Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus on target as Manchester City sink Napoli

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Early goals from Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus saw Manchester City maintain their winning start in the Champions League with a 2-1 victory over Napoli.

City struck twice in the opening 13 minutes at the Etihad Stadium to set themselves up for a result that lifted them six points clear of the Serie A leaders, and their supposed chief rivals, in Group F.

Napoli hit back strongly with Dries Mertens having a penalty saved before Amadou Diawara did score from the spot, but City survived a nervy finish.

What they said

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola: “They are one of the best teams I have ever faced as a professional, as a player, as a trainer. That is why I am so proud with what we have done. You cannot beat Napoli – it is impossible to beat them, if you do make a good performance and we did it. That is why I am so happy. I am pretty sure they are one of the best teams in Europe in this moment.”

Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri: “We managed to fight back and not many teams at the moment are able to come back in the way we did and cause difficulties for Man City. We regret the fact we missed the first penalty, but we know now that we are on the right path to be competitive in Europe.”

Tweet of the Match

Star Man

Kevin De Bruyne: The in-form Belgian was again City’s most influential player. He delivered a superb cross for Jesus to score and hit the bar himself soon after. He went close from a free-kick late in the game and another fine pass for Leroy Sane led to another good chance.

Moment of the match

Raheem Sterling opened the scoring in Manchester City's victory (Martin Rickett/PA)
Raheem Sterling opened the scoring in Manchester City’s victory (Martin Rickett/PA)

Sterling’s opening goal after nine minutes ignited the atmosphere at the Etihad Stadium. It seemed City had just carried on from where they left off against Stoke at the weekend as they played some exhilarating football in the opening half hour. They could easily have scored four goals in his period.

Stat point

When Ederson saved Dries Merten’s first-half penalty it was the sixth successive time that an opposing team had missed a spot-kick against City in the Champions League. Three of the previous efforts were saved by Joe Hart and two by Willy Caballero. The sequence was ended by Diawara in the second half.


Manchester City: Ederson: 8, Kyle Walker: 6, John Stones: 7, Nicolas Otamendi: 7, Fabian Delph: 6, Kevin De Bruyne: 8, Fernandinho: 7, David Silva: 6, Raheem Sterling: 7, Gabriel Jesus: 7, Leroy Sane: 7. Substitutes: Bernardo Silva (for Sterling, 70): 6, Ilkay Gundogan (for David Silva, 76): 6 Danilo (for Jesus, 87): 6

Napoli: Jose Reina: 6, Elseid Hysaj: 6, Raul Albiol: 6, Kalidou Koulibaly: 7, Faouzi Ghoulam: 6, Piotr Zielinski: 6, Amadou Diawara: 6, Marek Hamsik: 7, Jose Callejon: 6, Dries Mertens: 7, Lorenzo Insigne: 7. Substitutes: Allan (for Insigne, 57): 6, Christian Maggio (for Hysaj, 70): 6, Adam Ounas (for Hamsik, 78): 6

Who’s up next?

Pep Guardiola's side are next in action on Saturday ( Martin Rickett/PA)
Pep Guardiola’s side are next in action on Saturday ( Martin Rickett/PA)

Manchester City v Burnley (Premier League, October 21)