Match Report

Classy City complete Champions League double over Club Brugge

Classy City complete Champions League double over Club Brugge
Champions League
Champions League
Wed 3 Nov
Phil Foden 

Riyad Mahrez 

Raheem Sterling 

Gabriel Jesus 

John Stones 
View highlights
Second half goals from Riyad Mahrez, Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus helped City secure a deserved 4-1 Champions League group win over Club Brugge at the Etihad.

In a fast-paced and entertaining clash, Phil Foden’s early first half opener had been cancelled by a John Stones own goal with the Belgian side proving dangerous opponents.

But Pep Guardiola’s side stepped up the attacking ante after the break and goals from Mahrez and substitutes Sterling – his first in Europe in 13 months - and Jesus were no more than we deserved.

The victory - our second in successive games against Brugge - also moved us top of Group A, leaving us in the driving seat to clinch a last 16 place with City knowing a point over Paris Saint-Germain later this month would seal the deal.

What happened

Guardiola’s side set out seeking a quick response to last weekend’s league reverse to Crystal Palace and we were immediately on the front foot.

With Mahrez deployed on the right flank, Jack Grealish on the left and Foden operating centrally, City sought to pull and probe the Belgian back line at every opportunity.

An exquisite 13th minute Grealish through ball put in Joao Cancelo who executed a superb chip which cannoned back off the post.

Within two minutes however City were ahead.

STRIKE ONE: Phil Foden celebrates his opener
STRIKE ONE: Phil Foden celebrates his opener

After an initial Mahrez attack had been blunted, the ball found Cancelo on the left edge of the box and his precise low ball found the waiting Foden who made no mistake from three yards out. Even a VAR check wouldn’t deny us this time!

However, City’s lead only lasted less than 180 seconds.

A fine left-wing break by Brugge danger man Charles De Ketelaere saw him despatch a teasing header to the waiting Hans Vanaken whose 10-yard right foot shot brought an initial fine save out of Ederson.

But from the rebound, De Ketelaere whipped in another dangerous cross which ricocheted off Bernardo Silva’s and hit the unfortunate John Stones and found the net to level affairs.

Not surprisingly, the goal galvanised the visitors who provided evidence of just why they were crowned Belgian champions last term and it required a smart save from Ederson on 32 minutes to deny Brugge again.

The keeper dived low to his right to deny the impressive De Ketelaere after he unleashed a stinging drive from 20 yards.

De Ketelaere was providing ample evidence of why he has been touted as Belgium’s heir to Kevin De Bruyne and only a timely tackle by Rodri prevented the Brugge talisman being through on goal.

City almost made an immediate breakthrough straight after the restart thanks to another fine piece of vision from Grealish.

HEAD BOY: Riyad Mahrez makes it 2-1
HEAD BOY: Riyad Mahrez makes it 2-1

His threaded pass put in Mahrez who fired in from a narrow angle but Brugge’s former Liverpool keeper Simon Mignolet was equal to the task.

Cancelo then whipped a curling 20-yard effort narrowly wide as City sought to up the pressure and tempo with Mignolet also gathering a close-range Laporte header.

Brugge remained a threat with De Ketelaere inches wide after beating the City back-line but our persistence was finally rewarded on 55 minutes.

As with our first, Cancelo was the provider again – his inviting cross begging to be met and Mahrez’s header restoring our advantage.

With a little over 20 minutes left, Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling were sent into the fray and Sterling almost extended our lead immediately after more Bernardo brilliance.

He danced around two challenges in the Brugge box only for his shot to be blocked.

However, he wasn’t to be denied and within two minutes Raheem had got the all-important third.

Foden’s delicious left wing pass put Gundogan in space and the skipper’s precise pass left Sterling with the easiest of finishes.

THREE CHEERS: Raheem Sterling finds the target
THREE CHEERS: Raheem Sterling finds the target

It was his first goal in Europe since against Marseille in October 2020 and was just reward for his tireless effort and endeavour.

Substitutes Cole Palmer and Gabriel Jesus could have extended our lead before Jesus then rounded off things in style with a fine injury time strike - Cancelo providing a third assist - to ensure it was job done for City.

Line ups

City: Ederson, Walker (Zinchenko 78), Cancelo, Stones, Laporte, Rodrigo, Gundogan (c), Bernardo(De Bruyne 75) , Grealish (Jesus 68), Foden (Palmer 79), Mahrez (Sterling 68)

Subs: Steffen, Carson, Dias, Aké, Fernandinho

Brugge: Mignolet, Mata, Hendry, Mechele, Nsoki, Sobol, Rits, Vormer, Vanaken, Lang, De Ketelaere

Subs: Lammens, Shinton, Ricca, Maoussa, Van Der Brempt, Mbamba, Dost, Wesley, Sowah, Izquierdo

Six appeal

Riyad Mahrez's all-important second half strike was his sixth out of 14 UEFA Champions League goals to have come against Club Brugge.

It was a timely strike and extended his remarkable personal record against the Belgians.

Against all other opposition in Europe the most our Algerian winger has scored in the competition is three.

Star man

Another goal and another man of the match display from Phil Foden whose season goes from strength to strength.

He was a constant menace and a real thorn in Brugge's side al night long.

And it's easy to forget that Phil is still only 21 years of age.

Another performance right out of the top drawer.


What it means

With two games left in Group A, tonight’s result has seen City take a decisive step towards sealing a top two finish – and with it a place in the last 16.

Paris Saint-Germain’s 2-2 draw in Leipzig means we are top on nine points from four games with PSG behind us on eight.

There’s now a five-point gap to third placed Brugge with Leipzig bottom on a point.

A point over Paris in our home game later this month would seal our ticket through to the last 16, a win and we top the group.

Pep’s verdict

"Fully deserved. In the first few minutes we scored a goal but after conceding we dropped a little bit.

"The second half was really good. A good game, good victory."

What’s next

City return to Premier League action on Saturday – and the small matter of the Manchester derby.

Pep Guardiola’s side make the short journey to Old Trafford to take on Manchester United in what will be an eagerly-anticipated encounter.

Kick-off is at 12.30pm and, as always, we’ll have full and comprehensive coverage across our app and

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