Man City secures a Champions League last-16 spot thanks to two goals from Haaland.

Khabro Tak on November 7 – With two group matches left, holders Manchester City easily advanced to the round of 16 of the Champions League with a 3-0 victory over Swiss team Young Boys on Tuesday thanks to two goals from Erling Haaland.

With four games played, Pep Guardiola’s team is leading Group G with 12 points, maintaining their perfect record. With one point, Young Boys are fourth in the group after Sandro Lauper’s red card in the 53rd minute reduced them to 10 men.

“Still the job is not done because we have to finish first because it’s better in the last-16 to have the weapon of the second game at home,” Guardiola explained.

“But the first step to qualify is done, (and) we scored two fantastic goals.”

With 34 appearances and 39 goals in the Champions League thus far, Haaland is on track to break Ruud van Nistelrooy’s record of 45 games as the fewest appearances required to score 40 goals.

The 23-year-old’s ankle injury during Saturday’s 6-1 Premier League thrashing of Bournemouth raised doubts over whether he would even suit up on Tuesday.

The one drawback of the evening was the absence of John Stones, who had just recovered from a hip injury and was substituted at halftime due to what Guardiola claimed to be a muscular problem.

Guardiola remarked, “It’s unfortunate and bad news for us that he will be out for a while.”

City exerted pressure right from the kickoff, and in the twenty-third minute, following Lauper’s tackle on Matheus Nunes in the box, Haaland broke the deadlock with a penalty. The Norwegian forward sent goalie Anthony Racioppi the wrong way and raised his fist in the air.

Just before halftime, Phil Foden extended City’s lead after Jack Grealish found him wide. With a low shot, the England midfielder beat Racioppi by cutting into the box.

Haaland scored his second goal in the 51st minute, his fourth in the previous two games against Young Boys, with a stunning left-footed rocket from 20 yards out.

After Haaland’s score a few minutes earlier, the home crowd gave him a standing ovation. Haaland had exchanged shirts with Young Boys captain Mohamed Ali Camara as they walked off the field at halftime.

A number of City near-misses could have led to a more lopsided score, including Rico Lewis’s shot that appeared headed for the net before Loris Benito cleared it off the line.

Nunes was unable to finish after Belgian forward Jeremy Doku, who entered the game late, delivered in a precise cross.

“We knew it’s very difficult here; you need to have the kind of game, the perfect game in every phase of the game,” Raphael Wicky, the manager of Young Boys, remarked.

Since falling short 3-1 on the road against Real Madrid in the May 2022 Champions League semifinals, City has won their previous 17 matches.

Grealish said to TNT Sports, “We wanted to qualify with two games remaining.” “Guardiola gives us a lot of things. He is the world’s greatest manager, in my opinion. Over time, he has shown that.

“And that’s exactly what we have—a fantastic team that is so tight off the field as well as on it. We adore spending time together and playing together every day.”

City’s two group stage matches are against RB Leipzig on November 28 and Red Star Belgrade on December 13.

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