Aguero, Sane, Sterling 8/10 as Man City thrash Schalke to reach Champions League quarterfinals
MANCHESTER, England -- Manchester City breezed into the quarterfinals of the Champions League with an emphatic 7-0 victory over German side Schalke. Leading 3-2 from the first leg, they had to wait until the 35th minute for the opener from a Sergio Aguero penalty. The Argentine then added a second just three minutes later before Leroy Sane made it 3-0 at half-time as Schalke collapsed.
Bundesliga strugglers Schalke were given little chance before the second leg and City ended up getting the job done without too much trouble to take their place in the last eight of the competition. With a hectic schedule coming in the final months of the season as they continue to compete on four fronts, they managed to waste as little energy as possible to ruthlessly dump out their German opponents.
City made a slow start and can't afford to do that if they're going to progress beyond the quarterfinals for just the second time in club history. Guardiola has warned that the next round should see a significant step up in quality and top European sides will punish City if they aren't at it from the first whistle -- with or without a first-leg advantage.
Manager rating out of 10
7 -- With an FA Cup game against Championship opposition at the weekend followed by the international break, Guardiola went with a strong side to ensure there were no slip-ups similar to those suffered by Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain last week. He didn't look entirely happy with the first stages of the game and his angry cajoling from the touchline provided the response that saw his side come up with three goals in seven minutes to put the tie to bed.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Ederson, 6 -- Little to do with his hands, but his kicking was a touch off its usual high quality.
DF Kyle Walker, 7 -- Comfortable evening for the England full-back, who got forward well.
DF Danilo, 7 -- Another position as the versatile Brazilian moved to centre-back only to look like he had been playing there all season.
DF Aymeric Laporte, 7 -- Back in the starting lineup after an injury and looked like he hadn't been away as he controlled the back line imperiously.
MF Ilkay Gundogan, 8 -- With little threat posed by the visitors, the German international revelled in a "quarterback role" at the base of midfield.
MF Bernardo Silva, 7 -- Moved to a more central position and was able to make runs beyond Aguero, particularly for the opening goal when he was blocked off by Jeffrey Bruma, leading to the penalty.
MF David Silva, 6 -- Took up some great positions but it's not quite happening for the Spaniard at the moment.
FW Raheem Sterling, 8 -- Set up the second goal with a clever backheel and scored with a wonderful first-time finish as he continues to make a big impact in every appearance.
FW Sergio Aguero, 8 -- Full of confidence as he took his tally to 13 goals in 12 games with a Panenka penalty and a well-taken second.
FW Leroy Sane, 8 -- Took his chance to impress after being left out of the starting lineup in recent weeks, even drilling home an emphatic third goal.
MF Phil Foden, 7 -- A well-taken goal rounded off an impressive 30 minutes from the 18-year-old.
FW Gabriel Jesus, 6 -- Got on the scoresheet although Schalke keeper Ralf Fahrmann should have kept it out.
DF Fabian Delph, N/R -- Made his first appearance in six weeks after injury.