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Match Report: Sevilla FC 0-4 Manchester City

Haaland and City too much for Spanish hosts!!

Sevilla v Manchester City - UEFA Champions League Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

Manchester City are off and running in the UEFA Champions League. The Sky Blues set sail on the strength of a dominant performance on both ends of the pitch, and two more goals from Erling Braut Haaland. City are clear of Dortmund at the top of the Group G table after defeating hosts Sevilla FC 0-4.

It was a warm but beautiful evening in Andalusia as City kicked off their 2022/23 UEFA Champions League campaign at Sevilla FC. The hosts had come into the night looking to find their form after a slow start in La Liga having collected just 1 point from their first 4 games. Despite their poor record, the Sevillistas did not pack in behind the ball against Pep Guardiola’s side. Instead, they looked to pressure City when possible and push forward positively.

This tactic would eventually work in City’s favour. After a first 10 minutes that saw Sevilla holding their own in possession, the Sky Blues began to put their grip on the match. With the ball now clearly heading in the Spaniard’s direction, City began to probe for an opening in the Sevilla back line. More than one attempt from the visitors was wildly off target, with Kevin De Bruyne uncharacteristically putting two balls well into the seats of the Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán.

Off-the-mark shots aside, City’s attack gave the feeling of impending goals. And the goals did come. On a bit of a half break, City pushed the attack up the right side of the pitch. Phil Foden would find an overlapping KDB curling in towards the box. De Bruyne lifted a sublime cross to about 5 feet in front of goal onto the waiting left foot of, who else, Haaland (20’). Haaland’s touch found no resistance as it sailed into the back of Sevilla goalkeeper Bono’s net for his 11th goal in his first 7 games and first Champions League tally for Manchester City.

The first half would continue in this way. Sevilla were able to make roads into the CIty end, but were never able to get a ball on Ederson’s net. Likewise, City kept the pressure going forward, and while their chances were a bit more dangerous, they were unable to get another past Bono in the first 45. The teams headed to the dressing room Sevilla 0-1 City.

The second half would see Pep’s men keep pushing for another goal. After having dominated Aston Villa on the road over the weekend in the Premier League but managing only a 1-1 draw, City needed the next goal to put their stamp on the match. It looked as though that goal would come on the counter as De Bruyne headed in 1-v-1 with Bono only to have the keeper deflect his low attempt over the line for a corner kick.

City wouldn’t have too much longer for the goal they so desperately deserved. In the 58th minute, with the Manchester Blues once again probing deep in Sevilla’s end, Joao Cancelo found Foden (58’) in the penalty area just inside the half-circle. Foden collected the pass, moved to his left, then to his right, and placed a low shot into the side netting just passed the outstretched glove of Bono.

From there the victory and all 3 points seemed secure. Ilkay Gundogan came on in the 62nd minute to replace Jack Grealish who had made his return from injury, and the play kept flowing in one direction. Sergio Gomez nearly found Haaland for a second goal but the Norwegian’s volley went wide. Foden looked to have set up Gundogan but the flag went up for offside.

Sevilla got the ball down into City’s end soon after for an off-target chance, and City once again turned the ball in the opposite direction. With Sevilla’s shape compromised, Foden was once again in the middle of the scoring chance. Having received the pass just on the edge of the area, he released a shot that glanced off Bono. The ricochet found its way into the path of the most dangerous man on the pitch, and City’s Nordic Meat Shield, Haaland (67’), put his second of the night in to give Pep Guardiola a three-goal cushion.

That was really it at the end of the day. City were comfortable in seeing the game out, even if Ederson had another weird goalie interference incident. The Champions of England, as is their custom used their possession as their best defence. To illustrate the point, in the second minute of stoppage time, after a City corner that had been dealt with but not cleared by Sevilla, Cancelo found centre-back Ruben Dias (90’) with a low cross for a tap-in from four feet out.

City were dominant and in control of this match from the opening whistle. Phil Foden was brilliant in his attacking midfield role to win Man of the Match honours, and KDB was his usual sublime self. With all that, the storyline continues to be Haaland. He now has 12 goals and 1 assist in 7 matches for City. One truly can’t say enough about how much of a revelation he has been in sky blue. Now, can he help City break the Tottenham Curse?

Next up in the UEFA Champions League for City is a home date with Haaland’s former club, Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday, September 14. Sevilla will face FC Copenhagen on that same date in desperate need of a result to keep pace with the top of Group G.