Match Report

Advantage City! Priceless victory in Ukraine

OPENER: Sergio Aguero wheels away after scoring
Champions League
Champions League
Wed 24 Feb
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City produced a breathtaking display to beat Dynamo Kyiv 3-1 and take a giant step towards the last eight of the Champions League.


It was a thoroughly deserved win for the Blues who dominated large periods of the game, opening a two-goal lead at the break courtesy of goals from Sergio Aguero and David Silva.

Though Kyiv briefly rallied, a superb 90th-minute goal from Yaya Toure goal completed a hugely impressive all-round team display that justified resting the majority of the starting XI last Sunday.

With light snow flurries and freezing temperatures at the NCS Olimpiyskiy, a more familiar City side walked out with Manuel Pellegrini making ten changes from the side beaten by Chelsea at the weekend.

Only Fernando survived the expected cull on a night the ghost green Blues knew they had to deliver.

With no competitive game since mid-December, it was no surprise that Kyiv looked fresh and full of zip in the opening stages.

Andriy Yarmolenko caused one or two flutters after five minutes with a cross that Joe Hart nervously pushed onto the top of the crossbar and the Ukrainian champions sought their star winger every time they attacked.

But City weathered the early pressure, gradually played their way into the game and began to threaten the hosts via the promptings of Silva and Toure – and the pair were heavily involved in City taking a 15th-minute lead.

Silva’s deep corner found the head of Toure who intelligently nodded the ball down for Aguero who made no mistake from close range as he scored a crucial away goal – his 19th of the campaign.

It was just the confidence-booster the Blues needed given the three straight defeats suffered of late and incredibly, it was Kun’s 16th goal in his last 17 Champions league starts.

As the half wore on, so City’s grip on the tie strengthened. Quicker and more aggressive, assured in possession and inventive, the Blues were every bit as impressive as the victory in Seville.

It wasn’t a matter of if, rather when the lead would be doubled and when the second goal came, it was a superb team effort.

Gael Clichy lofted a 40-yard pass to Aguero who held the ball up for the overlapping Raheem Sterling who picked out Silva at the far post and the Spaniard rifled a shot into the roof of the net from close range.

The Blues came close to trebling the lead moments later as Aguero raced towards goal, but he dragged his shot wide from ten yards.

With the 60,000-plus crowd silenced, City emerged from the half-time break looking to complete the job and edge closer to a first Champions League quarter-final.

Kyiv began with a risky, cavalier approach, no doubt sensing that their only chance of recovering from the situation they found themselves in was if they pulled one back early in the second period.

It looked like a tactic that was inviting trouble given City’s incisive counter-attacks and Sterling twice threatened to put the tie to bed with darting runs into the box, but it was the hosts who scored next with a deflected shot from Vitaliy Buyalskiy just before the hour-mark.

It was harsh on the Blues who had dominated for so long, but Kyiv had been knocking on the door and it breathed new life into the Ukrainians.

Silva had a decent shout for a penalty moments later but, just as he had done with a Sterling tumble five minutes before, the referee waved claims away.


Kyiv had been much better and with the home crowd roaring them on, City needed to make sure they didn’t concede again in what was an enthralling encounter.

The Blues turned the screw in the closing stages and Kyiv were clinging on at times with some desperate defending as Aguero, Silva and Fernandinho continually threatened to put the tie to bed.

Then Hart was forced into a fine save as Buyalskiy fired in a low drive on 79 minutes and then at the other end, Toure missed a great chance to head a third goal as he nodded Sterling’s cross a foot wide on 82.

With the clock ticking down, Yaya Toure struck the killer blow of this Round of 16 meeting as he played a one-two with the excellent Fernandinho before curling in a sublime 20-yard shot into the top left-hand corner.

It was no more than City deserved on a night when every player in ghost green was a candidate for man-of-the-match honours and the Blues will start as strong favourites to progress into the quarter-finals - though there is still work ahead...

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