By Jack Wilkinson
Manchester City 7-0 Schalke (Agg: 10-2): City cruise into Champions League quarters
Report as Leroy Sane haunts former club with mesmeric display as City seal biggest-ever European win
Last Updated: 13/03/19 7:54am
Manchester City cruised into the Champions League quarter-finals as an emphatic 7-0 second-leg victory over Schalke saw them progress 10-2 on aggregate.
Sergio Aguero atoned for missing an early sitter with two first-half goals - the first of which was a Panenka penalty - before Leroy Sane put the tie beyond his former club with City's third before the interval.
Sane then turned provider, setting up Raheem Sterling for a clinical fourth - his sixth goal in his last three appearances - Bernardo Silva for a fifth and Phil Foden for a sixth - his first goal in European football.
Gabriel Jesus completed the rout with City's seventh to cap a perfect night for Pep Guardiola's side, who await their fate in Friday's quarter-final and semi-final draw.
Man City: Ederson (7), Walker (7), Danilo (7), Laporte (7), Zinchenko (8), Gundogan (8), Silva (7), Sterling (8), Sane (9), Bernardo (8), Aguero (8).
Subs: Delph (6), Jesus (7), Foden (7).
Schalke: Fahrmann (3), Bruma (3), Stambouli (4), Sane (4), Oczipka (4), Serdar (4), McKennie (4), Konoplyanka (4), Bentaleb (4), Burgstaller (4), Embolo (5).
Subs: Skrzybski (4), Mendyl (4), Teuchert (4).
Man of the Match: Leroy Sane.
Schalke were positive in the opening exchanges without threatening City, who should have taken the lead inside 14 minutes. Kyle Walker's defence-splitting pass released Sterling who put a goal on a plate for Aguero, but he clipped the outside of the post from three years.
Aguero made amends on 35 minutes with an audacious chipped penalty after Jeffrey Bruma was adjudged to have impeded Bernardo Silva in the area.
One quickly became two as Ilkay Gundogan's lofted pass released Sterling again, who picked out Aguero in the area and he wriggled clear of three Schalke defenders before firing through Ralf Fahrmann's legs.
City made three changes from the victory over Watford as Danilo, Aymeric Laporte and Leroy Sane returned. And there were four Schalke changes from the first leg as Stambouli, Konoplyanka, Burgstaller and Embolo were recalled.
The floodgates opened three minutes before the break. Oleksandr Zinchenko's superb pass played Sane into acres of space and the German clinically added a third to leave Schalke needing four goals.
VAR correctly denied Sane a second on 56 minutes, but City had their fourth seconds later as the German this time evaded the offside trap and crossed for Sterling, who found the back of the net with a devastating first-time finish.
With Schalke out on their feet it was only a matter of time before City pulled further away, Bernardo Silva getting in on the act on 71 minutes, stroking home from Sane's cutback.
Foden came off the bench and took just 14 minutes to get on the scoresheet, taking Sane's through pass in his stride before rounding the goalkeeper. And Jesus put the icing on the cake, beating Fahrmann at his near post to seal City's procession to the quarter-finals.
Analysis: Aguero has carried burden
Sky Sports' Adam Bate: "No wonder Guardiola took him off after 63 minutes once the tie was won. He knows that he needs to protect Aguero if City are to maintain this improbable push on four fronts. The No 10 has shouldered the burden so well in recent weeks.
"If there is a concern it's that Aguero is being pushed to his limit. He has now played 999 minutes of football since January 20. That's a 52-day period in which he has had to play 13 times and been pressed into midweek action six times. It's been a big ask."
- Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has qualified for the Champions League quarter-finals in nine of his 10 campaigns, with 2016-17 the only season he failed to do so.
- Manchester City won 10-2 on aggregate against Schalke - only once previously has a team won by a larger margin in the Champions League knockout stages (Bayern Munich 12-1 Sporting CP in the 2008-09 Last 16).
- Manchester City have scored at least two goals in each of their last seven Champions League games; the longest such streak by an English team in the competition.
- Sergio Aguero has scored in four consecutive Champions League appearances for Manchester City; the joint-longest run of any player for the club (along with Raheem Sterling in November 2017).
- Manchester City winger Leroy Sane scored his 50th goal in all competitions at senior club level (37 for his current club and 13 for Schalke).
- Raheem Sterling has been directly involved in nine goals in his last four starts for Manchester City at the Etihad in all competitions (six goals and three assists).
Man of the Match - Leroy Sane
Sane holds a special place in the hearts of everyone associated with Schalke but they won't want to see him anytime soon after such a devastating attacking display. He registered a goal and three assists, and it could have been had it not been for the odd VAR call. With Sane in such unplayable form, it begs the question how he's not utilised by Guardiola on a more consistent basis.
City travel to Swansea in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup on Saturday (5.20pm GMT). Schalke, meanwhile, host RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga on Saturday (2.30pm GMT).