Neither Wilfried Bony or Jesus Navas will be among the top shirt sellers at Manchester City, but the two understudies combined for a crucial goal against Sevilla in the Champions League this evening.
Bony netted his first goal in Europe’s top competition to seal City a 3-1 win which secures their progress to the last 16, after Navas, returning to his boyhood club, had got to the byline and crossed to his feet.
Manuel Pellegrini was forced to defend Bony this week amid criticism from City’s supporters, as the Daily Express reports. He has only managed six goals since his arrival from Swansea City in January.
A strike of this importance might kickstart the Ivorian’s career at the Etihad Stadium. Sevilla were on top and threatening to draw level in Spain after going two down to the quick-starting Citizens.
Raheem Sterling and Fernandinho both scored inside the opening 11 minutes, before Benoit Tremoulinas reduced the deficit for the back-to-back Europa League winners with a header from close range.
Bony restored City’s cushion on 36 minutes after great work from Navas. The winger, who played 383 times for Sevilla, has also been maligned for a lack of end product, but picked him out expertly.
Victory, combined with the 1-1 draw between Juventus and Borussia Monchengladbach, takes the Blues to the top of Group D and books their ticket to the knockout stages with still two group games to play.
At a stage of the competition when they have been in peril in recent seasons, it will be of great relief to Pellegrini to have qualification already wrapped up. The question now is; how far can they go?
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