Gabriel Jesus scores for Manchester City against Olympiakos

Manchester City have a maximum nine points in a group stage that is going perfectly. Factor in a fine display from Ferran Torres at centre-forward and Gabriel Jesus’s goal-scoring appearance as a substitute following a long lay-off and Pep Guardiola was left pleased. His team are rolling along impressively, showing signs of the formidable force they can be.

After this victory over Olympiakos a draw in the reverse fixture in Greece guarantees passage to the knockout phase. “We need one more point to qualify,” Guardiola said. “Now we have four or five days to recover well, have one day off, and prepare for Liverpool [on Sunday]. It is good news that Gabriel is back. And, in the first half, we were really good.”Champions League: Bayern and Gladbach hit six goals in away routsRead more

The impressive Torres’s opening goal made it a third scoring game in a row for him in the Champions League. “He moved really well without and with the ball,” said the manager.

From kick-off to the interval City swarmed all over their visitors, the ball being pinged around at will, exemplified when Ilkay Gündogan chipped towards Raheem Sterling and Olympiakos were fortunate no teammate was found.

What they did not require was Rúben Semedo to dribble near his penalty spot and run straight into Kevin De Bruyne. This time Pedro Martins’s side escaped but moments later they did not. Gündogan tapped to Riyad Mahrez and he passed inside to Torres. A quick one-two with De Bruyne and the forward was in and firing past José Sá to put City in front.

Olympiakos were befuddled, dazed. Possession was scarce and ill-used when it occurred, such as when Mathieu Valbuena had a chance to cross but spooned the ball into Ederson’s hands. John Stones and Nathan Aké, who was making his Champions League debut, were spectators at the back called upon occasionally to trade passes before allowing Gündogan, Phil Foden and De Bruyne to move the side upfield. Continue reading

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