Breaking Down The Stats Of Yet Another Record-Breaking Night For Manchester City
Was it ever in doubt? A tightly fought battle only decided in the dying minutes three weeks ago in Gelsenkirchen had given Schalke 04 the most marginal glimmer of hope of making it through to the Champions League Quarter-Finals for the first time since 2010/11.
In that same season die Königsblauen made it to the last four before home and away wins for Manchester United put a stopper on Schalke reaching their first ever final in the premier European tournament.
This time it was another Manchester club tasked with the duty of inflicting the pain, with Pep Guardiola’s City ensuring that for the first time since that aforementioned season, at least three English teams with be competing in the Quarter-Finals of the competition.
Conceding three to Manchester City - the last, devastatingly, via Raheem Sterling in injury time - but striking back with two of their own at the Arena AufSchalke in mid-February may have suggested that we were in for another blow-for-blow bout in the return leg at the Etihad Stadium.
Seven goals and six different scorers for the hosts put an end to all that speculative spiel.
Sterling again, Bernardo Silva, Phil Foden, Gabriel Jesus, Sergio Aguero with an opening brace, and Leroy Sane against his former side all got on the scoresheet on a typically scintillatingly swashbuckling night in Eastlands.
A simply eye-popping aggregate score of 10-2, which ended up with the Cityzens alternating to take potshots that wouldn’t look out of place in a training session by the second game’s end, re-asserted the UAE-backed club’s credentials of achieving their first top European trophy and certifiably becoming one of the elite.
Not only is it the biggest ever aggregate win by an English side in a Champions League knockout tie, but the 7-0 demolition of Schalke 04 in east Manchester is the biggest loss of a German side in the history of the competition.
The result also means that Guardiola has won all five of his home games in the Champions League knockout stages against German opposition as manager, across tenures at Barcelona, Bayern Munich, and now City, and seven straight in the competiton.
It was a game full of moments of personal triumph for several members of the Blues’ plethora of stars.
Sterling and Aguero continued spectacular runs; the Englishman involved in nine goals in his last four home starts, and the awesome Argentinean scoring 11 goals in his last seven Champions League appearances.
18-year-old Foden - in front of the adoring crowd of his boyhood club - became the youngest City player to score in the competition and the youngest English player to score in the Champions League knockout stages.
Sane’s strike against the team he had spent eight years at means the German winger has bagged a milestone half century of goals in all competitions, as well as becoming the first player to make three assists in a Champions League knockout game since Franck Ribery for Bayern Munich against Basel exactly seven years ago.
The 23-year-old provided consecutive goals for Sterling, Silva, and Foden in the space of just over 20 minutes.
City now find themselves in the last-eight pot - for the third successive season - with United, Tottenham Hotspur, Ajax, Porto, Juventus, and either Bayern Munich or Liverpool, and Barcelona or Olympique Lyonnais.
Sizzling, spectacular, super, indeed.
*Stats courtesy of Opta