FootballManchester City

Three for Three

Man City remain perfect with 3-0 win over Olympiakos in Champions League

Manchester City took a big step towards the knockout stage of the Champions League Tuesday beating Olympiakos 3-0.

Game Story

The Blues came out of the gate flying putting the Greeks shaky defense on their heels early on.

In the 12th minute, they got the breakthrough they were hoping for at Etihad Stadium after a cheap giveaway by the visitor’s defense.

Ferran Torres finished off a great one-two between himself and Kevin De Bruyne for his third goal of the competition.

Olympiacos had a chance to equalize in the 22nd minute.

Mathieu Valbuena’s searching ball for Lazar Randelovic through the centre was cut off by Ederson in the City goal.

In the 42nd minute City nearly doubled their lead.

Zinchenko fizzed out a ball to Mahrez, who laid it onto Kyle Walker on the overlap.

Jose Sa though was alert to the danger, smothering the cross with Raheem Sterling lurking nearby.

A double switch by Pedro Martins at half-time seemed to spark his team early in the second half with the entrance of Pedro Rodrigues and Bruma.

In the 54th minute, Mathieu Valbuena should have leveled the match.

An awful giveaway by Phil Foden across his own six-yard box went right to Valbuena who couldn’t convert.

Just past the hour mark Moroccan Youssef El-Arabi just missed a good chance to equalize.

Two minutes later a great ball by De Bruyne to Sterling saw the Englishman’s effort well saved by Sa.

On 71 minutes De Bruyne fired an effort just over the bar.

Olympiakos defender Jose Holebas broke free out wide in minute 73 but his cross was just out of reach.

Nine minutes from the end City substitute Gabriel Jesus made it 2-0 with a thundering effort from a tight angle.

Another City substitute Joao Cancelo made it 3-0 in the 90th minute with his first goal of the season.

Stats

 You can add another assist for Kevin De Bruyne who’s been one of the best playmakers in the competition over the past few seasons.

In fact, the Belgian now has 14 assists in the Champions League since the 2017/18 season, the second most behind only PSG striker Kylian Mbappe.

There’s some encouraging news for City’s defense lately.

Since conceding five times to Leicester City, the Citizens have only allowed three goals in their following eight games.

They’ve kept a clean sheet in three straight matches in all competitions for the first time since September 2019.

Gabriel Jesus returned from injury with a goal and maintained his impressive form of late in Europe.

The Brazilian striker has been directly involved in nine goals in his last seven Champions League appearances.

City is now unbeaten in their last 14 group stage matches in the Champions League

Jose Sa let in more goals this game than in his previous seven domestic league matches (2).

Three’s Company

This is the third game where City have scored three times.

Last week they beat Marseille 3-0 and they came back to beat Porto 3-1 on matchday 1.

Man of The Match

 Ferran Torres was a thorn in the Olympiakos side all match long.

The Spaniard had three key passes inside the box for his team.

He led his team in shots with five and scored for the third straight game in the Champions League.

At 20 years of age, he’s the third-youngest player in Champions League history to score in four consecutive appearances.

Only Kylian Mbappe (at 18) and Erling Haaland (at 19) have done it faster.

What the Manager said

 After the game City boss Pep Guardiola said: “In the first half, we played really well. In the second half, we struggled for some moments but when we scored the second one it was over.

“We’ve had a good three games, nine points. We need three more points or one more point to qualify. We have five days to recover for Liverpool and then the international break.

What it means

City remains top of Group C with 9 points.

Porto is right behind them after beating Marseille earlier in the day to move into second with 6 points.

Olympiakos are third with 3 points while the French runners-up last season are fourth without a point.

Next Up

 City will look to punch their ticket to the Champions League Round of 16 when they travel to Greece to face Olympiakos again on November 25.

Kickoff for that one is at 5:55 pm.

The Blues attention shifts to the Premier League where they host last season’s EPL Champions Liverpool on Sunday at 4:30 pm. (JSL)

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