Gabriel Jesus hit a first senior hat-trick as Manchester City took a giant stride towards the Champions League knockout stages with a comprehensive 6-0 victory over Shakhtar Donetsk at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday evening.
Pep Guardiola’s side were dominant from the first whistle, taking the lead in the 13th minute through David Silva and they were gifted a second following Viktor Kassai’s decision to award them a dubious penalty midway through the first-half.
The Hungarian referee pointed to the spot thinking Mykola Matvyenko tripped Raheem Sterling but the England forward actually kicked the ground before going down. Jesus (25) took full advantage, converting from the spot to send the hosts into the break with a two-goal advantage.
The goals continued to come in the second half through Sterling, a second penalty from Jesus and Riyad Mahrez before Jesus rounded off City’s biggest European win by completing his hat-trick.
Despite the victory, City, who are in pole position to top group F with two games remaining, will have to wait to confirm their place in the last 16 following Lyon’s 2-2 draw with 10-man Hoffenheim.
City, who hit six past Southampton last Sunday, were quickly out of the blocks again, taking the lead after 13 minutes when Mahrez pulled back for David Silva to turn home from close range.
Their second then came in comical circumstances after as Sterling lost his footing kicking the ground in the penalty area after being played through by Fernandinho. Kassai had no hesitation pointing to the spot but within seconds replays were showing the extent of his error with Guardiola also appearing to tell the fourth official about the mistake.
Manchester City: Ederson (7), Walker (7), Stones (7), Laporte (7), Zinchenko (7), Fernandinho (7), David Silva (8), Mahrez (7), Bernardo Silva (7), Sterling (8), Jesus (8).
Subs: Danilo (6), Gundogan (6), Delph (6).
Shakhtar Donetsk: Pyatov (6), Matviyenko (6), Kryvtsov (7), Rakitskiy (6), Ismaily (6), Stepanenko (5), Maicon (6), Taison (7), Kovalenko (6), Bolbat (6), Moraes (6).
Subs: Kayode (6), Lourenco (6), Wellington Nem (6).
Man of the match: Gabriel Jesus.
Jesus, who was in need of a goal, accepted the gift, stepping up to score his third goal of the season.
City added to their tally early in the second half as Sterling continued his fine form, shrugging off the challenge of two defenders before curling into the top corner from the edge of the area.
City had two further penalty appeals turned down as Sterling and David Silva went down under challenges but Kassai had no alternative other than to point to the spot again 18 minutes from time.
David Silva was clearly felled by Taras Stepanenko and Jesus fired into the top corner to become the first player to score two penalties in a Champions League game for an English club since Wayne Rooney did so for Manchester United against Otelul Galati in October 2011.
Mahrez added another six minutes from time when he chested down Ilkay Gundogan’s pass and blasted past Pyatov and Jesus wrapped up the scoring by lofting the ball over the goalkeeper for his third.
Up next for Manchester City is the small matter of a Manchester derby against Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium, which is live on Sky Sports Premier League (4.30pm). Their next Champions League fixture is a trip to Lyon on Tuesday November 27 (8pm).
Man City vs Man Utd
November 11, 2018, 4:15pm
Shakhtar Donetsk travel to Vorskla on Sunday (5.30pm) in the Ukrainian Premier League. Their next match in the Champions League is against German side Hoffenheim at the Rhein-Neckar-Arena on Tuesday November 27 (8pm).
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