Champions League: Man City through to quarterfinals
Manchester City, Liverpool, Real Madrid go through to Champions League Quarter-finals
Titan club Manchester City who are only four wins from clinching the prestigious English Premier League title have a shot at the Champions League title as well as they went through to the Quarter-final stage after winning 5-2 on aggregate against Basel while suffering a humbling 2-1 loss, their first home defeat since 2016. Man City are currently considered one of the top football clubs in the world, and are on the road to a possible treble this season. Gabriel Jesus hit City's 100th Champions League goal, the only City goal of the match.It is only the second time City have reached the quarter-finals of the European Cup or Champions League. Juventus, Real Madrid and Liverpool are the other sides that have booked passage to last-eight spots this week. Guardiola has won the Champions League twice with Barcelona but not since 2011.
"In the quarter-finals, this kind of situation is not going to happen, to play the second game 4-0 up, the rhythm will be completely different," said Guardiola. Last year was the first season that Pep Guardiola did not reach the Champions League semi-finals as a manager in eight seasons. Manchester City manager Josep Guardiola was delighted for his side to go through to the Quarter-final this campaign. "We are happy to be in the quarter-finals, we are so happy for that. Second half we didn't attack and forgot to even pass the ball. The second half was really, really poor," said Guardiola. "The difference in the quarter-finals, in that level all the teams will be so, so tough and demanding. We will try to be ready and to come back because we did it in the recent games."
Manchester City 1-2 Basel
Manchester City goal: Fernando Gabriel Jesus 8' min
Basel goals: Mohamed Elyounoussi 17, Michael Lang 71
Following the loss to Basel at home, Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola remarked that his team "forgot to attack" against Basel as they suffered their first home defeat since 2016. City's 4-0 away win against Basel in Switzerland, meant Wednesday's second leg tie was almost a sure bet, and Pep Guardiola rested several first-team players. City opened the match scoring with Gabriel Jesus's goal from Bernardo Silva's cross. Basel's Mohamed Elyounoussi came back with a leveler and then set up Michael Lang's second-half winning goal. The Premier League champions-elect dominated the first half but seemed less motivated after the break. City's 13-game winning streak at home as well as their 36-game unbeaten run at Etihad Stadium (W29 D7) came to an end.
Yaya Toure talked about the match. "We're not satisfied because we didn't win the game. We deserved to lose today. We don't fear anybody though. We have to take this game as an experience," said Toure. John Stones had his opinion as well. "Everyone is fighting in training to try and prove themselves," said Stones. "The young lads got their chance tonight and it was maybe difficult for them. We're disappointed we weren't up to our own standards. We've got a good mentality though. The lads did the job out in Switzerland."
Manchester City boss Josep Guardiola was not too impressed with his squad. "Just to pass the ball for itself is nothing," said Guardiola. "The first half was quite good but in the second half we forgot to attack, we forgot to play. When we pass the ball we do it to move through the opponents to attack. The second half was really, really poor. It is not easy to play with a 4-0 lead. I think in the first half we showed we wanted to win the game. We created a lot of chances and we were good. But after 1-1 in the second half, it didn't happen. We just passed for itself and when that happens, that is not football."
City were impressive in the first half. Seventeen-year-old midfielder Phil Foden is the youngest Englishman to play in a Champions League knockout game. Foden displayed great form with some good touches in midfield. "In the second half, maybe he and Leroy Sane were the only ones who tried to be aggressive, who tried to do something, to get the ball and go forward," Pep Guardiola said praising Foden and Sane.
Silva and Sane were impressive in the first half. Sane ran from deep, played a one-two with Foden and charged on some more before playing the ball right to Silva. His low cross was tapped in at the back post by Jesus, making his first start of 2018. Elyounoussi equalized for Basel after finding some space in the box but City still dominated the first half. Ilkay Gundogan forced a save and the German and Yaya Toure both had shots blocked. The second half was poorer, though, and City fell to just a fourth defeat of the season and first at home since 3 December 2016 when they lost 3-1 to Chelsea. The hosts lacked bite going forward and left room at the back for Lang to receive Elyounoussi's pass and smash into the top of the net at Bravo's near post.
Man City boss Guardiola named Ederson, Kyle Walker, Sergio Aguero, Kevin de Bruyne and Nicolas Otamendi to the bench, but he only brought in younger players from the bench.
Bravo; Danilo, Stones, Laporte, Zinchenko; Gündogan, Yaya Touré (c), Bernardo Silva, Foden, Sané, Gabriel Jesus. Subs: Ederson, Walker, Agüero, De Bruyne, Adarabioyo, Otamendi, Diaz.
Basel's dominance of Swiss football may end this year, after winning eight titles in a row, they sit 14 points behind leaders Young Boys this season. Basel boss Raphael Wicky set his side a target of winning the away match with City and they achieved it to the delight of a sizeable, noisy away fan group. Basel deserved their win, with City midfielder Yaya Toure even saying so after the game. Elyounoussi assisted in both goals, scoring the first and then assisting right-back Lang. FC Basel coach Raphael Wicky was asked if his side lost to the club that would go on to become the eventual winners.
"That is really difficult to say. For me, Manchester City are one of the top two or three teams in the world at the moment," said Wicky. "They have showed that for months in all competitions, playing every three days, why they are one of the top favorites for the Champions League. But we all know the Champions League is a competition that depends on the form on the day and the draw has to go right so it is difficult to say how it will go, but in terms of quality and momentum then this team is clearly one of the top two or three teams." Basel's Geoffroy Serey Die was named Man of the Match. The Quarter-final draw takes place next Friday.
Champions League results - Knockout stage
Champions League Round of 16 first legs results
13 February: Juventus 2-2 Tottenham, Basel 0-4 Manchester City
14 February: Porto 0-5 Liverpool, Real Madrid 3-1 Paris
20 February: Chelsea 1-1 Barcelona, Bayern 5-0 Beşiktaş
21 February: Sevilla 0-0 Manchester United, Shakhtar 2-1 Roma
Champions League Round of 16 second legs results, tickets
On Monday Liverpool Fc and Real Madrid defeated Porto and Paris Saint Germain respectively to go through. In the other Champions League match on Wednesday, Juve knocked out Tottenham Hotspur. Next week Man United host Sevilla, and Chelsea travel to play giant Spanish La Liga club, Barcelona Fc.
6 March: Liverpool 0-0 Porto (agg: 5-0), Paris 1-2 Real Madrid (agg: 2-5)
7 March: Tottenham 1-2 Juventus (agg: 3-4), Manchester City 1-2 Basel (agg: 5-2)
13 March: Manchester United v Sevilla, Roma v Shakhtar
14 March: Barcelona v Chelsea, Beşiktaş v Bayern
Champions League 2019 Schedule, Tickets
Draw (16 March)
Quarter-finals, first leg (3-4 April)
Quarter-finals, second leg (10-11 April)
Semi-finals and final
Draw (13 April)
Semi-finals, first leg (24-25 April)
Semi-finals, second leg (1-2 May)
Final, NSC Olimpiyski, Kyiv (26 May)
Buy Champions League tickets for Last 16 second leg ties now securely online from LiveFootballTickets.com!
MAR 13 Champions League Manchester United v Fc Sevilla Tickets Old Trafford - Manchester, United Kingdom
MAR 13 Champions League AS Roma v FC Shakhtar Donetsk Tickets Stadio Olimpico - Rome, Italy
MAR 14 Champions League FC Barcelona v Chelsea Tickets Camp Nou - Barcelona, Spain
MAY 26 UEFA Champions League Final 2018 Tickets Olimpiysky Stadium - Kiev, Ukraine