Home Champions League Haaland leads Man City into the Champions League knockout stage early.

Haaland leads Man City into the Champions League knockout stage early.

by Rob Dawson
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Man City secured an early spot in the Champions League Round of 16 by defeating Young Boys 3-0 in the fourth match of Group G.

It was a day of celebration at Etihad Stadium as the home team advanced with a win, marking their 100th victory in European competitions.

In this victorious encounter, forward Erling Haaland scored twice, putting any worries about his fitness to rest after limping off the field in the match against Bournemouth just three days prior. Man City also established a new record as the longest-unbeaten English team in European competitions, with 18 games without a loss.

No signs of Haaland still experiencing discomfort from his eye injury three days ago. In the 60 minutes he spent on the pitch, the Norwegian striker was tightly marked by Young Boys captain Mohamed Camara but managed to score two goals, one from a penalty kick in the 23rd minute and one with a long-range shot in the 51st minute. Haaland has now scored 15 goals in just 17 matches this season.

While Camara couldn’t contain Haaland, he might have still found some joy. He chased after Haaland for his jersey right after the halftime whistle, and the Man City forward agreed to the exchange. The difference in class between the two teams was not only evident in that image but also the statistics. Man City had 70% possession and 27 attempts on goal, while Young Boys couldn’t muster a single shot.

Camara (left) couldn’t prevent Haaland (right) from scoring a long-range goal to seal Man City’s 3-0 victory.

The visitors, however, outdid the hosts in the number of yellow cards. In addition to three yellow cards, they received a red card in the early second half when Sandro Lauper made a dangerous tackle on Nathan Ake. Earlier, in the first half, Lauper had committed a foul against Matheus Nunes in the penalty area, resulting in Haaland’s successful penalty.

Man City’s 23rd consecutive home victory also saw contributions from Phil Foden, who neatly finished a Jack Grealish long pass in injury time of the first half. The scoreline could have been even more one-sided if the home team had capitalized on the opportunities created by substitute Jeremy Doku.

For the 11th consecutive season, Man City has progressed beyond the Champions League group stage. Also advancing from Group G is Leipzig, who won 2-1 against Red Star Belgrade to accumulate nine points. Man City tops the group with four wins, and they only need a draw against Leipzig in the fifth match on November 29 to secure first place. Before that, Pep Guardiola’s team had two major Premier League clashes, facing Chelsea on November 12 and Liverpool on November 25.

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