Manchester City (5) 1-2 (2) FC Basel: RotBlau down hosts but Guardiola's side cruise into Champions League last-eight

Manchester City (5) 1-2 (2) FC Basel: RotBlau down hosts but Guardiola's side cruise into Champions League last-eight

A report from the Etihad as Manchester City fall to a 2-1 defeat against FC Basel.

connor-bennett
Connor Bennett
Manchester CityBravo, Danilo, Stones, Laporte, Zinchenko, Gündogan (Diaz, Min. 66) , Yaya Touré, Bernardo, Foden (Adarabioyo, Min. 88), Sané, Jesus
FC BaselVaclik, Suchy, Frei, Lacroix, Lang, Serey Die, Zuggi, Riveros Galeano, Elyounoussi, Bua (Stocker, Min. 66), Oberlin (Van Wolfswinkel, Min. 73)
SCORE1-0, Min. 8, Jesus. 1-1, Min. 15, Elyounoussi. 1-2, Min. 71, Lang.
REFEREEPavel Kralovec

Goals from Mohamed Elyounoussi and Michael Lang secured a 2-1 victory for FC Basel as Manchester City progress in the last eight of the Champions League with a 5-2 aggregate victory over the two legs. 

Pep Guardiola's side had done the damage to tie when they triumphed 4-0 at St. Jakob Park back in February and looked to close out the second-leg with relative ease. 

They got off to the perfect start in the first 10 minutes as Gabriel Jesus tapped home into an empty net following wonderful wing work from Leroy Sane and Bernardo Silva

Guardiola's side were pegged back only a few moments later as Mohamed Elyounoussi hammered home his volley from close range. Claudio Bravo, replacing Ederson for the night, stood no chance as the Norwegian's powerful strike turned the scores level - if only on the night. 

Raphael Wicky's side grabbed a second, and the lead, with 20 minutes to go as Michael Lang thumped home past Bravo from inside the City 18-yard-box.  

Sane and Silva strike gold

The first-half belonged to Sane and Silva as the wizarding wing pair reached havoc on the Basel wing-backs.

Every chance that fell the way of the home side had their fingerprints all over. It was that combination that struck for City’s opening goal.

Gabriel Jesus tapped home into an open goal but it all came from the wonderful cross of Bernardo Silva. The Portuguese forward received a weighted pass from Sane after the German went on one of his trademark mazy runs across the heart of midfield. Sane beat a handful of defenders before slaloming across the middle of the pitch and playing in his fellow wide-man.

Sane slid in Silva who slid in Jesus to give Guardiola’s side the lead and increase their aggregate lead to 5-0.

The pair connected again as City almost doubled their lead.

Ilkay Gundogan teed up Sane but his fellow German dropped the shoulder and faked out the onrushing Tomas Vaclik. He squared a pass back to Gundogan but the visitors' defence had time to recover and they blocked the midfielder's effort away for a throw-in.

 

Visitors hit back

City’s lead lasted less than 10 minutes as Elyounoussi volleyed home from close range following a quick Basel counter-attack, giving Claudio Bravo no chance and breaking their duck on the scoresheet over the two legs.

Raphael Wicky’s side had chances to cut into the City lead but a lack of cutting edge in the forward areas didn’t help.

Blas Riveros broke down the right-hand side, unmarked, but fired his shot directly into the stomach of Claudio Bravo, keeping the tie momentarily still at 5-1 on aggregate.

Lang powers home

The boisterous Basel away following inside the Etihad Stadium let their voices be head from minute one to minute 90. They were repaid for that support 20 minutes from time as Michael Lang powered his shot home past Bravo from a tight angle inside the City 18-yard-box. 

Goalscorer Elyounoussi teed up Lang with a cut-back from the right-hand side. With only the Chilean goalkeeper's near post to aim for, Lang hammered home and sent the vocal away support bouncing.

 

City ultimately comfortable

The defeat, which is City's first home defeat since December 3rd 2016, was not the fault of lacklustre or arrogant play from the hosts - Basel earned their victory through graft and guile. 

City's boss did opt to make a handful of changes - leaving key men like Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne on the bench for the full duration of the ninety minutes, looking ahead to Monday's Premier League clash with Stoke City. 

Guardiola and his men won't find out their last eight faith for another few weeks but they'll be prepared for almost anybody who rocks up at the Etihad Stadium and stands between them and the Champions League semi-finals.  

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