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Jesus puts the icing on the cake as City are hardly made to break sweat

Shakhtar 0 Man City 3

Making strides: Manchester City’s Ilkay Gundogan looks to break through against Shakhtar Donetsk
Making strides: Manchester City’s Ilkay Gundogan looks to break through against Shakhtar Donetsk

By Andy Hampson

Manchester City put a bad few days behind them to begin their latest Champions League challenge with a comfortable 3-0 win over Shakhtar Donetsk in Ukraine.

Goals from Riyad Mahrez and Ilkay Gundogan put City in control at the Metalist Stadium in Kharkiv before Gabriel Jesus added a late third.

Gabriel Jesus
Gabriel Jesus

Last Saturday's unexpected defeat at Norwich and injury to John Stones, leaving City with just one fit specialist centre-back in Nicolas Otamendi, had threatened to unsettle Pep Guardiola's men ahead of the game.

Yet Guardiola had said his players would rise to the challenge and find a solution, and they did just that with midfielder Fernandinho looking comfortable in an emergency defensive role.

City were also at ease in what is now a familiar venue. This is the third successive season they have been paired with the exiled Ukrainian champions.

They could have been ahead inside a minute after Raheem Sterling was fouled and Kevin de Bruyne lobbed a free-kick into the box but Rodri headed well wide.

As usual, City dominated possession but the Ukrainian double winners were a threat on the break and Marlos fired over.

City went close again when a Sterling cross was headed clear by Mykola Matviyenko and Jesus, preferred to Sergio Aguero up front, had an effort deflected wide.

City were rewarded for their control when they grabbed the lead after 24 minutes. Jesus laid off to Gundogan, who curled a low effort against a post. Mahrez was quickest to react to fire home.

City doubled their lead before the break following more good work by Mahrez. The Algerian cut inside from the right and played inside to Gundogan, who timed his run perfectly to beat Andriy Pyatov with a first-time shot.

City were almost caught out in the second half when Ederson was beaten to the ball by Moraes but the opportunity came to nothing.

The visitors were soon back in control and Gundogan tested Pyatov before Alan Patrick mis-hit a clearance and Sterling slammed a shot straight at a post.

City's third came 14 minutes from time as De Bruyne stretched the Shakhtar defence. The Belgian then picked out Jesus and the striker finished coolly.

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