Champions League - Group C
OlympiakosOlympiakos0Man CityManchester City1

Olympiakos 0-1 Manchester City: Phil Foden sends City into Champions League last-16

By Harry PooleBBC Sport
Phil Foden
Phil Foden has been involved in seven goals in his last 10 Champions League appearances

Manager Pep Guardiola insisted the goals will come after Manchester City dominated Olympiakos to secure progress to the Champions League knockout stages with two games to spare.

Guardiola's side required one point from their match in Piraeus to reach the last-16 and victory on Wednesday ensures they remain firm favourites to finish top of Group C.

City were comfortable throughout against the Greek champions but 20-year-old England international Phil Foden scored the only goal after 36 minutes when he slotted in from Raheem Sterling's delightful back-pass.

Olympiakos failed to register a shot, or indeed even a touch in City's box, until the 88th-minute, but Ilkay Gundogan blazed wide and Bernardo Silva was denied at close range as City failed to add to their tally, despite 22 attempts at goal.

"It will come. We would love to do more, but one day it will come and we will break everything," Guardiola said.

"We played really well in all departments. We are already in the next round, now we can focus on the Premier League and the other competitions."

Midfielder Kevin de Bruyne was left out of the squad but City welcomed back club record goalscorer Sergio Aguero from injury for the final 13 minutes as they began a spell of 11 games before the end of 2020.

There was a moment of silence prior to kick-off, following news of the death of football legend Diego Maradona at the age of 60.

Foden the difference in one-sided game

City could not have wished for an easier start to their busy end-of-year schedule, but Sterling's assist for Foden was a rare moment of quality when it mattered in attack.

Foden's subsequent well-taken finish was his seventh goal involvement in his past 10 appearances in Europe's elite competition - and he has now been involved in 25 goals in 40 starts for City in all competitions.

Indeed, his 10 goals in all competitions for City in 2020 is - excluding penalties - the most by any Premier League midfielder this calendar year.

Olympiakos offered almost nothing in attack themselves with their two shots arriving in the closing minutes as City's profligacy offered their opponents hope of an unlikely point.

Four wins from as many group matches, and their 10 goals - as many as they have managed in eight Premier League games - undoubtedly represents a satisfying European campaign to date - one which manager Guardiola said he is "fully optimistic" about.

But, three months on from their painful shock defeat by Lyon at last season's quarter-final stage, Guardiola can only expect similar wastefulness to be punished deeper into the competition.

City desperate for Aguero return

Sergio Aguero
Sergio Aguero had gone 230 days without a goal before scoring his 40th Champions League goal against Porto on 21 October

After slumping to a 2-0 defeat against Tottenham on Saturday, Guardiola said City could not expect Argentine striker Aguero to solve all the problems his side face.

City, 13th in the Premier League and eight points behind leaders Spurs, albeit with a game in hand, have made their worst start since 2008. Typically ruthless under Guardiola, they have not scored more than once in a Premier League game since a 5-2 defeat by Leicester in September.

Despite victory over Olympiakos, this was the latest reminder of how crucial Aguero is to his side.

The 32-year-old returned to the bench at the weekend after a four-game absence, having suffered a hamstring strain against West Ham on 24 October in only his third game since a four-month lay-off due to a knee problem.

Though it has been a different story for City in Europe so far, Aguero's ability to remain injury-free will be crucial for the battles ahead - beginning with Burnley on Saturday as they look to make up ground in the Premier League.

Guardiola's perfect group stage record - the stats

  • Manchester City have won their opening four games in a Champions League campaign for the second time, also doing so in 2017-18 when they won their first five.
  • City manager Pep Guardiola has progressed from the Champions League group stages in all 12 attempts as a coach - the best 100% record of any manager.
  • Excluding qualifiers, City have kept three consecutive clean sheets in major European competition for the first time since 1969-70.
  • Phil Foden has scored five goals and made two assists in his 10 starts for club and country this season.
  • Olympiakos have lost 14 of their last 18 Champions League games and have lost each of their last three without scoring.

What's next?

Manchester City host Burnley on at 15:00 GMT on Saturday, before travelling to Porto in their penultimate Champions League group game next Tuesday (20:00).

