Manch­ester City hit Shakhtar for six


Ra­heem Ster­ling went from the far­ci­cal to the sublime in help­ing Manch­ester City to a 6-0 win over Shakhtar Donetsk and the brink of qual­i­fy­ing for the Cham­pi­ons League knock­out stage yes­ter­day.

The Eng­land winger pro­vided the main talk­ing point in an­other con­vinc­ing vic­tory for City when he stubbed his toe in the turf as he at­tempted a shot in the 24th minute and top­pled over. Ref­eree Vik­tor Kas­sai awarded a penalty de­spite there be­ing no con­tact with a de­fender — much to the amaze­ment of Shakhtar’s play­ers, some of whom even laughed at the de­ci­sion — and Gabriel Je­sus con­verted the spot kick for 2-0 and the first of his three goals on the night.

“We don’t like to score a goal in that sit­u­a­tion,” City man­ager Pep Guardi­ola said. “It was re­ally clear.”


Ster­ling showed much more poise in scor­ing City’s third goal, by pick­ing up the ball 40 me­tres out, pow­er­ing through two wouldbe tack­lers and curl­ing a fierce shot into the top cor­ner from the edge of the area in the 48th. It was the run and fin­ish of a man in form, with Ster­ling hav­ing scored twice in the Pre­mier League this past week­end as well.

Je­sus made it 4-0 in the 72nd, again from the penalty spot after David Silva was tripped by Taras Stepa­nenko, be­fore Riyad Mahrez and Je­sus — with a goal that com­pleted his hat-trick — wrapped up the scor­ing. Silva had put City 1-0 ahead with a close-range fin­ish in the 13th.

City stayed in first place in Group F, but moved three points ahead of Lyon after the French club drew 2-2 against Hof­fen­heim. The English cham­pi­ons need one more point from their last two games to be cer­tain of a top-two fin­ish. After City’s lat­est at­tack­ing mas­ter­class, it was the penalty de­ci­sion — given by a ref­eree who has of­fi­ci­ated in a Cham­pi­ons League fi­nal and in World Cups — that will best be re­mem­bered. It led to Ster­ling trend­ing world­wide on so­cial me­dia. Re­sults: CSKA Moscow 1 Roma 2; Va­len­cia 3 Young Boys 1; Bay­ern Mu­nich 2 AEK Athens 0; Ben­fica 1 Ajax 1; Lyon 2 Hof­fen­heim 2; Manch­ester City 6 Shakhtar Donetsk 0; Plzen 0 Real Madrid 5; Ju­ven­tus 1 Man United 2.

Manch­ester City’s Gabriel Je­sus shows the match ball to fans after scor­ing a hat-trick in the Cham­pi­ons League Group F match against Shakhtar Donetsk at the Eti­had sta­dium yes­ter­day. City won 6-0.

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