Champions League: Late De Bruyne strike sees Man City past Sevilla
Holly Thackeray | October 21st
Manchester City 2-1 Sevilla
- Man City spring a late surprise to sink Sevilla
- Yevhen Konoplyanka put the Bathtubs ahead
- Wilfried Bony drew City level in the 36th minute
- Kevin De Bruyne’s last-gasp goal won the game
Sevilla sneaked ahead after City sloppiness
Kevin De Bruyne ensured all the spoils went to Manchester City in their third Champions League Group D duel, as the Belgian bagged a brilliant late goal to defeat an arguably superior Sevilla.
Manuel Pellergrini’s men came out of the blocks with ambition, though the Bathtubs also bared their teeth from the beginning, with appeals early on as Pablo Zabaleta expertly cut out a ball directed at usually deadly Kevin Gameiro, with the visitors believing the Argentine had intervened with his hand. Though, later replays show the right back was instead rather creative with his head.
The Sky Blues then picked up the pace with an excellently stinging effort from former Bathtub Jesus Navas sailing wide, before a jinking Kevin De Bruyne put in a delivery for Toure, who hit only air with his miss-kick. Wilfired Bony did little better after the ball then fell to his feet inside the area, clumsily stroking his attempt straight at Spanish custodian Sergio Rico.
Raheem Sterling certainly sparkled in the first-half and the Englishman’s lethal link-up play with De Bruyne was something to behold. The winger displayed tremendous skill to find his new teammate in the box, though the on-rushing Belgian swept his low left shot just wide.
If the Etihad attack looked promising, the Mancunians’ defence was a real worry. Sevilla seemed to sense blood and did not take long to fire a set-piece warning to wobble City’s dominance, as Yevhen Konoplyanka’s curling effort wrong-footed Joe Hart, but pinged back off the woodwork to bring a reprieve.
Unai Emery’s side then found themselves almost immediately tracking back as more wonderful and wily combintaion play between dangerous duo De Bruyne and Sterling teed up Yaya Toure, whose long-distance effort also felt the power of the post after a deflection.
The Bathtubs finally breached City’s Vincent Kompany-less backline in the 30th minute, after a loose ball rebounded off De Bruyne and into the lap of Vitolo, whose slick pass slid across the Sky Blues’ area. Unmarked Konoplyanka then capitalised on the defensive disorganisation and made amends for his earlier narrow miss with a clinically dispatched strike to the left of a scrambling Joe Hart.
Bony stakes case for regular role
Going behind at least stirred a response from the boys in light blue, as Sterling and Toure both boldly advanced into their guests’ area, but both saw shots blocked. It took just six minutes for that sustained pressure to pay off, however, as bullish Bony found an equaliser around the 36th minute mark.
As a Sterling shot was spilled by Sevilla stopper Rico, Bony pounced to fire in from close-range and score his third in two matches. At this rate, even injured Sergio Aguero might have to sweat over an immediate return to the team, though this strike was later revealed to have taken a slight deflection from defender Adil Rami.
The Citizens continued to ride their luck before and after the break, as usual chance-gobbler Gameiro spurned two opportunities and bookended halt-time by putting two headers over the bar.
De Bruyne deadly again
City also had their chances, with De Bruyne particularly influential, though repeatedly frustrated, in one instance being blocked by the Bathtubs at every turn as he danced through their box.
Sevilla continued to surge forward unperturbed as the half progressed, but the Spanish side’s finishing was crucially wayward, with Vincente Iborra also spurning a superb chance to volley his club ahead.
Eventually and, as the match wore on, rather predictably, the Bathtubs paid for their attacking oversights, as clinical City struck a late blow through De Bruyne in the first minute of added time.
It was Toure who somehow found an extra gear to change the game, bursting across the pitch to put the Bathtubs on the back foot, and all there was left to do was finish, as De Bruyne fired a low but unstoppable trademark strike past a stranded Rico.
Manchester derby duel ahead
So, another morale-boosting continental comeback sees City climb to third in Group D, and also sets the Sky Blues up nicely for the Manchester derby next week. Speaking of, Man City’s local rivals the Red Devils did not fare quite as well in Russia, after Anthony Martial handled the ball in the box to give away an early penalty to CSKA Moscow.
Spain number one David de Gea repelled Roman Eremenko’s subsequent spot-kick but kicked the ball back straight into striker Seydou Doumbia’s path, and the predator duly converted. Though young striking starlet Martial proved his mettle with a redemptive header in the 65th minute to ensure Man Utd left Moscow with a point.
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