Champions League: Manchester City leads with a Mahrez double and awaits Saint-Germain’s stumble


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Bruges (Belgium) (AFP)

Manchester City rose to the top of Group A in the Champions League after its big victory over its Belgian host Club Brugge 5-1, including a double by Algerian international Riyad Mahrez, on Tuesday in the third round.

Portuguese full-back Joao Cancelo (30), Mahrez (43 penalty kick and 84), Kyle Walker (53) and young substitute Cole Palmer scored in his first match in the parent competition (67), who regained his balance after losing against Paris Saint-Germain in the round. The second is waiting for the latter to stumble against his German guest, Leipzig later, to remain in the lead, while captain Hans Vanaken scored the honorary goal for the owners of the land (81).

Last season’s runner-up raised his score to six points, two points ahead of Saint-Germain and Brugge, while bottom Leipzig is still looking for its first points.

The men of Spanish coach Pep Guardiola opened the continental campaign with an exciting victory (6-3) at home against the German team, before falling in the French capital with two clean goals.

The champion of England, owned by the UAE since 2008, is still looking for his first title in his history in the continental competition, and he was around the corner last season when he reached the final for the first time before falling to his compatriot Chelsea with a clean goal.

Guardiola made four changes to the squad that started against Burnley (2-0) in the local league on Saturday, and pushed Jack Grealish instead of Raheem Sterling along with Mahrez and Phil Foden, while keeping the same midfield led by Belgian Kevin De Bruyne, who scored the first hat-trick in his career. Professionalism against Club Brugge in particular, and pushed the Portuguese Robin Diach and Kyle Walker in the defense, and the main Brazilian goalkeeper Ederson returned.

City controlled almost absolute control of the match and canceled two early goals for offside, the first for Grealish (11) and another for Spaniard Rodri (13).

Cancelo opened the scoring after Foden raised a beautiful ball behind the defenders into the area, tamed by the Portuguese with his chest before he followed it with his left between the feet of goalkeeper Simon Mignolet (30).

Mahrez got a penalty kick after being blocked by French defender Stanley Nsuke Vanbry, to the right of the goalkeeper (43).

Mahrez almost scored his second personal goal after he reached the ball in the middle of the area, and he shot it easy in the hands of the former Liverpool goalkeeper (45 + 3).

City began the second half from where he finished the first, and Walker managed to score the third goal after the ball reached the area with a pass between two defenders from De Brion, followed by his right from a narrow angle in the goal (53).

Two minutes after coming on as a substitute for De Bruyne, in his first ever participation in the Champions League, the 19-year-old Cole Palmer scored the fourth goal with a left-footed shot from outside the area to the right of the goalkeeper (67).

Palmer had entered the last seconds of City’s match against Burnley in the Premier League on Saturday, before he scored a hat-trick in his team’s under-23 match four hours later against Leicester City (5-0).

The hosts waited until the 79th minute to shoot between the three woods for the first time through a header from Charles de Kettler, which Ederson brilliantly pushed into a corner, before they managed to score an honorable goal through Vanaken after a cross from Dutch substitute Rood Vomer (81).

However, they only enjoyed this goal for three minutes, as Mahrez scored his second goal after Brazilian Fernandinho lifted a ball behind the defenders, so the Algerian went and put the ball into the net (84).


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