Dinamo Zagreb 1-4 Manchester City: Gabriel Jesus hat-trick and a Phil Foden strike sees visitors end Champions League Group C campaign with victory
- Midfielder Dani Olmo gave Dinamo Zagreb the lead on 10 minutes with a stunning first-time volley
- Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus equalised for the visitors on 34 minutes with a header from close range
- Dinamo’s Amer Gojak escaped a red card, let alone a booking, when he elbowed Rodri in the first half
- Jesus doubled his and City’s tally with a beautiful finish after a brilliant team move on 50 minutes
- The Brazilian completed his hat-trick four minutes later with a tap-in from a Benjamin Mendy cross
- Phil Foden completed the scoreline on 84 minutes with a sliding finish to complete a comfortable team win
- CLICK HERE to re-live the action from the Stadion Maksimir as it happened with Sportsmail’s Max Winters
Major names under-performing has been the theme of Manchester City’s season and two understudies made cases for becoming influential in arresting the slide.
A hat-trick for Gabriel Jesus will do the striker the world of good and Pep Guardiola has Phil Foden to thank for turning this dead-rubber around. Foden’s hypnotic grace when dribbling through midfield had Dinamo Zagreb in a trance; his incisive passing reduced them to statues.
This was a night when the 19-year-old really looked as if he can make a distinctive impact on their immediate fortunes moving forward, taking ownership of the game. Giving a bit back to abusive opposition, working angles for City to eventually pick them apart.
Gabriel Jesus was Manchester City’s hero as they beat Dinamo Zagreb in their Champions League Group C encounter
Jesus completed his hat-trick on 54 minutes with this close-range finish from a brilliant Benjamin Mendy cross
The 22-year-old was quickly congratulated by his team-mates after capping a memorable night with his third goal
MATCH FACTS AND PLAYER RATINGS
Dinamo Zagreb (4-3-3): Livakovic 5; Stojanovic 5, Ademi 5, Dilaver 5, Moubandje 5; Moro 6.5, Olmo 7, Gojak 5 (Majer 81); Kadzior 7 (Dira 59, 6), Orsic 6 (Hajrovic 81), Petkovic 6
Subs not used: Zagorac, Gavranovic, Situm, Ivanusec
Goal: Olmo 10
Manager: Nenad Bjelica 6
Man City (4-3-3): Bravo 6; Cancelo 6, Otamendi 7 (Harwood-Bellis 82), Garcia 7, Mendy 7; Gundogan 6, Rodri 6.5 (Sterling 73, 6), Foden 9; Mahrez 7, Jesus 8.5 (Zinchenko 66, 7), B Silva 7
Subs not used: Carson, Walker, Angelino, De Bruyne
Goals: Jesus 34, 50 and 54; Foden 84
Manager: Pep Guardiola 7
Referee: Carlos Del Carro Grande (Spain) 5
His first-half performance injected energy and his second allowed others to flourish, often adding zip into forays forward with one sharp pass. Late on, he would deservedly add City’s fourth with an instinctive poke.
Jesus was obviously the chief beneficiary here but City must look to utilise him more often in the coming weeks. A man dubbed ‘The Stockport Iniesta’ seemed very much the young David Silva in tough conditions as City left Croatia with the job done.
Zagreb swayed in the hours beforehand, plenty of locals taking a half-day at work to join the festivities in the middle of town. The Croatian champions went in knowing only victory would offer hope of last-16 qualification for the first time in the competition’s current guise.
Wednesday’s edition of sports newspaper SN dedicated 11 pages to this fixture and its front page read: ‘Dinamo, you have nothing to be ashamed of.’ They were under no illusions of the task at hand, even if City rang the changes.
Progression is becoming the norm for City, this the seventh consecutive campaign they have gone beyond Christmas. Now, of course, the trick is to go deeper than the quarter-finals – still Guardiola’s best finish with this club. The next obstacle in their way will become apparent after the knockout draw in Nyon on Monday.
Guardiola referenced on the eve of this dead-rubber that their form needed to improve if they are to compete in the latter months of this season. His current qualms are with decision-making and decisiveness in both boxes but sluggish starts could also be added to that.
Dinamo Zagreb’s Dani Olmo (right) celebrates with his team-mates after giving them the lead against Manchester City
The 21-year-old opened the scoring on 10 minutes with a stunning first-time volley on the run
City goalkeeper Claudio Bravo could do nothing about the strike as it flashed past him into the net to stun the visitors
The Spaniard roars with delight after giving Dinamo the lead in a match they that was pivotal to their last-16 hopes
Dani Olmo’s 10th-minute opener, a technically perfect volley when striking a ball over his shoulder, was the eighth time they have conceded the first goal. That is just one fewer than the entire of last year and needs addressing.
Ilkay Gundogan appeared at fault, not properly passing on the ghosting Olmo, who sweetly caught Damian Kadzior’s clip. Claudio Bravo lay a glove but could not prevent the inevitable. The unwell Ederson may well have kept the strike out.
City’s malaise has been down to a lack of impetus and passive possession. That was no different here, so Foden took matters into his own hands on a 50th senior appearance. If it was not pinging 60 yards balls, he was slaloming beyond three or four Dinamo players. The hosts were doubling up on the teenager, callously converging to scythe him down in the build-up to City’s equaliser 11 minutes before the break.
Foden jinked past, opening the game up, picking himself up from the double-team tackle and continued his run. Seconds later Riyad Mahrez was standing a ball up for Gabriel Jesus to head in.
Dinamo Zagreb supporters made it a colourful affair during the match by waving around flags to create an atmosphere
City’s summer signing Rodri plays a pass under pressure from goalscorer Olmo during the first hafl
Jesus opened his account on Wednesday night with this thumping header from Riyad Mahrez’s cross
While congratulated on his goal, the Brazilian’s celebrations were halted by angry Dinamo captain Arijan Ademi
Ademi was booked for his protests as he felt City should’ve kicked the ball out of the play for an injury to a Dinamo team-mate
Jesus’ first goal was started by a brilliant run from Phil Foden (centre) who was given a rare chance to start
Bernardo Silva runs with the ball as the Premier League champions look to go on the attack against their Croatian opponents
Ilkay Gundogan (left) battles for the ball with Nikola Moro as both sides battle for possession during the encounter
That is when this tie turned. Dinamo captain Arijan Ademi pushed Foden because City had carried on playing with a home defender down in his own box. VAR saw no problem with it, nor when Amer Gojak seemed to deliberately elbow Rodri. The City bench were incensed.
From incensed to invigorated shortly after half-time and Jesus – the youngest Brazilian to ever reach 10 Champions League goals – had his second. It owed much to interplay on the left, Bernardo Silva and Benjamin Mendy involved before a one-two with Foden ended with Jesus delaying his effort perfectly.
Dinamo sank, out of the match by the 54th minute. City’s left was rampant and the third came from that flank again. The usual suspects had their fingerprints across the goal, the attack manufactured to Mendy, whose wickedly quick cross was calmly volleyed home by Jesus, surpassing his century of professional goals. There was still time for Foden to stab in a fourth, a goal richly deserved.
Shortly after half-time, City took the lead when Jesus weaved his way in the box before curling a shot into the far corner
City’s No 9 jumps in the air with joy after doubling his and the visitors’ lead inside the Stadion Maksimir
Foden capped off a brilliant individual display by adding City’s fourth of the night with this sliding finish on 84 minutes
The England Under 21 celebrates gleefully on the floor after scoring on his 50th senior appearance
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