Manchester City retained their unbeaten run in the 2022/23 UEFA Champions League on Wednesday evening, coming from behind to beat Sevilla 3-1 at the Etihad Stadium.
Sevilla were shocked in the first half but goals from 17-year-old Rico Lewis, Julian Alvarez and Riyad Mahrez secured the home win.
Within the opening two minutes, Cole Palmer almost put City ahead. A poor pass from Sevilla goalkeeper Yassine Bounou was intercepted by Jack Grealish in the left corner of the penalty area. The England international slipped the ball into the path of Alvarez, who, after a good hold, fed Palmer, who fired just over the crossbar.
City again came close to opening the scoring in the 15th minute when Ruben Dias deflected Phil Foden’s brilliant free-kick off the post.
Another chance was spurned 10 minutes later when Ilkay Gundogan could only fire wide as Foden made a superb effort on goal on the left side of the penalty area.
The home side were made to rue those missed chances on the half-hour when former Wolves player Rafa Mir nodded Isco’s corner across goal and into the bottom corner of the City net.
Sevilla began to look a little more like the 18th best team in La Liga at the start of the second half, allowing City to deservedly equalize through youngster Lewis. The 17-year-old latched on to a lovely through ball from Alvarez before firing high into the roof of the net.
Pep Guardiola’s men almost took the lead moments later, but Bounou was on hand to palm out Ruben Dias’ header to keep him out of danger.
They eventually got their second goal when substitute Kevin De Bruyne brilliantly slotted past Alvarez with a wonderful first-time pass beyond the Sevilla defence. After picking up the ball, the Argentine slotted past Bounou and scored his second Champions League goal with ease.
City made it 3-1 before the end of the game when Alvarez stole the ball back high up the field before cutting through to Mahrez, who then made no mistake with his effort on goal – a side-kick into the top corner.
1. Manchester City (4-3-3)
GK – Stefan Ortega – 5/10 – Could do nothing about the goal.
RB – Rico Lewis – 8/10 – Scored his first senior goal in the Champions League at 17 years of age.
CB – Ruben Dias – 5/10 – Caught napping at the back post, allowing Mir to score.
CB – Aymeric Laporte – 5/10 – Struggled with Mir’s sheer physicality.
LB – Sergi Gomez – 6/10 – Got forward well on the left flank.
CM – Phil Foden – 7/10 – City’s real live-wire in attack.
CM – Ilkay Gundogan – 5/10 – A mediocre outing for the German international.
CM – Cole Palmer – 5/10 – Tidy in possession but didn’t do anything particularly eye-catching.
RW – Riyad Mahrez – 6/10 – Quiet but got his goal in the 84th minute.
ST – Julian Alvarez – 9/10 – Lovely through ball to assist City’s leveller, then scored the second goal himself, and then bagged another assist. He’s a serious player.
LW – Jack Grealish – 4/10 – Some pretty touches, but not many effective ones. Subbed off at half-time.
SUB – Bernardo Silva – 6/10 – Came on and added a bit of spark to City’s play.
SUB – Rodri – 6/10 – Solid as per.
SUB – Josh Wilson-Esbrand – N/A.
SUB – Kevin De Bruyne – 7/10 – Came off the bench and immediately set up a goal. He’s just too good.