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Men's Team

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City show mettle and Laporte a cut above

SQUAD GOALS: The Blues celebrate after Aymeric Laoprte's vital leveller

SQUAD GOALS: The Blues celebrate after Aymeric Laoprte's vital leveller

Manchester City made it through to the Champions League last-16 for the sixth-consecutive year on Tuesday after a 2-2 draw with Lyon.

Club journalist Rob Pollard has taken a look back at the game to dissect the major talking points. 

1Grit, determination and character

City’s performances over the past 18 months have seen us garner widespread praise for the beauty of our football.

In terms of style, we’re widely considered the finest side in the Premier League era, no small feat given the heritage of the competition.

But in Lyon on Tuesday evening, it was the grit, determination and character of the team that impressed the most.

Coming form behind on two occasions in an away game in the Champions League isn’t easy, particularly against a side as well-drilled as Lyon.

We weren’t at our best for long periods but escaping with a heard-earned point gives a clear indication about this squad’s mettle.

This isn't just an artistic side, it's a robust one, too. 

2Laporte class

There can be little doubt who City’s stand-out player was in France. 

Aymeric Laporte, who has started every Premier League and Champions League game so far this season, was a revelation in his home country, producing arguably the most well-rounded display of his City career thus far.

At just 24, he possesses everything a top-class modern-day centre-half needs. He reads the game intelligently, is quick and strong, good in the air and consistently produces well-timed challenges. Time and again on Tuesday he stymied the Lyon attack, before popping up at the opposite end in to power in a header for our first equaliser.

It was a world-class display from a player who looks capable of becoming the finest centre-back in European football.

READ: Lyon 2-2 City | Pep delighted with resilient display

READ: Johnny Hart remembered 

3Travelling man

Sergio Aguero’s header – a brilliant example his razor-sharp ability inside the 18-yard box – means he has now scored in each of his last six Champions League away matches. Only Cristiano Ronaldo with 12 has ever managed a longer streak.

He now has 54 goals in UEFA club competition, putting him level with Juventus legend Alessandro Del Piero.

Highlights

Video

Highlights: Lyon 2-2 City

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4Lyon a fine side

Guardiola was right in his post-match assessment of Lyon: they are one of the best teams we’ve faced in recent times.

They counter-attacked at great pace and pressed us high and hard when they lost the ball. In Nabil Fekir, they have a creative player of genuine quality, and Maxwell Cornet's pace and eye for a goal was a constant discomfort to our backline. 

This was a stern test that perhaps we needed. 

5Goal machine

It’s now 14 goals in five Champions League games so far this season, more than any other side.

Add that to the 40 we’ve plundered in 13 Premier League games and a strong pattern emerges: City are a wonderful attacking outfit.

In total, we’ve scored 59 goals in 20 games across all competitions, an average of almost three goals per game.

It’s an incredible statistic and long may it continue.

WATCHING BRIEF: Aymeric Laporte keeps tabs on the Lyon attack

Interviews

Video

Laporte: Qualifying for last-16 was crucial

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6Familiar territory

The win means we have progressed to the last-16 for the sixth-consecutive season, the longest current run of any Premier League side.

We are one of eight sides already into the knock-out phase, alongside Ajax, Barcelona, Bayern München, Juventus, Manchester United, Real Madrid and Roma.

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LEVEL BEST: Aymeric Laporte celebrates his goal

Kyle Walker hailed the all-round quality of Aymeric Laporte after the central defender’s towering performance in Manchester City's 2-2 Champions League draw at Lyon.

Match reaction after Manchester City's 2-2 Champions League draw away at Lyon