Man City through to Champions League knockouts after Young Boys win

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Man City through to Champions League knockouts after Young Boys win
Updated
Haaland and teammates celebrate
Haaland and teammates celebrate
AFP
Manchester City booked their safe passage to the UEFA Champions League (UCL) knockout stages with a 3-0 win against Young Boys, extending their formidable unbeaten home run in the UCL to 25 matches.

With the surprise inclusion of Erling Haaland in the City starting XI, Young Boys were always up against it at the Etihad Stadium.

Credit where it’s due for the Swiss side, they commendably saw out the first 15 minutes with a clean sheet, largely thanks to some heroic goal line defending from Loris Benito, who cleared Rico Lewis’ effort off the line shortly before Anthony Racioppi produced a stunning double save to deny Kyle Walker and Phil Foden.

City didn’t have to wait too much longer to find a breakthrough though, and they were given a helping hand when Sandro Lauper caught Matheus Nunes in the area, affording Haaland the chance from 12 yards, one he duly accepted.

It wasn’t all positive for the Norwegian in the first half, as the Young Boys defence incredulously left him unmarked from six yards out, but somehow, Haaland fumbled his effort which was grasped by the grateful Racioppi.

That was only a temporary reprieve for Young Boys, who were punished on the stroke of half time, and in some style too, when a sumptuous Foden touch had the finish to match as he curled into the far corner.

Key stats from the match at full time
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City showed no signs of slowing up after the break and soon added a third when Haaland slammed home from the edge of the area.

As if things couldn’t get any worse for the Swiss outfit, they soon did when Lauper was shown a second yellow card for a late challenge on Nathan Ake, leaving Young Boys with the daunting task of facing the last 40 minutes with ten men.

Strangely, the visitors looked slightly more assured at a man disadvantage, perhaps due to their acceptance that the game was up.

So is their Champions League campaign too, as they’re now in a straight shootout with Red Star Belgrade to secure a transfer into the Europa League.

At the other end of the group, City have assured a top-two finish and could wrap up top spot in their next outing against their challengers, RB Leipzig.

Flashscore Man of the Match: Rico Lewis (Manchester City)

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Leipzig secure place in knockout stages

Xavi Simons is on fire for Leipzig
Reuters

In Group G's other match, Xavi Simons shined and scored a lovely goal as RB Leipzig beat Red Star Belgrade to join City in the knockout rounds. 

Read more about that win here.

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