By Rhonda Richards | In Match Reports - Home Games
Manchester City secured their spot in the Europa League last-16 in spectacular style, defeating holders FC Porto 4-0 at the Etihad Stadium to seal a 6-1 aggregate victory.
Goals by Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko, David Silva and David Pizarro capped a sizzling performance by Roberto Mancini’s side following the already impressive 2-1 away win in the first-leg.
Staff and fans had barely taken their seat when the hosts went in front, Nigel De Jong cutting out a wayward pass, Yaya Toure picking out Aguero and the Argentina international slotting home after just 19 seconds.
The goal silenced the travelling support who will have been hoping for an early one of their own, and it could have got immediately worse as Silva picked out Toure only for Helton to race off his line and make the block.
The away side posed a serious threat each time they went in search of an equaliser, and Joe Hart had to be at his best to deny Silvestre Varela following an inch-perfect ball by Joao Moutinho, whilst Aguero struck the crossbar after some fine work – flicking the ball round Helton and shooting on the volley only for the ball to come back at him.
Nicolas Otamendi should have done better two minutes before the break, firing well over from 10-yards out, and as the players left the field for half-time City were in command and 3-1 up on aggregate.
Hulk was a potent danger down the left for the visitors and after he worked a yard of space on the flank, his powerful drive on goal was beaten away by Hart, whilst Micah picked up a knock to his knee soon after that forced him from the field of player temporarily.
Porto did have the ball in the back of the net after exquisite play by Maicon and then James Rodriguez, only for the latter’s effort to be chalked off for offside, whilst there was a spell of 15 minutes where Hulk appeared to be on the end of everything – a further shot from inside the box being palmed behind by City’s stopper.
Just as the visitors edged closer to levelling on the night, City were decisive and brutal in their counter-attack. A break from defence saw Aguero eventually pick out his strike partner Dzeko, and the Bosnian tapped home to make it 2-0 in the clash and 4-1 on aggregate.
Any hope of a remarkable comeback were extinguished when Rolando was handed his marching orders in the aftermath of the goal, picking up his second yellow for dissent and marching down the tunnel.
The introduction of Pizarro in City’s midfield was the final nail in Porto’s coffin, picking out passes with ease and linking midfield with attack as Mancini’s men went for the kill. Indeed, four minutes after his introduction City grabbed a third, Pizarro playing a neat one-two with Dzeko before cutting across goal for Silva who added the finish.
There was even time for provider to turn scorer, Pizarro charging into the box and smashing home to make it 4-0 on the night and 6-1 on aggregate, and whilst Porto refused to die down – Hulk and Steven Defour stinging Hart’s palms with respective shots – City sealed an impressive win which signals their intentions in the competition.
Man City: Hart, Richards, Kompany, Lescott, Clichy, Barry, De Jong, Nasri, Toure Yaya, Silva, Aguero. Subs: Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Milner, Pizarro, Dzeko, Savic, Balotelli.
Porto: Helton, Maicon, Rolando, Alex Sandro, Otamendi, Gonzalez, Joao Moutinho, James Rodriguez, Fernando, Varela, Hulk. Subs: Bracali, Cristian Rodriguez, Kleber, Djalma, Sapunaru, Defour, Podstawski.