Player of the match

SterlingRaheem Sterling

with an average of 7.39

Olympiakos

  1. Squad number3Player nameRúben Semedo
    Average rating

    6.71

  2. Squad number10Player namePepe
    Average rating

    6.63

  3. Squad number1Player nameJosé Sá
    Average rating

    6.61

  4. Squad number24Player nameBa
    Average rating

    6.27

  5. Squad number17Player nameVrousai
    Average rating

    6.24

  6. Squad number5Player nameBouchalakis
    Average rating

    6.14

  7. Squad number21Player nameDräger
    Average rating

    6.11

  8. Squad number6Player nameM'Vila
    Average rating

    6.06

  9. Squad number4Player nameMady Camara
    Average rating

    5.94

  10. Squad number2Player nameSoudani
    Average rating

    5.94

  11. Squad number7Player nameFortounis
    Average rating

    5.85

  12. Squad number19Player nameMasouras
    Average rating

    5.85

  13. Squad number13Player nameRafinha
    Average rating

    5.81

  14. Squad number66Player nameCissé
    Average rating

    5.52

Manchester City

  1. Squad number7Player nameSterling
    Average rating

    7.39

  2. Squad number20Player nameBernardo Silva
    Average rating

    7.16

  3. Squad number9Player nameGabriel Jesus
    Average rating

    7.02

  4. Squad number10Player nameAgüero
    Average rating

    6.67

  5. Squad number27Player nameJoão Cancelo
    Average rating

    6.58

  6. Squad number69Player nameDoyle
    Average rating

    6.58

  7. Squad number31Player nameEderson
    Average rating

    6.51

  8. Squad number5Player nameStones
    Average rating

    6.45

  9. Squad number3Player nameRúben Dias
    Average rating

    6.44

  10. Squad number25Player nameFernandinho
    Average rating

    6.43

  11. Squad number8Player nameGündogan
    Average rating

    6.20

  12. Squad number26Player nameMahrez
    Average rating

    6.09

  13. Squad number16Player nameRodri
    Average rating

    6.01

  14. Squad number22Player nameMendy
    Average rating

    5.75

  15. Squad number11Player nameZinchenko
    Average rating

    5.63

  16. Squad number47Player nameFoden
    Average rating

    4.86

Line-ups

Olympiakos

Formation 5-4-1

  • 1Malheiro de Sá
  • 21DrägerSubstituted forVrousaiat 66'minutes
  • 24Ba
  • 3Borges Semedo
  • 66Cissé
  • 13Ferreira de SouzaBooked at 39mins
  • 19MasourasSubstituted forSoudaniat 78'minutes
  • 6M'Vila
  • 10Figueiredo RodriguesSubstituted forBouchalakisat 71'minutes
  • 4Camara
  • 7Fortounis

Substitutes

  • 2Soudani
  • 5Bouchalakis
  • 12Vinagre
  • 14Androutsos
  • 17Vrousai
  • 34Papadopoulos
  • 44Karargyris
  • 53Nikolis
  • 54Kitsos
  • 56Tsavos
  • 88Tzolakis
  • 90Sourlis

Man City

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 31Ederson
  • 27Cancelo
  • 5Stones
  • 3Rúben DiasBooked at 54mins
  • 22MendySubstituted forZinchenkoat 78'minutes
  • 16RodriSubstituted forFernandinhoat 76'minutes
  • 8GündoganBooked at 86minsSubstituted forDoyleat 86'minutes
  • 7SterlingBooked at 39minsSubstituted forMahrezat 76'minutes
  • 20Bernardo Silva
  • 47Foden
  • 9Gabriel JesusSubstituted forAgüeroat 78'minutes

Substitutes

  • 10Agüero
  • 11Zinchenko
  • 13Steffen
  • 14Laporte
  • 21Torres
  • 25Fernandinho
  • 26Mahrez
  • 33Carson
  • 50García
  • 61Nmecha
  • 69Doyle
  • 80Palmer
Referee:
Davide Massa

Match Stats

Home TeamOlympiakosAway TeamMan City
Possession
Home41%
Away59%
Shots
Home2
Away22
Shots on Target
Home0
Away11
Corners
Home0
Away4
Fouls
Home9
Away8

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Olympiakos 0, Manchester City 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Olympiakos 0, Manchester City 1.

  3. Post update

    Rúben Dias (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Pape Abou Cissé (Olympiakos).

  5. Post update

    Foul by Sergio Agüero (Manchester City).

  6. Post update

    Ousseynou Ba (Olympiakos) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  7. Post update

    Attempt missed. Pape Abou Cissé (Olympiakos) header from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Mady Camara with a cross.

  8. Post update

    Hand ball by Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City).

  9. Post update

    Attempt missed. Konstantinos Fortounis (Olympiakos) right footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right.

  10. Post update

    Fernandinho (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Rúben Semedo (Olympiakos).

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, Manchester City. Tommy Doyle replaces Ilkay Gündogan.

  13. Booking

    Ilkay Gündogan (Manchester City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Ilkay Gündogan (Manchester City).

  15. Post update

    Konstantinos Fortounis (Olympiakos) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Fernandinho (Manchester City).

  17. Post update

    Hillal Soudani (Olympiakos) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  18. Post update

    Offside, Olympiakos. Pape Abou Cissé tries a through ball, but Hillal Soudani is caught offside.

  19. Post update

    Offside, Olympiakos. Pape Abou Cissé tries a through ball, but Hillal Soudani is caught offside.

  20. Post update

    Foul by João Cancelo (Manchester City).

FA Cup banner
  • Watch 13 FA Cup second-round games on BBC iPlayer, the BBC Sport website and app this weekend. Find out more here.
FA Cup footer

Comments

Join the conversation

These comments are now closed.

314 comments