Club Brugge 1-5 Man City: player ratings, man of match, heroes and villains as Blues sparkle in Belgium

City cruised past Philippe Clement’s men and moved into the qualification places in Group A.
Manchester City celebrate Cole Palmer’s goal. Credit: Getty.Manchester City celebrate Cole Palmer’s goal. Credit: Getty.
Manchester City celebrate Cole Palmer’s goal. Credit: Getty.

Manchester City produced their best performance of the season to date when they beat Club Brugge 5-1 in the Champions League on Tuesday.

The visitors took the lead through Joao Cancelo in the 30th minute, after dominating possession in the first half an hour.

Riyad Mahrez made it two just before the break, while Kyle Walker and then 19-year-old Cole Palmer found the back of the net in the second half.

A rare Brugge attack resulted in Hans Vanaken scoring after 81 minutes, before Mahrez netted a second.

The heroes

  • Phil Foden: The youngster was at his very best at the Jan Breydel Stadium. He technically lined up at centre-forward, but flitted all over the pitch during the course of the evening. A joy to watch for City, Foden’s passing and movement were exceptional and he played a brilliant pass to assist Cancelo’s opener.
  • Kyle Walker: The full-back is playing in his 11th season of European football and netted his first goal after 64 Champions League and Europa League games. His 53rd-minute run was perfectly timed and a well-placed pass from Kevin De Bruyne laid the England international in to score.
  • Pep Guardiola: Not only was it a vintage display from his side, the former Barcelona manager also had the opportunity to rest several players with City 3-0 up after 53 minutes. Bernardo Silva and Aymeric Laporte were replaced soon after that goal, while Foden and De Bruyne came off in the 64th minute.
  • Ilkay Gundogan: The German international was introduced in the second period and played his first minutes in over a month after a hamstring problem.
  • Cole Palmer: What a moment for the 19-year-old who netted on just his second Champions League appearance. It was also his second City goal after netting in the League Cup earlier this season, during the 6-1 win over Wycombe Wanderers.
Palmer scored two minutes after coming on. Credit: Getty.Palmer scored two minutes after coming on. Credit: Getty.
Palmer scored two minutes after coming on. Credit: Getty.

The villains

  • Stanley Nsoki: It was a tough night for all those in blue and black stripes, but the defender’s foul on Mahrez gave City a chance to double their lead at a crucial time in the game, just before the half-time whistle.
  • Paris Saint-Germain: Given Brugge’s evident deficiencies it’s remarkable to think that PSG actually dropped points on their visit to the Jan Breydel Stadium. But Tuesday’s result massively strengthens City’s hopes of qualifying and topping the group, especially given their enhanced goal difference.
  • Ederson: Despite City’s dominance, the Brazilian will be disappointed not to keep a clean sheet, although there was little he could do to stop Hans Vanaken’s strike.

Player ratings

Manchester City (4-3-3): Ederson 6; Walker 6, Dias 7, Laporte 7 (Ake 57: 6), Cancelo 7; Rodri 8 (Fernandinho 70; 6), De Bruyne 7 (Palmer 64; 7), Silva 7 (Gundogan 57; 6); Mahrez 8, Foden 8 (Sterling 64; 5), Grealish 7.

Man of the Match

It has to be Foden, although he was withdrawn just after the hour mark. He dictated the flow and speed of the game in the first period and continued his excellent form of late. He’s quickly becoming one of the most reliable figures in this star-studded squad.

What’s next?

It’s back to Premier League action for Guardiola’s men and they take on ealy-season fast-starters Brighton & Hove Albion. The match against the Seagulls, who are only one place and two points behind City in the table, kicks off at 5:45pm and will be shown on Sky Sports.