Napoli 2-4 Manchester City: Sergio Aguero becomes all-time leading scorer as City reach last 16
By Jack Wilkinson
Last Updated: 02/11/17 12:18pm
Sergio Aguero became Manchester City's all-time leading goalscorer in a 4-2 win at Napoli that saw them qualify for the Champions League knockout phase with two games to spare.
Aguero underscored his name in the City history books with the winner on 69 minutes - his 178th goal for the club, one more than Eric Brook.
Lorenzo Insigne had given Napoli a deserved 21st-minute lead only for Nicolas Otamendi (34) and John Stones (48) to turn the game around.
Jorginho drew Napoli level from the penalty spot on 62 minutes but further goals from Aguero and Raheem Sterling secured City's passage to the last 16.
Pep Guardiola made four changes to the Man City side which won at West Brom, with Sergio Aguero, Raheem Sterling, Ilkay Gundogan and Danilo replacing Gabriel Jesus, Bernardo Silva, David Silva and Kyle Walker. Kalidou Koulibaly and Elseid Hysaj, meanwhile, were drafted back into the Napoli line-up.
City only needed a point to reach the last-16 but a lacklustre start gave a Napoli side, keen to keep their Champions league dream alive, hope early on.
Marek Hamsik, looking to equal Diego Maradona's goal tally for Napoli, drew Ederson into action from distance on six minutes, while City struggled to match the intensity set by the hosts.
Dries Mertens had a goal disallowed for offside on 19 minutes but Napoli were not to be denied much longer as his one-two released Insigne, who fired high past the City goalkeeper two minutes later.
But, after the impressive Faouzi Ghoulam was forced off injured, City awoke from their slumber. Aguero fired wide on 32 minutes but the visitors were soon level as Otamendi headed his first Champions League goal beyond Pepe Reina.
Stones rattled the crossbar before half-time but atoned within three minutes of the restart as goal-line technology ruled his header had crossed the line, but City's hard work evaporated when Jorginho converted a penalty after Leroy Sane's foul on Raul Albiol.
Despite having the point they needed to qualify, City pushed on and took the lead for the second time as Aguero sealed his place in history at the end of a flowing counter before Sterling added the finishing touch in stoppage-time.
Napoli: Reina (5), Hysaj (5), Albiol (6), Koulibaly (6), Ghoulam (6), Allan (5), Jorginho (6), Hamsik (5), Callejon (5), Insigne (8), Mertens (8).
Subs: Maggio (5),Rog (5), Ounas ().
Man City: Ederson (8), Danilo (7), Delph (7), Otamendi (8), Stones (8), Fernandinho (7), Gundogan (6), De Bruyne (7), Sterling (8), Sane (9), Aguero (9).
Subs: Silva (5), Bernardo (5), Jesus (5).
Man of the Match: Sergio Aguero
- Man City extended their unbeaten streak to 22 games in all competitions, their best-ever run with a defeat (W18 D4).
- In this game, City found themselves behind for the first time since August 26th (v Bournemouth) in any competition.
- The game saw Napoli lose a home game in the Champions League to an English side for the first time ever (W3).
- Dries Mertens has been directly involved in 16 goals in 17 games for Napoli this season in all comps (12 goals, 4 assists).
- Nicolas Otamendi has netted two goals in his last three games for Man City in all comps, as many as in his previous 93 appearances.
- No Man City player has scored more Champions League goals this season than John Stones (3, level with Raheem Sterling).
Man of the Match - Sergio Aguero
City's victory and their place in the last 16 was effectively secured by Aguero's goal, and it is a moment that will be remembered for much more as the Argentinian claimed his place in club history. Brook's record of 177 goals had stood since 1939, but, as he has done throughout his City career, Aguero showed great composure to find the net.
Maurizio Sarri: "Unfortunately by attempting to win we got a little carried away and it cost us. But I liked the squad's approach. I prefer trying to win even if that means having to take risks. We were facing one of the best teams in Europe and we were aware of the difficulties."
Pep Guardiola: "We cannot expect to control 90 minutes, we are going to suffer. The point is how we are going to overcome and react to that situation. We did it twice, after 1-0 and after 2-2. That's why I'm so pleased."
Manchester City look to maintain their unbeaten start to the season when they host Arsenal on Nissan Super Sunday, live on Sky Sports Premier League.