Manchester City 0-0 Sporting Lisbon - City Cruise Into Champions League Quarter Finals
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 09: Goalkeeper Scott Carson of Manchester City saves from Paulinho of Sporting Clube de Portugal during the UEFA Champions League Round Of Sixteen Leg Two match between Manchester City and Sporting CP at City of Manchester Stadium on March 9, 2022 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)

Manchester City secured their passage into the UEFA Champions League quarter finals with a goalless draw against Sporting Lisbon on Wednesday night.

Story of the Match

It was a game that was little more than a mere formality after the Citizens all but booked their place in the quarter finals with a 5-0 first-leg victory in Lisbon. Despite this, Pep Guardiola fielded a surprisingly strong starting eleven, although their was a first UEFA Champions League start for young fullback Conrad Egan-Riley, the 19-year-old handed a start in the absence of senior fullbacks Kyle Walker and Joao Cancelo.

Despite the strong starting lineup, there was very little to report in the way of changes during the opening half hour, although they made have had a penalty inside the early exchanges after Gabriel Jesus was bundled down inside the area. Referee Halil Umut Meler waved away the home sides protests, much to the dismay of the Brazilian forward.

There was little hope of a Sporting comeback prior to the game, but that didn't stop the Portuguese faithful from travelling in their numbers to East Manchester. They were in high spirits too, creating an atmosphere worthy of a Champions League last-16 clash from their congregation in the South Stand.

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Manchester City ought to have taken the lead shortly before the break after Raheem Sterling was played through on goal by a sublime ball from Phil Foden. But with the goal at his mercy, Sterling opted to attempt to lift the ball over the advancing Antonio Adan, who stood tall to deny the Englishman and ensure the sides entered the break level.

Manchester City brought Riyad Mahrez and James McAtee into the fold ahead of the second half, and it looked as though it had proved fruitful almost instantaneously, as Jesus fired home from close range just moments after the restart. VAR had other ideas though, with the infamous offside lines showing that the Brazilian had made his run a fraction too early.

There was a clear sense of attacking intent for Manchester City in the second half, one which they had lacked in the first 45. Young McAtee making his claims for more first team action apparent with some fine work from the high pressing number eight role.

Mahrez grabbed a second-half brace in City's resounding 4-1 victory over Manchester United on Sunday, and he very nearly opened the scoring on the hour mark, but his low effort was blocked behind for a corner.

The biggest cheer of the evening came on the 73 minute mark, as veteran stopper Scott Carson was brought on for his first appearance in the Champions League since joining Manchester City, much to the delight of the Etihad faithful.

The 36-year-old was quickly called into action too, rolling back the years to fly off his line and deny the advancing Paulinho. There was a small scare as Carson remained on the deck, but after a brief check by the medical staff, the Englishman was back on his feet to continue.

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Both sides pressed for a winner late on, with second-half substitute and former Spurs winger Marcus Edwards impressing for the Portuguese outfit.

John Stones and Raheem Sterling squandered gilt-edged opportunities to give the hosts the victory deep into stoppage team, both firing wide from close range. In the end, there  was nothing to separate the two sides on the night, the game ending goalless as Manchester City cruised to yet another Champions League quarter final.

Teams

Manchester City: Ederson (73'); Zinchenko, Stones, Laporte (83'), Egan-Riley; Fernandinho (C), Gundogan, Bernardo (45'); Sterling, Foden (45'), Jesus.

Substitutes: Carson (GK) (73'), Slicker (GK), Grealish, Rodri, De Bruyne, Mahrez (45'), Kayky, Delap, Edozie, Mbete (83'), McAtee (45').

Sporting Lisbon: Adan; Porro (78'), Inacio, Coates, Neto (89'), Reis; Tabata, Ugarte; Sarabia (58'), Paulinho (78'), Slimani (89').

Substitutes: Paulo (GK), Virginia (GK), Feddal (89'), Santos (78'), Vinagre, Edwards (58'), Esagio (78'), Essugo, Ribeiro (89'), Veiga

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