Gabriel Jesus made a goalscoring return to action as Manchester City maintained their 100 per cent start in the Champions League with a 3-0 win over Olympiacos.
The Brazil striker came off the bench to turn a tight contest at the Etihad Stadium City’s way with a ferocious finish nine minutes from time and Joao Cancelo added a late third.
City had taken a 10th-minute lead through Ferran Torres but were coming under increasing pressure and conceding chances when Jesus, making his comeback from injury, intervened.
The result maintained City’s three-point lead at the top of Group C and kept them well on course for a place in the last 16.
It looked like being a comfortable night early on, with Pep Guardiola’s decision to rest centre-backs Ruben Dias and Aymeric Laporte ahead of this weekend’s clash with Liverpool seeming a smart one.
They were quickly into their stride and it looked like being a busy night for Olympiacos defender Pape Abou Cisse, who cut out a Phil Foden cross and blocked a Riyad Mahrez shot in the opening minutes.
Kevin De Bruyne then forced a save from Jose Sa after a mistake from Ruben Semedo and it came as no surprise when Torres opened the scoring on 12 minutes.
The Spanish winger may have been unexpectedly thrust into a centre forward’s role due to injuries but he has adapted to it superbly.
Once again he looked a natural as he played a one-two with De Bruyne and then calmly side-footed past Sa for his third goal in as many Champions League games this season.
Olympiacos tightened up in defence after conceding but City continued to probe. Raheem Sterling put the ball in the net again at the second attempt after a save by Sa but then saw the flag raised for offside.
Gundogan had a shot deflected over and Kyle Walker had a dangerous cross cut out by Sa as City ended the first half in control.
Remarkably, from that position of dominance, City slackened off after the break.
Mady Camara fluffed a chance when presented with a free header at a corner and City then had a real scare when Foden woefully underhit a passed across his own area. Mathieu Valbuena swooped and should have equalised but, fortunately for Foden, blasted wide.
Youssef El-Arabi then showed excellent control to create a shooting opportunity but Stones took the power out of his effort and Ederson saved.
Making it three!— Manchester City (@ManCity) November 3, 2020
Guardiola tried to enliven his side by summoning Jesus from the bench.
Yet Olympiacos were growing in confidence and former Watford defender Jose Holebas flashed a shot across goal after racing past Walker.
De Bruyne attempted to get into the game more and had a shot saved by Sa before a Jesus strike was blocked.
The substitution then paid off as Jesus raced onto a pass from De Bruyne and lashed a shot into the roof of the net from a tight angle to put the result beyond doubt nine minutes from time.
Olympiacos’ hopes were ended and Cancelo wrapped up the scoring with a long-range strike in the last minute.
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