MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) -Manchester City sailed through to the Champions League quarter-finals after they played out a 0-0 draw against Sporting in their last-16 second leg on Wednesday, progressing 5-0 on aggregate.
City had already done the hard work in their thrashing of the Portuguese side in the first leg three weeks ago in Lisbon, and could take it easy against an inferior Sporting at the Etihad Stadium.
Coach Pep Guardiola could afford to make several changes to his starting team, with one of those players coming in – Raheem Sterling – going closest to scoring in the first half after his close-range effort was saved.
Brazilian forward Gabriel Jesus, making his first Champions League start of the season, did have the ball in the net early in the second half, but his clever finish was ruled out for offside after a VAR review.
Paulinho almost earned Sporting victory late on, but it was not to be as City held on to ensure they have now reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League in each of the last five seasons, the only English side to do so over this period.
Reuters Sporting’s Pablo Sarabia (C) in action against Manchester City’s Ilkay Gundogan (L) and Oleksandr Zinchenko (R) during the UEFA Champions League round of 16, second leg soccer match between Manchester City and Sporting Lisbon in Manchester, Britain, 09 March 2022. EPA-EFE/PETER POWELL