Yet another goal-fest at Fortress Etihad saw a below-par City overcome Viktoria Plzeň 4-2 to register their fourth Champions League win in five games this season.
City made changes and rarely looked at their best, with the defence once more suspect under pressure and in addition to leaking two goals, allowing Plzeň several other chances they should have made more of.
City looked a threat going forward as always at the Etihad, with Nasri having another superb game and seeing his efforts rewarded with a goal. It was a classic “you score, we score” game, reminiscent of a Kevin Keegan team, but Plzeň lacked City’s firepower and our arsenal of striking talent was the difference.
Fernandinho had another impressive game, one of the few City stars tonight who seemed to play with much intensity. Joe Hart also returned to the team and played well, making some fine saves, but his distribution left something to be desired.
Dzeko had a nightmare for the most part, but as he tends to do after such a performance found the net, following several wasted chances. Negredo joined him in the attack late on and needed just a few minutes to score his sixth goal in as many games at the Etihad.
The former Sevilla pair of Negredo and Navas made a big difference after coming on, the latter notching up two more assists to make it 3 assists and 2 goals in his last two games.
Overall, far from a vintage performance but with a win came two coefficient points as City look to boost their seeding, and UEFA’s €1m bonus for a group stage win. The club treasury is certainly benefiting from our Champions League improvement this season!
City can still win the group, but it’d take a very unlikely 3-0 (or equivalent) win against Bayern Munich at the Allianz. As things stand, City will face one of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid or PSG in the next round.
Manchester City: Hart, Richards, Demichelis, Lescott, Kolarov, Milner, Garcia, Fernandinho (Toure 65), Nasri (Negredo 75), Aguero (Navas 46), Dzeko
Subs not used: Zabaleta, Pantilimon, Boyata, Huws
Goals: Aguero (penalty 33), Nasri (65), Negredo (79), Dzeko (90)
Viktoria Plzen: Kozacik, Rajotoral, Cisovsky, Prochazka, Hubnik, Horvath, Horava, Petrzela (Kovarik 73), Kolar (Bakos 86), Duris (Wagner 89), Tecl
Subs not used: Bolek, Hejda, Reznik, Pospisil
Goals: Horava (43), Tecl (69)
TKA Man of the Match: Samir Nasri
Stats courtesy of WhoScored: