Manchester City took a giant step towards the quarter-finals of the Champions League with a 4-0 thrashing of Basel at St Jakob-Park.
As Ikay Gundogan scores twice
Pep Guardiola’s side tore Leicester City to pieces 5-1 in the Premier League at the weekend and resumed in similarly menacing mood against the Swiss champions.
Goalkeeper Tomas Vaclik found himself caught out on that occasion and was rooted to the spot when Aguero seized upon a loose ball to clatter home from 25 yards.
Vaclik regained his poise to scamper out and deny Sterling, but the first half had long become on ordeal for Basel by the time De Bruyne lifted a crisp half-volley narrowly over.
De Bruyne stung Vaclik’s palms shortly after the restart, while opposite number Ederson was at full stretch to push Mohamed Elyounoussi’s swerving strike around the post.
Seeing De Bruyne and Elyounoussi frustrated in their pitches for the spectacular, Gundogan elected to show them how it was done, curling majestically into the top corner to crown a clockwork move that began with Kompany and Kyle Walker in the City half.
Such a handsome lead allowed Guardiola to give Leroy Sane and David Silva runouts on their returns from injury, with Sterling and De Bruyne afforded a rest.
To their credit, Basel kept asking questions in attack, with Oberlin failing to convert Stocker’s cross at the far post and Elyounoussi drilling at Ederson.
Gundogan should have beaten Vaclik from close range to claim the matchball, but his and City’s focus remain fixed upon more enduring prizes.