Sergio Aguero opened the scoring from the spot and added a second three minutes later when Raheem Sterling’s backheel set him up from six yards. Manchester City thrashed Schalke in the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie to confirm their passage to the quarter-finals.
Leroy Sane drilled in the third and picked up a hat-trick of assists after the break as City ran riot. Sterling, Bernardo Silva, Phil Foden and Gabriel Jesus also scored.
After slotting into the far corner in the first half, Sane set up Sterling with a wonderful curling cross that England forward smashed into the top corner.
Silva pounced on Sane’s cut-back to make it 5-0 before substitute Foden rounded the goalkeeper after he was played in by the German winger. Jesus made sure he had a slice of the pie with a late curling strike.
City, who came from behind in the first leg in Germany to win 3-2, were knocked out in the quarter-finals of last year’s competition by Liverpool and have never won the Champions League.
The draw for the last eight will take place on Friday at 11:00 GMT.
City coming of age in Europe?
Manager Pep Guardiola said before this match that City were only “teenagers in the competition” but they were ruthless in this tie and displayed the confidence of seasoned European veterans.
Schalke never looked like scoring and the tie was as good as over the moment Aguero nonchalantly chipped the ball down the middle from the penalty spot.
City were full of creativity and flair – traits epitomised by the fourth goal created by Sane, whose delightful, curling cross was smashed home by Sterling.
The only impediment to City’s progress was a number of time-consuming VAR reviews, which were met with boos from fans inside the Etihad.
Aguero’s second goal was reviewed for over two minutes but Sterling was comfortably onside when Ilkay Gundogan fed a lovely ball in down the right.
Sane had a goal ruled out after he rounded the goalkeeper only to be deemed offside by VAR, and Sterling’s thunderous fourth goal was also reviewed but the correct decision stood.
It was a performance that underlined why City are considered among the favourites to win the competition for the first time.
A number of elite clubs have already been knocked out – Paris St-Germain were outdone by an inspired Manchester United comeback and holders Real Madrid were stunned by Ajax at the Bernabeu.
With one of Bayern Munich and Liverpool certain to drop out on Wednesday evening and Atletico Madrid knocked out by Juventus, Guardiola will be growing ever more confident in the hunt for his third European title.
Will Gundogan sign up?
Midfielder Gundogan said this week there was “no decision yet” on whether he will sign a new contract to extend his stay at City, but fans will be hoping he does after this performance.
He was outstanding from start to finish – spraying passes all over the pitch and splitting the defence with intelligent balls over the top.
Sane may have picked up three assists but Gundogan had a key hand in three goals himself.
It was his inch-perfect ball that led to the penalty being awarded as Bernardo Silva was bundled over by Jeffrey Bruma.
He played Sterling in down the right before the England forward’s backheel set up Aguero’s second goal, and his pass to Sane created the third.
City could have hit double figures on the night with the chances Gundogan created – an outside-of-the-foot pass to Sane was dragged wide and a one-two with Sterling was kept out by Schalke goalkeeper Ralf Fahrmann at the near post.
With Fernandinho and Kevin de Bruyne out injured, City will have no concerns over the depth of talent at their disposal with the likes of Gundogan able to come in and provide such quality.
‘We relaxed and decided to play’ – what they said
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola speaking to BT Sport: “It was a clear result. We are happy to get to the quarter-finals. We didn’t start that well, we were a bit scared to play. But after it went 1-0, we relaxed and decided to play and be aggressive.
“Of course with the qualification already secured, it was tough for them and we kept a good level. We have a lot of injured players so we want to continue this run and get those players back fit.
“Everyone has to compete with each other to play. They all want to play. Everybody tried to play, be bold and keep going.”
Man of the match – Leroy Sane
Foden makes European history – best of the stats
- Guardiola has qualified for the Champions League quarter-finals in nine of his 10 campaigns, with 2016-17 the only season he failed to do so.
- City won 10-2 on aggregate – only once previously has a team won by a larger margin in the Champions League knockout stages (Bayern Munich 12-1 Sporting CP in the 2008-09 Last 16).
- Their progression means there will be at least three English teams in the quarter final stage of a single Champions League campaign for the first time since 2010-11 (Chelsea, Manchester United and Spurs).
- City have scored at least two goals in each of their last seven Champions League games; the longest such streak by an English team in the competition.
- Guardiola has won all six of his home games in the Champions League against German opposition as manager – his sides have scored 28 goals, while conceding just two in return.
- Aguero has scored in four consecutive Champions League appearances for Manchester City; the joint-longest run of any player for the club (along with Sterling in November 2017).
- Sane scored his 50th goal in all competitions at senior club level (37 for his current club and 13 for Schalke).
- Sterling has been directly involved in nine goals in his last four starts for Manchester City at the Etihad in all competitions (six goals and three assists).
- Foden is the youngest player to score for Manchester City in the Champions League (18 years and 288 days).
Source: BBC News