• Manchester City 5-2 CSKA Moscow, Champions League

City cruise to first appearance in last 16

ESPN staff
November 5, 2013
Sergio Aguero crashes home an early penalty in what was a comfortable victory for City © PA Photos

Alvaro Negredo grabbed a hat-trick and Sergio Aguero struck twice as Manchester City powered into the Champions League knockout stages with a convincing 5-2 defeat of CSKA Moscow.

The result never seemed in doubt after Aguero hit his first from the penalty spot in the third minute at the Etihad Stadium and the in-form hosts were 3-0 up after an hour.

Seydou Doumbia twice disrupted City's flow with a goal on the stroke of half-time and a 71st-minute penalty but Manuel Pellegrini's men were not threatened and secured qualification for the first time with two games to spare.

Aguero's second after 20 minutes was his 13th of the season and Negredo then put City in complete control. He added his second soon after the break and completed his treble in the last minute. After exits at the group stages in each of the past two seasons the result represented the next major step forward in City's development.

After the meeting between the two clubs in the Russian capital a fortnight ago was soured by racist chanting aimed at Yaya Toure, there was also focus on the crowd. City fans were quick to burst into a chant of support for Toure and followed by informing their CSKA counterparts, in crude terms, that they regarded them as racists.

Stewards also acted quickly to remove a banner unfurled by City fans reading, 'Free Pussy Riot', referring to the imprisoned members of the Russian protest band. Midway through the first half police and stewards also moved in among the CSKA supporters after what may have been a minor disturbance and a smoke bomb was later let off.

On the field City were quickly into their stride as the same side that started Saturday's 7-0 win over Norwich picked up where they left off. That meant England goalkeeper Joe Hart was again on the bench as manager Pellegrini opted to continue with Costel Pantilimon.

Less than two minutes had gone when David Silva tricked his way into the CSKA box and was brought down by former Manchester United player Zoran Tosic. Aguero clinically dispatched the penalty to move clear of Francis Lee as City's record goalscorer in Europe.

CSKA capitalised on the vulnerability that remains in the City defence in the continued absence of Vincent Kompany to carve out a chance for Doumbia but he blazed over. City began to assert themselves more as Toure shot over from a free-kick and Silva combined with Samir Nasri before lashing into the side-netting.

Aguero's second came as he took a Nasri pass and brilliantly turned Aleksei Berezutski with a deft touch before guiding a shot past Igor Akinfeev. Negredo volleyed over from a poor clearance and Toure curled a long-range effort just wide as the pressure continued.

Negredo claimed the third on the half-hour as he found Aguero wide and then received a perfect return pass into his path from the Argentinian to tap in from six yards. An Aguero overhead kick was blocked and Negredo narrowly failed to turn in another good cross from his strike partner.

CSKA broke the procession on the stroke of half-time as Pontus Wernbloom split the City defence with a superb through-ball and Doumbia glided around Pantilimon to pull one back.

It may have raised more questions over the defence but they could wait for another day as City resumed normal service in the second half. Nasri met a Toure long ball with a superb first-time pass that gifted Negredo another tap-in.

As Bayern Munich took the lead in the other game in the group, City were cruising to the next stage but they had a jolt as Gael Clichy tripped Doumbia. Toure's Ivory Coast team-mate got up to send Pantilimon the wrong way from the spot and reduce the arrears.

It was almost immediately cancelled out as Negredo narrowly failed to claim his hat-trick with a shot that flew inches over the bar. The Spaniard went close again after substitute Jesus Navas caused more defensive uncertainty but his close-range effort was deflected wide.

City grabbed the fifth goal their superiority deserved as Negredo wrapped up the scoring in injury time by heading home a cross from James Milner to complete his hat-trick.

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