Football

Guendogan steals the show as Man City rout Basel in Champions League

German midfielder upstages his teammates as Man City lay down Champions League marker

Basel came prepared for the Kevin de Bruyne-Sergio Aguero onslaught, but they probably were not expecting an Ilkay Guendogan masterclass yesterday morning (Singapore time).

With a 4-0 win at St Jakob-Park, Manchester City effectively killed off the Champions League tie against the hosts after 23 minutes, flattening the Swiss champions with three quickfire goals en route to a 4-0 away win.

Guendogan, Bernardo Silva and Sergio Aguero scored within nine minutes of each other in the last-16, first-leg tie to almost certainly extend Basel's wait for a first quarter-final appearance in the competition.

The 27-year-old German midfielder then curled in the fourth from the edge of the area in the 53rd minute as the runaway English Premier League leaders clocked up another emphatic win in their remarkable season.

Not one to usually hog the limelight, Guendogan found it hard to escape from the attention yesterday.

Said City manager Pep Guardiola, as quoted on Uefa.com: "He's an extraordinary player.

"Last season, we missed him a lot with his six-month injury, so that's why we are so satisfied with the performance.

"It's not just the goal, but also the quality he has with the personality to play, and he played fantastically."

Guendogan impressed yet again with his passing range, but this time around, he complemented that with his attacking edge.

PERFECT TIME

In demonstrating why he is one of the finest modern-day midfielders of his generation, he also chose the perfect time to shine, with Germany coach Joachim Loew watching from the stands.

Said Guendogan: "I didn't know (he was at the stadium).

"I hope he enjoyed it, the most important thing for me is it was a good performance and a good result.

"The next few weeks will be very intense, very tough opponents, very tough games and a final to play. But we feel ready and if we perform like we did today and we have recently, then we are going to be successful, no doubt."

Basel did their best to make a game of it and created several openings but looked vulnerable every time City attacked, Reuters reported.

City, who have lost in three of their previous four appearances at this stage of the competition, enjoyed the lion's share of the possession with 69 per cent, although that was still unremarkable by their standards.

"It's an amazing result," said Guardiola. "The tie is 180 minutes but we are almost there.

"We defended quite well, we were clinical. It's not easy to keep the level but we did it."

Despite the scoreline, City had 12 shots to Basel's 11 and the Swiss could have taken an early lead.

Dimitri Oberlin got clear of City's defence and tried to poke the ball past Ederson as the Brazilian rushed out of his area but got no power on the ball, allowing Kyle Walker to clear easily.

Oberlin also had a penalty appeal turned down as he went down under a challenge from Nicolas Otamendi.

Reality struck for Basel in the 14th minute when Guendogan beat Fabian Frei to de Bruyne's corner and headed in.

Four minutes later, Leo Lacroix failed to cut out Raheem Sterling's cross and the unmarked Silva lobbed his shot over Tomas Vaclik. Aguero then scored the third from outside the area - City's fourth shot on target of the game.

Ederson made his first real save in the 49th minute, palming away Mohamed Elyounoussi's long-range shot, but shortly afterwards, Aguero set up Guendogan who took one touch and placed a looping shot into the far corner.

Only a brilliant Vaclik save denied Gundogan a hat-trick late on.

Football