Manchester City reached the knock-out stage of the Champions League with two games to spare with a comfortable victory over Young Boys. Erling Haaland helped himself to a brace and a well-taken goal from Phil Foden saw the blues take the win against the Swiss side, who also had Sandro Lauper sent off in the second half.
Haaland had come under pressure from certain areas of the media after failing to score in City’s opening two Champions League matches. It was also highlighted that the young striker’s last Champions League goal came in April, when he scored a penalty at Bayern in the second leg of their quarter-final tie.
However, the Norwegian hit two goals in Switzerland two weeks ago and slammed home another brace on Wednesday night that firmly silenced the doubters. His first of the night came from the penalty spot while his second was a superb left-foot shot from outside the area.
In between, Foden scored an amazing goal after being picked out superbly by Jack Grealish and the blues could have had more, and probably would have done if they weren’t playing Chelsea on Sunday. By comparison, Young Boys offered very little and couldn’t muster an attempt on goal. At one point during a City attack, Ederson was so confident about the lack of attack that he was stood inside the visitor’s half, leaving his goal completely unguarded.
It clearly demonstrated the dominance that the blues held over their Swiss counterparts, and the blues should have been ahead before Haaland’s opener. Jack Grealish had been played in behind the defence by Mateo Kovacic and the England man teed it up for Rico Lewis, who saw his shot cleared off the line.
The blues had more chances to score, with Foden being denied by the keeper, but when Mathius Nunes was brought down in the area by Lauper, there was only going to be one outcome. Haaland stepped up and powered home the penalty to score his third goal in two games against Young Boys.
City continued to press the visitors, but it wasn’t until first-half injury time that the blues went 2-0 up. Grealish curled a pass to Foden on the right and the ball almost stuck to the England star’s foot as he went past the last defender and bent his left-foot shot beyond the keeper.
The blues were cruising now and their job was made even easier, thanks to Lauper’s second yellow, and the defender went for an early bath after fouling Nathan Ake.
Soon after it was 3-0 and a long-range goal that was completely out of the Erling Haaland textbook. Taking a pass from Lewis, the Norwegian navigated the edge of the box before unleashing a powerful left-foot shot that flew into the top corner.
Despite pressing for more, it remained at 3-0 and the blues qualified for the last 16 with two games to spare and will be confirmed as group winners, should they beat RB Leipzig at home at the end of the month.
Final Score: Manchester City 3-0 Young Boys