was City who had the first clear-cut chance in the 33rd minute as a superb flicked cross from Kevin De Bruyne found Sergio Aguero in the middle, but he could only head the ball just over the bar.
The chances kept coming for both sides afterwards. A thunderous shot from Sterling was punched away by Jones, before Sam Larsson just poked an effort wide of the upright at the other end. Sterling was then involved again as he picked out Bernardo Silva on the right of the box after a mazy run, but the Portuguese's placed shot was well collected by Jones.
Pep Guardiola made seven changes, with only Ederson, Kyle Walker, Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling keeping their spots. Sergio Aguero returned up front to captain the side. Feyenoord made four changes to their XI.
Ederson had few saves to make, but produced a fine fingertip effort as he raced off his line to push away the ball from the feet of the oncoming Tonny Vilhena, although the Feyenoord midfielder went flying as the two collided, leading to calls for a penalty from the visiting fans. However, the referee did not point to the spot as the first half ended without a goal.
City continued to have near misses as the second period got underway with Aguero unable to direct a curling cross from Danilo towards goal, before De Bruyne powered the loose ball just wide in the 50th minute. The Belgian again fired wide in the 63rd minute, before Yaya Toure also skimmed a fine free-kick just past the post not long after.
Feyenoord's best chance of the game came in the 69th minute as Larsson slid in Steven Berghuis down the left of the box, with his effort from close range being pushed over the crossbar by Ederson. Five minutes later, Aguero had another chance as he controlled a superb ball from Silva onto his chest but his shot on the turn went agonisingly past the post.
Foden made his maiden Champions League appearance in the 75th minute, becoming City's youngest ever debutant in the competition, and the hosts eventually found the net 13 minutes later. Sterling played a give and go with Ilkay Gundogan, who slotted him in down the right of the box, and the winger chipped ball over the oncoming Jones and into the top corner.
4 - Phil Foden is the 4th youngest English player to make an appearance in the Champions League (17y 177d). Only Jack Wilshere, Dominic Solanke & Ainsley Maitland-Niles have been younger on their CL debut. Future.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) November 21, 2017
It was to be his last contribution to the match as he was replaced by another Champions League debutant in Diaz with only injury time to play, as Man City saw the game out to take another three points.
- Manchester City have won five successive Champions League games for the first time in their history.
- Manchester City have now scored in 23 of their last 24 competitive fixtures - the only time that they didn't score in this run was versus a Championship side (Wolves in the EFL Cup).
- This was Pep Guardiola's 50th win as Manchester City manager, in what was his 75th game in charge of the club (W50 D15 L10). It took him 71 games to reach this landmark at Barcelona and just 65 games at Bayern Munich.
- Sterling now has more goals for Manchester City this season in 17 appearances (11) than he did in 47 apps last season (10).
Man of the match - Raheem Sterling
It was another solid performance from Sterling, who continues to mature under the guidance of Guardiola. He popped up with a superb goal when it looked likely that City were going to be held by the side who are yet to pick up a point in the Champions League this season.
It wasn't only in front of goal that he made important contributions. Sterling was fully involved in plenty of Man City attacks and scored in his fourth successive Champions League match.
City are on the road in the Premier League on Sunday when they travel to Huddersfield, live on Sky Sports. Feyenoord will play Groningen on Saturday evening in the Eredivisie, which will be live on the Sky Sports Football red button.