Manchester City made a big statement about their Champions League intentions last night as they brushed Shakhtar Donetsk aside. The Premier League champions cruised to a 3-0 away win. Pep Guardiola put out a rotated side yet still managed to win comfortably a long way from home. Riyad Mahrez and Ilkay Gundogan both started and both scored. The strength City have in depth is frightening and their performance in Ukraine is sure to give Liverpool cause for concern.
The Blues were just far too good for the Ukrainian side. Riyad Mahrez slotted home after 24 minutes before assisting Ilkay Gundogan 14 minutes later. Gabriel Jesus rounded off the scoring in the 76th minute with a composed finish on the counter. The only encouraging thing about the game for Liverpool is just how wasteful the Citizens were.
Man City managed to miss a bag full of chances on their way to victory. As usual under Guardiola, players were lining up to finish off fine passing moves, Gundogan was particularly wasteful with a heavy touch allowing the goalkeeper time to recover after a Raheem Sterling flick put the German through.
The Manchester side don’t have a splendid record in the competition, they have only reached the semi finals once and couldn’t get past Real Madrid that year. The competition will surely be Pep’s main focus for the campaign. They have dominated domestically as of late, picking up the last two Premier League titles, the Champions League is their ultimate goal. So far they just haven’t had the pedigree to get over the line. There is a certain je ne sais quoi that goes into being an unstoppable European side, Liverpool have it – Man City don’t, yet. Is this the year that they start performing against the other top sides?