22 Nov Manchester City leave it late as Raheem Sterling strike keeps winning run going
Raheem Sterling struck a late winner as Manchester City secured top spot in Champions League Group F with a 1-0 win over Feyenoord.
The England international clipped home his 11th goal of the season after 88 minutes at the Etihad Stadium to extend City’s club record winning run to 17 matches in all competitions.
It had otherwise been a rare flat performance from City – by recent standards at least – but Napoli’s convincing victory over Shakhtar Donestsk in the other group game meant they were always in control of their destiny.
What they said
Man City boss Pep Guardiola: “A win is better than not. We are going to analyse the performance – the first half we could do better – but sometimes it is difficult having won lots of games and being already qualified. We didn’t have the right tension to play but that is normal.”Feyenoord boss Giovanni van Bronckhorst: “To concede a goal in the 88th minute was a bit harsh but you could also see the quality of the City squad. We deserved more – we played a good game and could have scored before the 1-0 but overall I am very proud of the way we performed and represented our club.”
Tweet of the match
Star man – Nicolas Otamendi
The Argentinian has enjoyed a good start to the season and he performed well in the absence of the injured John Stones and the rested Vincent Kompany. Otamendi stood strong as Feyenoord tried to force the pace in the latter stages and helped make the night comfortable for his partner Eliaquim Mangala.
Ovation of the match
City did not play badly but, by recent standards, they were a little underwhelming. Given that a place in the last 16 was already secure, they can probably be forgiven for taking their foot off the gas. Until Sterling’s late strike, the most heartening moment of the evening came after 75 minutes when Pep Guardiola decided to introduce Phil Foden. The star of England’s recent Under-17 World Cup success received a great ovation as he replaced Yaya Toure. Regarded as one of the country’s top youth prospects, the 17-year-old should benefit from the experience.
In the crowd
Feyenoord’s Champions League challenge has been a dismal one. The Dutch champions began the competition with high hopes but lost their first four group games. Their form in the Eredivisie has also been poor and their title defence already seems in ruins. Credit, therefore, to the estimated 3,000 of their fans in the ground who made a tremendous noise and created a good atmosphere on a night that otherwise felt a bit flat.
Manchester City: Ederson 7 (out of 10), Kyle Walker 6, Nicolas Otamendi 7, Eliaquim Mangala 6, Danilo 6, Ilkay Gundogan 6, Yaya Toure 6, Kevin De Bruyne 6, Bernardo Silva 6, Raheem Sterling 7, Sergio Aguero 6. Subs: Gabriel Jesus (for De Bruyne, 64) 6, Phil Foden (for Toure, 75) 6, Brahim Diaz (for Sterling, 90) 5.Feyenoord: Brad Jones 6, Kevin Diks 6, Renato Tapia 6, Sven van Beek 6, Ridgeciano Haps 6, Sofyan Amrabat 6, Jens Toornstra 7, Tonny Vilhena 6, Steven Berghuis 7, Jean-Paul Boetius 6, Sam Larsson 6. Subs: Nicolai Jorgensen (for Boetuis, 69) 6, Bart Nieuwkoop (for Diks, 72) 6, Bilal Basacikoglu (for Berghuis, 82) 5.
Who’s up next?
Huddersfield v Manchester City (Premier League, November 26)
Groningen v Feyenoord (Eredivisie, November 25)