Man City have one foot in the UCL quarter-finals

Pep Guardiola

Manchester City have all but confirmed their place in the quarter-finals of the Champions League as they left Portugal on Tuesday night after hammering Sporting CP 5-0 in the first leg of their last 16 tie.

Pep Guardiola is yet to win the Champions League since leaving Barcelona, with that regularly being held against his time at both Bayern Munich and now Manchester City, but the Catalan can already start to think ahead to the last eight of this year’s competition.

Riyad Mahrez opened the scoring with just seven minutes played, tapping in after Kevin De Bruyne had pounced on a saved Phil Foden shot to tee him up.

That lead was doubled 10 minutes later, this time with Bernardo Silva netting and in real style. The Portuguese dispatched an unstoppable volley off the crossbar.

Mahrez turned provider for Foden as City bagged a third just after the half-hour mark. Mahrez weaved his way through on the right and found the Englishman with a cross that Foden coolly slotted home after setting himself up.

Ruthlessly, Bernardo Silva got a fourth before half time, this time finishing as Raheem Sterling found him with a clever cutback. He had the ball in the net again five minutes into the second half but VAR ruled he was offside, keeping him waiting for his hat-trick.

Not to let his head drop, though, he turned provider for Sterling for the fifth with arguably the goal of the night. Having been given the ball by Silva, Sterling whipped a stunning strike into the far corner of the goal.

City kept knocking, looking for more, but Sporting were let off rather lightly. The second leg takes place in Manchester on March 9. marca