Club Brugge 1-5 Manchester City: Phil Foden stars in a dominant European performance
BRUGGE, BELGIUM - OCTOBER 19: Cole Palmer of Manchester City celebrates after scoring their side's fourth goal during the UEFA Champions League group A match between Club Brugge KV and Manchester City at Jan Breydel Stadium on October 19, 2021 in Brugge, Belgium. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Manchester City went into this game sitting 3rd in Group A, after a win at home to RB Leipzig and a loss away against Paris Saint-Germain in their first two fixtures. A result in this particular fixture would see the Blues leapfrog their Belgian opponents.

Speaking of Brugge, a match-day one draw with PSG and a fantastic win against Leipzig on match-day two left them in a very healthy position going into this clash.

Man City dominated the game from start to finish, scoring five goals and moving to the top of Group A for the time being. 

Story of the game

Pep Guardiola made four changes from the team which easily dispatched Burnley at the weekend.

Ederson, Ruben Dias, Kyle Walker and Jack Grealish all came into a City XI looking to take one step closer to qualification for the knockout stages.

The Blues started the game as they meant to go on – creating chances galore.

The front three of Grealish, Phil Foden and Riyad Mahrez were combining effortlessly in the final third and terrorising the Brugge defence.

Grealish, battling with Stanley N'Soki, managed to get the right side of the centre-back and lobbed the keeper, but the referee pulled it back for a foul and the goal was chalked off.

Moments later, Rodri was the latest to believe he'd give City the lead. A well orchestrated free-kick saw Aymeric Laporte lay off the Spaniard to slam home, but the celebrations were, once again, cut short by the offside flag.

The interplay between midfield and attack was in full flow. Kevin De Bruyne had a few great chances of his own, but his weak attempts were too easy for Simon Mignolet to gather. 

After all that bad luck, it was going to take something special to break the deadlock, so there was no surprise when that was produced by Phil Foden. 

Dropping deep, the 21-year-old fired a 40 yard ball over the top of the Brugge defence straight onto the boot of Joao Cancelo. The Portuguese took down the ball well, shrugged off the challenge and poked the ball through Mignolet's legs. 

It did not take long for City to double their lead.

Mahrez was successfully cutting onto his left foot all night and skipped between N'Soki to force the foul and win a penalty. Despite a dubious record, the Algerian stepped up and buried City's 2nd into the bottom left corner.

Half-time couldn't come quick enough for the Belgian outfit, and Mignolet was again on hand to deny City twice before the break. Unfortunately for Brugge, the relentless nature of City's attack didn't cease when the teams re-emerged for the second half. 

Straight away, De Bruyne was at the heart of a well-worked move which ended with Kyle Walker slotting in a third goal. One of the full-back's lung-bursting runs have finally paid off, with Walker notching his maiden European goal. 

With the win all but secured, Guardiola rung the changes and one substitute in particular had a night he'll never forget.

Cole Palmer - another City academy graduate - replaced De Bruyne and, only five minutes later, scored City's 4th. After a quick break down the left, he combined with another substitute in Raheem Sterling before expertly slotting past the goalkeeper.

There was some joy for Brugge in the game. Club captain Hans Vanaken scored his 3rd Champions League goal of the campaign with a nicely slotted finish.

It was predictably City who had the last laugh, with Fernandinho finding Mahrez behind the Brugge defence before the winger made it five with a cool finish.

It ended 5-1, but the scoreline did flatter Brugge, who were dominated from start to finish at the Jan Breydel Stadium.

Starting XI’s

Club Brugge: Mignolet; C. Mata, Hendry, N'Soki, Sobol; Sowah, Rits, Balanta, Lang; Vanaken (C), De Ketelaere.

Manchester City: Ederson; Walker, Laporte, Dias (C), Cancelo; Rodrigo, De Bruyne, Silva; Mahrez, Grealish, Foden.

 

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