Sergio Aguero breaks Manchester City's all-time scoring record as win at Napoli seals last-16 place
Champions League Group F, Stadio San Paolo - Napoli 2 (Insigne 21', Jorginho 62' pen.) Manchester City 4 (Otamendi 34', Stones 48', Aguero 69', Sterling 90')
A terrific performance from Manchester City saw them come from behind to see off a very good Napoli side; they are through to the last 16, and no team will fancy playing them.
It was actually Napoli who set the early pace, too quick and too slick for City in the early stages; their opening goal, brilliantly conceived by Dries Mertens and brilliantly finished by Lorenzo Insigne, was coming. But immediately, City switched on, seizing control of the game, and on 34 minutes, Nicolas Otamendi headed in Kevin de Bruyne's cross at the back post to see the teams go to half-time on terms.
It was not long before City underlined their superiority, John Stones powering a header against the bar and, said the goalline technology - over the line. But Napoli then found a second wind and earned their penalty, soft though it was,when Leroy Sane impetuously and unnecessarily fouled Raul Albiol; Jorginho easily equalised.
Needing a win to stay in touch in the group, Napoli went in search of a winner and almost found it, Ederson saving superbly from Jose Callejon. But immediately afterwards, Sane led a break, the ball found it way to Sergio Aguero, and his expert finish made him City's top scorer of all-time.
With that, Napoli were done, and as such City found time to add a fourth, the excellent Raheem Sterling drilling home the goal his performance deserved. It's taken longer than expected, but now, for the first time, City look like serious contenders.
Can City keep this up? City are currently the best team in Europe, but it is rare that a team can sustain such behaviour from November to March - especially one for whom athleticism is so important. Can Pep Guardiola husband his resources through a hard winter's schedule such that his team are firing when the knockouts start again in February?
Nicolas Otamendi of Manchester City celebrates scoring his sides first goal during the UEFA Champions League group F match between SSC Napoli and Manchester City at Stadio San PaoloGetty Images
MAN OF THE MATCH
Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) John Stones was also very good, but when City were under the pump, it was Sterling who sparked them, as industrious as he was dangerous.
Sergio Aguero has scored 178 Manchester City goals, one more than Eric Brook.
John Stones has scored three Champions League goals this season, more than any other City player.
21’ - WHAT A GOAL! Napoli 1-0 Manchester City (Insigne) It's been coming. Insigne darts a pass into Mertens on the edge of the box, and back to goal, he stab-strokes a tremendous return with the outside of his right foot, into stride at inside-left. Insigne opens his body, draws back his foot, and punches with his instep into the far side-netting, halfway up. Napoli could help themselves to another here, before City rouse themselves.
34’ GOAL! Napoli 1-1 Manchester City (Otamendi )That too was coming. De Bruyne gets the ball outside the box, right-hand side, and with no pressure on him, stands up a cross to the back post where Otamendi directs a fine downward header past Reina.
48’ - GOAL! Napoli 1-2 Manchester City (Stones) Excellent corner from Sane and Stones, centrally stationed, powers a header against the bar and down. The ball's clearly over the line, but spin takes it into Reina's arms, and the ref awards the goal! City are going to the last 16!
61’ - PENALTY TO NAPOLI! Napoli win a corner and in the repechage that follows, Sane is careless in leaving a foot for Albiol to fall over; he tries to pull out, but it's too late.
62’ - GOAL! Napoli 2-2 Mamchester City (Jorginho pen) Jorginho ambles up towards the ball, leaps, and when Ederson dives right, he clips it straight.
69’ - GOAL! Napoli 2-3 Manchester City (Aguero) Sergio Aguero is Manchester City's leading scorer of all-time! Out of nowhere, Sane screeches forward, and when he tangles with Hysaj, Gundogan picks up the loose ball, slides it square to Aguero, and he's not missing this, advancing to punch a sidefooter into the bottom-right. What a player!
90+2’ - GOAL! Napoli 2-4 Manchester City (Sterling) De Bruyne chugs forward, a tired Napoli stand off, and when he slides into Sterling, a lovely touch gets the ball out of his feet and the truest of drives flies into the far bottom corner. What a player he now is!