John Stones equalled Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo’s opening Champions League group stage goalscoring tallies by bagging two against Feyenoord on Wednesday night
It took just two minutes for Manchester City to seize the advantage in Rotterdam, with Stones registering City’s fastest ever goal in the competition with a fortunate header which just-abouts crept in.
Unfortunately for the home side, that goal set the tone for what was to come on the night. Sergio Aguero doubled City’s lead just eight minutes later, volleying Kyle Walker’s cross into the back of the net and claiming his 26th goal in 42 Champions League games for City.
Pep Guardiola’s side made it eight goals in 90 minutes when Brazilian star Gabriel Jesus scored coolly on his Champions League debut. De Kuip was witnessing its first Champions League game for 15 years, but when Jesus bundled home the rebound from Benjamin Mendy’s shot on 25 minutes, the boisterous home faithful soon knew it was game, set and match.
Although the City pressure cooled before the half-time whistle, Stones soon rounded off the scoring, finishing off from six yards after a well-worked short corner from David Silva and Kevin de Bruyne.
In their previous six attempts, City had yet to win away from home in Europe before Wednesday night. In doing so, City also kept their first clean sheet in the competition for eight games and earned their highest ever away win in the Champions League. City also kept 72% possession of the ball in Rotterdam, perhaps highlighting that Stones and co are now in tune with the playing style Guardiola wants to see.
After the game, City manager Guardiola said: “There is no doubt about John Stones’ quality. His two goals were so important. He knows where he has to improve, defending the duels, but he’s so young and he is able to achieve. When he does, he will become an exceptional central defender.”
In the group’s other match, Shakhtar Donetsk defeated Napoli 2-1 to earn second place – City will face them at the Etihad Stadium in their next Champions League encounter.
Meanwhile, Guardiola’s side will travel to Watford on Saturday afternoon in a bid to carry on their fantastic form in all competitions.