October 19, (THEWILL) – Manchester City put on a footballing masterclass to demolish Club Brugge 5-1. The highlight of the game was a debut goal for academy graduate Cole Palmer who scored just two minutes after coming on.
The game had a lacklustre beginning, with the visitors having much of the possession as expected but lacking their usual killer instinct in the box.
The game turned on its head at the half hour mark when Manchester City’s Joao Cancelo chested down Phil Foden’s deft pass and tucked it between the legs of Simon Mignolet in the Brugge goal for the first goal of the game.
Though one goal don, Brugge stuck to their game plan of defending in numbers and hoping to catch Pep’s team on the counter. However, this backfired when Stanley Nsoki hacked down Riyad Mahrez in the box. Mahrez dusted himself off and scored the penalty to give Manchester City a two-goal lead as the first half ended.
City began the second half where they left off in the first, with Kyle Walker slotting in a low shot from a Kevin De Bruyne’s lay-off to make it 3-0.
With the game effectively won, Guardiola made a slew of substitutions, two of which combined for the fourth goal. Raheem Sterling found Palmer, ta 19-year-old rising academy star who scored his second goal of the season with a fine finish from the edge of the box.
Brugge got a late consolation goal through Hans Vanaken’s first-time strike, but City responded three minutes later with Mahrez’s second, an emphatic finish to cap off a statement performance from last season’s Champions League runners-up.
The Mahrez goal meant he has now scored six goals in his last seven UEFA Champions League matches, while the Algerian has scored more goals against Club Brugge than he has versus any other side in the competition (4 in 3 games)..
With his goal, Palmer became the third teenager to score in the UEFA Champions League for Manchester City after Phil Foden and Kelechi Iheanacho. Aged 19 years and 166 days, Palmer is the 10th youngest Englishman to score in the competition.
In all, the best man on the pitch was once again Phil Foden. The midfielder’s passing was stunning, as evidenced by his long ball for the game’s first goal. In the false nine position, he thrived, and his link-up play with Jack Grealish and De Bruyne was a constant threat.