Man City into quarterfinals despite home draw with Sporting CP

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Porro of Sporting Clube de Portugal and Raheem Sterling of Manchester City during the UEFA Champions League Round Of Sixteen Leg Two match between Manchester City and Sporting CP at City of Manchester Stadium on March 9, 2022 Image credit: Getty Images
Porro of Sporting Clube de Portugal and Raheem Sterling of Manchester City during the UEFA Champions League Round Of Sixteen Leg Two match between Manchester City and Sporting CP at City of Manchester Stadium on March 9, 2022

Image credit: Getty Images

Manchester City made sure of their place in the quarter-finals of the Champions League but were unable to add to their 5-0 lead from the first leg as Pep Guardiola’s side played out a dull goalless draw with Sporting Lisbon at the Etihad.

With one foot already in the next round following their emphatic win in Portugal three weeks ago, Guardiola made six changes to the side that defeated Manchester United on Sunday, handing 19-year-old CJ Egan-Riley his Champions League debut.

It was a largely uneventful night, and it took City 25 minutes to register their first shot on target, Adan having to be alert to push Phil Foden’s shot wide.

City’s best chance came five minutes before half-time when Foden released Raheem Sterling and Sporting had their goalkeeper Adan to thank for saving his attempted lob.

Gabriel Jesus had the ball in the back of the net for City a couple of minutes into the second half, but the Brazilian – who was earlier denied a penalty – was deemed to be marginally offside following a VAR check.

The game was played out like an exhibition and with just over 15 minutes to play, Guardiola used the opportunity to replace Ederson with veteran-team mate Scott Carson for his first appearance of the season.

The 36-year-old was almost immediately called into action, denying Paulinho with a fine save when the Sporting forward was through on goal.

Sterling may have won it for the reigning English champions on the night but could only slam his shot from point-blank, as City failed to score in a home Champions League match for the first time under Guardiola. It matters not as, in truth, they had already made sure of their place in the last-eight last month.

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