Men's Team

How our City stars fared in the Euro 2020 group stage

How our City stars fared in the Euro 2020 group stage
From winning goals to staunch rearguard action, City’s fingerprints have been all over Euro 2020 so far.

With the knockout rounds looming large after the completion of the group stages, that’s likely to be the case once again this weekend when the last-16 gets underway.

But how have each of our 15 City stars, and their respective nations, fared so far?

Find out below…

Wales: Matt Smith

The City midfielder is yet to make an appearance for the Dragons at Euro 2020, but there’s still time after they secured qualification to the round of 16.

One win, one draw and one defeat was enough to secure Rob Page’s side a second-placed finish in Group A.

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A hard-fought 1-1 draw against Switzerland was followed by an enthralling 2-0 victory over Turkey in Baku, meaning qualification was all but secured before Wales’ group decider with Roberto Mancini’s Italy.

Matteo Pessina’s strike on the stroke of half-time proved to be the winner as, despite playing the final 35 minutes with ten men, Wales ultimately weathered the Azzurri storm.

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Belgium: Kevin De Bruyne

After missing their opening victory over Russia through injury, De Bruyne has been at his masterful best as Roberto Martinez's side swept all before them in Group B.

The PFA Player of the Year grabbed an assist and the winning goal as the Red Devils came from behind to beat Denmark on Matchday Two, before laying on for Romelu Lukaku in a 2-0 victory over Finland.

Topping the group with three wins and seven goals from three matches, Belgium have been one of Euro 2020’s most impressive sides to date.

Netherlands: Nathan Ake

Alongside Italy and Belgium, Holland are the only other nation to come out of the group stages with maximum points.

And that was made possible by Ake’s timely intervention off the bench in the Netherlands’ thrilling opening game victory over Ukraine.

With the scores tied at 2-2, the City defender’s inch-perfect cross was met by the onrushing Denzel Dumfries, who headed home the winner with five minutes to play in Amsterdam.

It was one of the tournament’s most thrilling encounters to date, and set the Dutch on their way to more clearcut victories over Austria and North Macedonia respectively.

Ake once again played his part from the bench in the 2-0 victory over Austria, replacing Daley Blind on the hour, but was an unused substitute in their 3-0 triumph over North Macedonia.

Ukraine: Oleks Zinchenko

Despite suffering late heartbreak at the hands of the Netherlands in their opener, Oleks Zinchenko and co. had shown tremendous grit to initially haul themselves back into the game from a two-goal deficit.

With the City man in midfield, they showed a similar determination on Matchday Two, edging out a disciplined North Macedonia side 2-1 in Bucharest despite a late rally from the tournament debutants.

And although Ukraine suffered a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Austria, Andriy Shevchenko’s side will feature in the knockout stages by virtue of finishing as one of the four best third-placed teams.

An ever-present for Ukraine so far, Zinchenko’s blend of style and industry from the heart of the midfield has been essential in their qualification.

England: John Stones, Kyle Walker, Phil Foden, Raheem Sterling

Finishing top of Group D with two wins and one draw, Gareth Southgate's side remain one of only two nations yet to concede a goal at Euro 2020.

At the heart of that staunch rearguard has been John Stones, starting all of the Three Lions’ matches thus far, while Kyle Walker too has operated at right back against Croatia and the Czech Republic respectively.

Further forward, Phil Foden was at his intricate best on Matchday One and Two when drifting inside from the left flank, before being given a well-earned rest in the final group game.

But the key contribution has so far come from Raheem Sterling, who claimed winning goals in the Three Lions’ two 1-0 victories over Croatia and the Czech Republic respectively.

With two City stars keeping things tight at the back, and another duo pulling the strings further forward, England’s prospects of Euro 2020 glory remain as potent as ever.

Spain: Eric Garcia, Aymeric Laporte, Rodrigo, Ferran Torres

Two draws from their opening two matches left La Roja’s prospects of progression in the balance before they faced Slovakia on Matchday Three.

However, a 5-0 demolition, which included a first international goal for Aymeric Laporte and a Ferran Torres strike with his first touch off the bench, ensured that they secured a second-placed finish.

All four of Spain’s City stars have played their part in the three-time champions’ tournament so far, with Rodrigo starting at the base of the midfield against both Sweden and Poland.

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Laporte has been a constant at the heart of the defence, putting in a standout performance against Slovakia when he was accompanied by Eric Garcia, incidentally making his tournament debut.

After starting in Spain’s 1-1 draw with Sweden, Ferran Torres has been brought on as a substitute for Luis Enrique’s side against Poland and Slovakia respectively.

Indeed, the winger’s impact from the bench was demonstrated with great aplomb in La Roja’s emphatic Matchday Three victory, flicking into the back of the net with his first touch.

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Germany: Ilkay Gundogan

Joachim Low’s side left it late to secure their place in the last-16, securing the point they needed with five to play against Hungary in their final group match.

Ilkay Gundogan has started all three of Die Mannschaft’s matches thus far, playing a particularly key role in their memorable 4-2 win over Portugal from the heart of midfield.

Germany’s four points were also matched by the Portuguese but, due to that victory at the Allianz Arena, they finished second in Group F by virtue of their head-to-head record.

And Gundogan will have the chance to lock horns with four of his City teammates in the last-16, as they travel to Wembley to face Gareth Southgate’s England on Tuesday 29 June.

Portugal: Ruben Dias, Bernardo Silva

The reigning European Champions booked their place in the knockout stages as one of the four best third-placed teams in the tournament’s group stages.

Ruben Dias and Bernardo Silva have both started each of Portugal’s three matches, providing a typical combination of silk and steel for one of the pre-tournament favourites.

Three goals in the final six minutes ensured a Selecao got the better of a spirited Hungary in Budapest, before they suffered a setback at the hands of Gundogan’s Germany in a thrilling encounter in Munich's Allianz Arena.

Needing a point from their clash with World Champions, France, to guarantee their place in the next round, two Cristiano Ronaldo penalties were enough to earn a share of the spoils.

Portugal’s third-placed finish belies the dangers that they possess all across the pitch, with Dias and Bernardo a case in point of that star quality.

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