Manchester City earns Champions League win vs. Basel

Feb. 14 (UPI) — Manchester City used two goals from İlkay Gündoğan to trounce FC Basel 4-0 in their 2018 Champions League debut.

The Sky Blues took on Basel Tuesday at St. Jakob-Park in Basel, Switzerland.

City’s first scoring strike came in the 14th minute. Star midfielder Kevin De Bruyne lined up for a corner kick. He crossed the offering into the box, onto a sprinting Gündoğan. The German midfielder flicked a header into the near post netting, past a stationary Tomáš Vaclík for a 1-0 edge.

De Bruyne helped set up another City score in the 18th minute. He got the ball just past midfield and slid a through ball up to Raheem Sterling. Sterling then chipped a pass over the Basel defense and onto a running Bernardo Silva. Silver trapped the pass down with his chest, before firing a shot off with his left boot. Vaclík deflected the ball, but it had enough power to still land in the goal behind him for the second score of the contest.

It was Sergio Aguero’s turn to score in the 23rd minute. The Argentinian — who scored four times in City’s 5-1 win Saturday against Leicester City — showed off another world-class touch.

Aguero gained possession of the ball about 30 yards from the Basel goal. He took just a few steps before blasting a shot into the left side of the net. Vaclík barely moved on the offering, watching the ball drop in just beside the post to his right. The score was Aguero’s 14th of the year.

In the 53rd minute, Aguero found a dashing Gündoğan with eyes on the net. Gündoğan tapped the ball to his left, before faking out the defender with a quick right touch. He then ripped a shot into the far post for City’s fourth goal.

“Gundo [Gündoğan] is an extraordinary player,” City manager Pep Guardiola told the team website after the match. “Last season we missed him a lot when he was injured. Not just his goals, his personality to play, he was fantastic. I am so happy for him.”

City battles Wigan Athletic, plays Arsenal twice and faces Chelsea before the second leg of their Champions League matchup against Basel. That match is set for 2:45 p.m. on March 7 at Etihad Stadium in Manchester, England.

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