The Chronicle

City’s best has Pep in raptures


RIYAD Mahrez scored twice as Manchester City delivered “one of their best” Champions League performanc­es to thrash Club Brugge 5-1 and reemphasis­e its status as a major contender for a first European crown.

Joao Cancelo gave City a deserved lead on the half-hour and Mahrez converted a penalty just before the break as the side bounced back in style from last month’s loss to Paris Saint-Germain.

Kyle Walker added a third early in the second half and 19year-old Cole Palmer bagged his first Champions League goal minutes after coming on as a substitute.

Hans Vanaken pulled a goal back but Mahrez capped a thumping City victory with his second of the night.

“It was one of the best performanc­es in Europe we’ve done,” manager Pep Guardiola said. “We are all delighted. We were so good.”

The win leaves City with six points after three games in Group A ahead of the champions of England and Belgium meeting again in two weeks in Manchester.

“If we can take three more points, to have nine points with two games left, we’ll be close to qualifying for the next round,” Guardiola said.

Ederson returned in goal for City following Brazil’s 2022 World Cup qualifiers, while Jack Grealish replaced Raheem Sterling in the front three.

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