Manchester City 7 (10)-(2) 0 Schalke 04: VAR fails to steal limelight as Guardiola's phenomenal front three steer City into last eight
Credit: Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA (Getty)

Manchester City 7 (10)-(2) 0 Schalke 04: VAR fails to steal limelight as Guardiola's phenomenal front three steer City into last eight

Sergio Aguero, Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling all contributed goals to silence Schalke's lively following.

alexturk
Alex Turk

Manchester City reached the Champions League Quarter-Finals in style on Tuesday, thrashing a hopeless Schalke 04 7-0 at the Etihad Stadium to triumph 10-2 on aggregate.

Sergio Aguero scored twice in the first-half and Leroy Sane added one before the break before the hosts ran riot after the restart.

Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva added to the goals before Phil Foden became the youngest Englishman to score in the competition and Gabriel Jesus finished the scoring from the bench.

Story of the match

The travelling supporters had been making themselves heard throughout Manchester city centre earlier in the day and they were controlling the atmosphere in the first half at the Etihad.

It was the City players who were more than happy to control the game from the get-go though. Salif Sane had to make a crucial interception just four minutes in, preventing Bernardo's pass from sending Aguero through on goal.

Kyle Walker then sent a brilliant ball over to the right which put Sterling in behind the defence. He squared his pass for Aguero who had an open goal from three yards out but somehow turned his effort onto the post and out for a goal-kick under pressure from Benjamin Stambouli.

After penning Schalke in their own half for the majority of the opening 30 minutes, the hosts finally found a breakthrough from the penalty spot. Ilkay Gundogan looked to play Bernardo in with a lofted pass but Jeffrey Bruma came across and stuck his arm in front of the Portugal international, bringing him down.

It looked like a harsh decision, initially, but especially with VAR in operation referee Clement Turpin of France will be confident he made the right decision. Aguero stepped up and made it 1-0 in the most fashionable of ways... catching goalkeeper Ralf Fahrmann out with a confident panenka to send his side on their way to a comfortable win.

Schalke found themselves stuck on a slippery slope from there. Just three minutes later, Gundogan found Sterling in behind on the right with another fine pass before the ball is squared to Aguero at the near post. The no. 10 made no mistakes this time and slotted his effort in between the legs of Fahrmann from close-range.

Questionable goalkeeping which left the visitors needing three goals. It took VAR a while to examine the goal which led to mass jeers from the home stands - and probably the away end too - but it stood. 2-0.

City were riding the wave of momentum to their heart's content at this point and former Schalke man Sane added to his wonderful free-kick in Germany with a cool finish three minutes before the break. Oleksandr Zinchenko found the young winger with a precise pass through the right side of the defence and Sane picked it up before directing his low effort across goal and into the far corner.

VAR again wanted to offer a second opinion, but after a few minutes of waiting in the cold the goal still stood. Floodgates open. Tie done.

The second half started in a similar fashion than how the first period ended. Gundogan, with yet another eye-catching pass, played Sane into the box at a tight angle and the 23-year-old sprayed his effort across goal and just wide. Shortly after, Sane was played in again, this time by David Silva, before rounding Fahrmann and slotting home.

The home fans thought it was four but the linesman disagreed and confidently raised his flag... and after another lengthy VAR consultation, it was deemed to be the right call.

City had another goal disallowed on 56 minutes, but this time wrongly. Sane once again picked up the ball on the left and found Sterling on the other side of the box, and the in-form Englishman made no mistake in firing past the goalkeeper. The linesman raised his flag but replays showed Sterling was a fair bit onside.

VAR reviewed it and just like that... decision overturned and we were suddenly on our way towards a cricket score.

It was then Bernardo's turn to get a goal. Sane found himself as the provider again, running into the left side of the box before cutting it back for his team-mate and Bernardo found the bottom right corner with ease. Manchester City 5, Schalke 04 0. You'd surely expect a Champions League knockout fixture to be more competitive, right?

Seven minutes later and the home side had a sixth through substitute Foden and not only did Sane contribute a goal on the night, but also a hatrick of assists. The German found Foden inside the box before the starlet rounded Fahrmann with ease and put the ball into the net.

He's now featured in more European cup games than Diego Maradona and you get the feeling he'll feature in many more throughout his career. What a talent.

Two minutes later, Foden continued to make an impact off the bench. With bags of confidence, he picked up the ball and strutted towards the box with it before firing a goal-bound effort with his weaker foot towards the top right corner. Fahrmann had to think fast to leap and tip it away for a corner - Guardiola with a huge grin on his face continued to jeer his team on.

With five minutes to go, another substitute in Gabriel Jesus piled the misery on Schalke manager Domenico Tedesco - whose job was already under plenty of scrutinies before tonight. Guardiola's men patiently probed the visitors' box until Bernardo teed up Jesus and the Brazilian somehow beat the 'keeper from the edge. 7-0 City, 10-2 on aggregate. An emphatic victory which strengthened the Blues' quadruple credentials.

Takeaways

Is the quadruple dream alive?

City have already secured the Carabao Cup for a second year running and are in a favourable position in the FA Cup Quarter-Finals. On top of that, Guardiola's side lead the way in the Premier League title race and talk is expectedly increasing about whether they can actually pull off the unthinkable.

The future is bright

Barring club legend Aguero, the five other scorers on the night for City were under the age of 25. Foden's going to be a huge star in the future, this is known, but the likes of Sane, Sterling and Bernardo Silva all have at least a decade left in them. Guardiola's building for the present and the future which can only make it seem like European success is a given sooner rather than later.

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