MANCHESTER, United Kingdom, Mar 13 – Manchester City smashed Schalke 7-0 to comprehensively book their place in the quarter-finals of the Champions League 10-2 on aggregate on Tuesday.
Sergio Aguero struck twice before Leroy Sane came back to haunt his former side before the break.
Sane then turned provider for Raheem Sterling, Bernardo Silva and Phil Foden before Gabriel Jesus rounded off a stunning night for the English champions.
Here, AFP Sport looks at three things we learned:
Sane stings Schalke again
Sane’s stunning free-kick five minutes from time in the first leg that brought 10-man City level at 2-2 in Gelsenkirchen was the turning point in the tie.
A product of Schalke’s academy, Sane did not celebrate his strike that night or City’s third in front of the travelling fans at the Etihad but will have been delighted to again make his case for a more regular start to Pep Guardiola.
A star of City’s romp to the Premier League title last season, Sane has perennially been left on the bench this campaign with Guardiola preferring Sterling, Silva and even Riyad Mahrez of late.
But the German international’s calm finish and assists for Sterling, Silva and Foden took his tally to an impressive 14 goals and 17 assists despite limited minutes.
Quadruple dream faces tougher tests
League Cup winners, Premier League leaders and now both Champions League and FA Cup quarter-finalists.
City may face a gruelling schedule in the final two months of the season, but they remain on course to make history with a quadruple of trophies.
Undoubtedly tougher tests than a Schalke side languishing just above the Bundesliga relegation zone lie in wait.
However, the impact made by Foden and Jesus off the bench suggests City have the strength in depth to cope with going for glory on four fronts, whilst the likes of Fernandinho, Kevin De Bruyne and Benjamin Mendy will soon be back from injury to lend their hand to the quadruple quest.
No Champions League Brexit
On a day when political turmoil over the United Kingdom’s future relationship with the European Union reigned, the Premier League’s revival in the Champions League continued unabated.
For the first time in eight years at least three English sides will be in Friday’s quarter-final draw as City joined Manchester United and Tottenham in the last eight.
And more could be to come when Liverpool look to complete a clean sweep for the Premier League from three Anglo-Bundesliga battles when they travel to Bayern Munich on Wednesday with their last 16 tie poised at 0-0 after the first leg.
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