Raheem Sterling scored a late 88th minute winner as Manchester City beat Feyenoord to clinch the top spot of their Champions League group Tuesday night at the Etihad.
Despite escaping the match with all three points, City played a largely dull first half and failed to create many clear cut opportunities against a struggling Feyenoord side.
1st half bore
Brad Jones seemed to have a difficult in catching the ball early in the first half, as the Feyenoord goalkeeper fumbled easy catches in his own box on two occasions.
At the other end of the pitch, Ederson had his own close call with the ball. The Brazilian misread a back pass towards his goal, and his mistake almost set up Feyenoord’s Jean-Paul Boetius.
City’s two best chances in the first half came from the creative play of Raheem Sterling. In the 33rd minute, Sterling’s shot from outside the box had to be punched away by Jones. Sterling also created a great chance for Bernardo Silva in the 36th minute. The winger dragged the ball across the box and found Bernardo on the right side, but the Portuguese’ shot was underwhelming and made for an easy save by Brad Jones.
Feyenoord seemed up to the challenge in the 69th minute, as the visitors from the Netherlands got comfortable in their build up play and forced a tip save from Ederson in the City goal to keep the match scoreless. Steven Berghuis' shot on goal was just tipped over the bar by the Brazilian goalkeeper.
Kevin De Bruyne, who came into the match needing a yellow card to be suspended for City's match at Shakhtar Donetsk in December, promptly picked up his yellow in the 65th minute and was then immediately substituted for Gabriel Jesus. De Bruyne's suspension will allow him to miss a virtually useless group stage match in Ukraine, as well as rest before the Manchester Derby against Manchester Untied later that week, whilst being free for the first leg of the last 16 game.
Gabriel Jesus' introduction allowed fans and pundits alike to see the Brazilian play alongside Sergio Aguero, something that has not been seen since the early stages of the season. Manager Pep Guardiola has said that Benjamin Mendy's injury has forced him to play one striker.
Fountain of youth
Phil Foden, England's U-17 World Cup star, made his senior competitive debut for Manchester City when he substituted Yaya Toure in the 75th minute. While many thought he might start the match, the 17-year old came on in the late stages as City were looking for a decisive and winning goal.
They'd get that winning goal through Sterling, his one-two with Gundogan allowing him to get free before converting.
Another City youthful prospect, Brahim Diaz, made his season debut for City when he replaced goalscorer Raheem Sterling in the 90th minute.
Manchester City return to action on Sunday as the travel to Huddersfield to play Huddersfield Town in Premier League play.